This week I am gearing up for my first of hopefully a long line of Family Saturdays at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington, KY. I am planning to have plenty of kid friendly art projects on hand for folks to try inspired by the art currently on display in the galleries there.
One of the artists showing this month is Anne Straus whose work uses many natural materials and evokes a somewhat primitive and tribal feel. One element in a work by Straus is that of a doll which is covered with beads. I was reminded of the corn husk dolls of the early Native American/ Pioneer days and figured that might be a fun project to try this weekend. So I have been practicing putting some husky figures together as examples then maybe we’ll decorate them….
Meanwhile, my friend and fellow artist Dan Carlson turned me on to a relatively new comic book series called Mouse Guard. The illustrations in these books are really beautiful and I enjoy being swept away into a new world by David Petersen’s delightful characters. I have never before been much of a comic book reader, but this is a series I may have to collect over time.
As most artists know, being an artist involves operating in multiple spheres. It is an unusual artist who gets to (or even chooses to) do nothing but “make” 24/7. Artists I know, myself included, generally put together somewhat of a piecemeal living of odd jobs and teaching assignments (hopefully art related) that allow for art to be made at other times. It is a balancing act, to be certain.
Lately, I have had the great fortune to land some of these other types of work. One of the most exciting is the position of Teaching Artist for the Family Saturdays program at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Art Center in Covington, Ky. Every month, on the second Saturday of the month, families with kids of all ages are invited to the Carnegie Center’s educational room to make art projects inspired by and related to the current art being shown in the galleries. In the future, these projects will probably involve what’s happening in the theater too. (There is a suggested $5 donation per family to help cover costs).
My first Family Saturday as an instructor/art-guide in this program will involve projects inspired by the work of glass artists…
We’ll explore how glass artists approach transparency and color. We’ll also look at the art of Frank Satogata who uses brilliant color as well as an interesting calligraphy signature (we’ll make our own!!)
We have plans to use the concepts in the work of Anne Straus to approach some nature friendly art ideas for the fall time frame….
I am looking so forward to meeting the families who attend these art-parties at the Carnegie Center on a regular basis and hope that we can encourage more families to join the fun in coming months. I also look forward to teaching people some basic drawing techniques by providing an “Anyone Can Draw” table each month to try out along with all the usual gallery themed/seasonal art stations. So if you’re in the area, stop by and join us. It’s sure to be a great time making some cool stuff!