Month: February 2013

Drawing Lab -Week 2


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This week we again focused on the fun in drawing.

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Beginning with some watercolor lines and squiggles, participants began the experimentation into artistic discovery.

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The next step was to find some line, pattern or design to begin the process.

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Participants began to add pencil, pen and marker to their watercolor lines to develop an imaginative image.

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This fun exercise, although challenging, encouraged the creative juices to flow.

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It was fun to build off of others’ ideas and to begin with a few random strokes of watercolor.

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If drawing scares you…maybe you need to come to the drawing lab to let your creative self loose!

Digital Photography Club


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The Art Junction announces the formation of:

The Digital Photography Club

 

The first meeting will be Thursday, March 7, 2013 from 7-8 pm at the Art Junction in New Haven, Ohio. 

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If you have an interest in digital photography, wish to meet others with the same interest, wish to share your images, learn more about photography, or just want to improve your skills. …this may be the place for you to explore and grow your interest in photography!

 

The Digital Photography Club is free and open to all with an interest in sharing and learning more about photography.  Meetings will be the 1st Thursday of each month from 7-8 p.m.

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If you are interested in participating or learning more, plan on attending March 7 at 7pm at The Art Junction in New Haven.  Bring your camera and an example of your photography to share!

 

For more information contact Kevin at 419-935-3404 or email: theartjunction@yahoo.com

 

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The Art Junction is a community-based art education program designed to bring gallery space, local art exhibitions, lessons and creative opportunities to the Willard area for adults, teens, seniors, and children to learn to create together a better community! For more information on this or future programs at The Art Junction contact Kevin Casto M.A., Director, at 419-935-3404, email theartjuction@yahoo.com or visit our blog https://theartjunctionwillardohio.wordpress.com

Community-based Art for Social Change


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By Kathie deNobriga and Mat Schwarzman

Community-based art is creative expression that emerges from communities of people working together to improve their individual and collective circumstances.

Community-based art involves a wide range of social contexts and definitions, and includes an understanding of “communities” that includes not only geographical places, but also groups of people identified with historical or ethnic traditions, or dedicated to a particular belief or spirit. Those who identify themselves as community-based artists are concerned with the ways art can function within many different types of public arenas, including community development, corrections, education, intergenerational communication, aging, the environment, healthcare, technology, politics, disability, conflict resolution, community regeneration, cultural citizenship and more. They are working in all media, in all disciplines, in all locations. They can be found in traditional galleries, theaters, museums and centers of higher learning, as well as hospitals, unions, community centers, prisons, community-based organizing groups, wilderness areas, youth organizations and juvenile halls, and public schools.

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They are committed to bringing the arts to bear on the widest possible range of social conditions and challenges facing our communities. This includes, but is not limited to, issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, classism, ableism, and all forms of discrimination that systematically deny individuals’ rights and opportunities because of physical traits, family background or social identity. These efforts seek to create social change at every level of society, from the most “personal” to the most “political.”

At the heart of this social vision is a belief in cultural and creative expression as a means to affecting deep and lasting social change.

Laws may be altered, court decisions may be handed down, officials may be voted in and out of office–but if the majority of the people do not believe in the possibility and the rightness of their/our common cause, nothing authentic or long-lasting will be changed. This is where art, artists and artist educators play an essential role. If we want freedom, we must promote free expression. If we want equity, we must have equal access and support in expressing ourselves. If we want respect and love and beauty among us and all our many communities, we must actively and systematically promote it through our art and through our teaching of others. Teaching, in this sense, becomes a political act, a conscious effort to build a movement of people prepared to facilitate and participate in social change.

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Community art is by its nature dialectical. It is an expression of both individual and group identity.

All creative expression, no matter how “original,” is an expression of both individual and group life. In recognizing this, community art distinguishes itself from more conventional Western approaches in both vocabulary and theoretical approach. Instead of being viewed as an isolated individual genius, the artist (or artists) serves as a cultural catalyst, an integral part of a larger process of social intervention and transformation.  Through art, we can challenge many of our society’s deepest-seated assumptions, such as the boundaries between self and other, “artist” and “non-artist,” present and past, male and female, young and old, “normal” and “abnormal.” The community artist builds upon the power of artistic creation and expression to spark new ideas and elicit new actions, both from people who participate in the creative process and those who witness its results.

Art can catalyze critical thinking, inspire individuals to work together, create visions, heal.This energy, in turn, helps catalyze, inspire and heal the community artist who facilities its development.

*This article was written in 1999, as an introduction to the Community Arts Training (CAT) Directory, a list of individuals and organizations offering quality training in the field of community arts.

http://artsintransformation.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/community-based-art-for-social-change/

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Drawing Lab -Week 1


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Drawing Lab began last week with a session of exploration and imagination.

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Using lines and scribbles as a beginning point participants were looking to have fun with the drawing experience…following the creative trail on its imaginative journey.

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Curious images appeared from various collaborations.

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Simple tools were used as a fun time of creative exploration was embarked upon.  Wish you could have joined in the fun…maybe next time!

Community-Based Art Can Be a Significant Force for Social Change


great-wall-of-los-angelesThe Great Wall of Los Angeles depicts the history of LA, with special emphasis on Native Americans and minorities.

Written by Tim Takechi 

from The official blog of Global Visionaries

The arts are supposed to be a vehicle for social change. So why doesn’t it seem like it?

As school districts and universities across the country face massive budget cuts from federal and state governments, funding for the arts (including both performance-based and visual) is expected to be threatened.

After all, doesn’t it make sense to cut programs that don’t help our students improve math and science test scores? How does your skill with a paint brush or violin help you make advances in environmental engineering? Or compete with China? Or India? You get the idea.

So before we delve into an obvious rant about how the arts are essential to a healthy society, it is important to note that critics have a strong argument for wanting to focus more attention on math and science.

American students are our future. As the Baby Boomer generation starts to approach retirement age, there will soon be a large talent gap in important areas of social infrastructure such as education and engineering.

It is important that we have plenty of fresh young minds take over these jobs when the present generation decides to leave. Now you can see why certain government officials have little problem cutting music, theatre and visual arts funding.

So what can be done to preserve our nation’s artistic output given these shrinking budgets?

That’s where community-based art comes into play.

What is community-based art, you may ask? Let us explain:

Community-based art is any art created with the purpose of engaging a particular community (defined by any geographical or demographic boundaries you see fit) into a larger dialogue with the purpose of generating positive change.

A great example of a community-based arts organization is The Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), an organization serving the larger Los Angeles area. SPARC strives to give a voice to and celebrate LA’s ethnically and economically diverse population. They focus especially on “women, the working poor, youth, the elderly and newly arrived immigrant communities.”

One of SPARC’s most famous projects is The Great Wall of Los Angeles, a half a mile long wall featuring artwork encouraging interracial harmony.

Also check out Jumblies Theatre located in Toronto, Canada. Jumblies is dedicated to building relationships between multicultural artists and their larger community through partnerships, arts ventures, education and workshops.

Consider Jumblies’ most recent venture, The Scarborough Project. It is a community arts training program based in one of Toronto’s most ethnically diverse municipalities. Reaching out to Scarborough’s large immigrant population, Jumblies works to empower the community through artistic expression.

Closer to home, Barbara Luecke is the Sound Transit Art Program Manager and parent of a former Global Visionaries participant. Since 2006, Barbara has overseen and coordinated more than 50 arts projects integrated in light rail, commuter rail and bus express facilities all over Seattle.

One striking piece of art that can be found at a Light Rail station is a sculpture entitled “Rainier Beach Haiku” designed by Japanese-American artist and retired university professor Roger Shimomura. Located at the Othello Station in Rainier Valley, Shimomura’s humorous sculpture explores the difficulty of living in two different cultures at the same time.

rainier-beach-haiku“Rainier Beach Haiku” by Japanese-American artist Roger Shimomura sits at the Othello Station.

4Culture, a cultural service agency serving the King County area, kicked off their 2010 Site-Specific series by hosting the Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre’s musical re-enactment of the 1970 historical take-over of Fort Lawton.

Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre engages “Native Indian and Alaskan Native youth to express themselves with confidence and clarity through traditional and contemporary performing arts.” RES has staged more than 130 productions with youth ages 11-19.

All these organizations will agree that it’s better for people to express themselves through art than violence. Too often marginalized folks feel the only way they can empower themselves is by committing crimes against society. The people of SPARC and Jumblies Theatre want to reverse that by creating public art in a spirit of inclusiveness.

Organizations such as Arts Corps and 4Culture do not in any way represent an alternative to public school arts programs. Instead, they illustrate that there are other venues for empowering young people to artistically express themselves that go beyond the four walls of a school building.

wing-luke-asian-museumWing Luke Asian Museum features art created by Asian-American artists.

These organizations, like all nonprofits, are funded through a combination of public and private money. None of these folks are out to get rich. That is not why they do what they do. People like Barbara Luecke and Roger Shimomura are motivated by a desire to improve communities through arts engagement.  Too often communities are forced to come together after tragedies like natural disasters and violent acts.

Community-based art is a fantastic way for people from diverse backgrounds to come together in a healthy, constructive and vibrant manner.

If your local school is planning to cut funding for the arts, don’t be afraid that our artistic legacy is lost. There is reason to have hope. In times of need, sometimes all it takes are a dedicated group of people, a dream and the will to make magic happen.

Obviously, it is preferable that funding for the arts continues in public schools. But if that doesn’t seem possible, don’t feel like it’s a lost cause.

Just research all the projects mentioned above. Most of them started on a shoe-string budget and continue to exist today. Unfortunately, we cannot change cuts to education spending. That is left to politicians. What we can do is take heart that there are other venues for cultivating tomorrow’s artists.

They might not be found in a classroom. You might have to take a peak outside your window.

http://gvisionaries.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/community-based-art-can-be-a-significant-force-for-social-change/