Month: March 2013

Spring Classes and Workshops


Paper Flower Workshop

Create a paper flower for Mom or a Spring bouquet for your home.

Date:  Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. – 12 noon

Class Size 4-10 participants ages 10 and up

Cost $ 5.00 with all materials provided

Sign up by 5/2/13


Crayon Explosion Workshop     

Destroy, melt, create, and paint with crayons in fun new ways beyond basic coloring!

Date: Saturday, April 20, 2013   10 a.m. – 12noon  

Cost $5.00 with all materials provided

Sign up by 4/18/13 

Class size 4-10 participants Ages 5 to 105


Painting with Expression Class

Explore painting with expression with acrylic paint.

Materials Needed: 16” x 20” canvas, basic acrylic paints, brushes, masking tape, towels.  

Cost $ 10.00 or  $25.00 with all materials provided

Date: Tuesday, April 9 – Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 

Class size 4-8 participants ages 9 to 99

Sign up by 4/5/13


For more information contact Kevin Casto at 419-935-3404 or email:


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 or visit our blog

Family Art Day


Butterflies returned to the Art Junction today.


Families came to the Art Junction on Saturday, March 23, 2013 to participate in creating clay butterflies and to help celebrate the return of spring.


Our weather was still very winter-like, but our thoughts turned to spring and the renewal that will return to north-central Ohio soon.


Families worked together to create butterflies from air-dry clay.


Everyone had the opportunity to add paint to their creation as well.


Crayola® Air-Dry Clay is a natural earth clay which air-dries to a hard solid. It can be used it to make clay sculptures, decorative items or plaques. No baking or firing needed. Easy clean-up. Minimal shrinkage.


You can use most traditional clay sculpting techniques with Air-Dry Clay, such as coil, slab, pinch, score-and-weld.

DSCN7616 You can also press beads, small stones or other decorative items directly into the clay.DSCN7615

A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect which includes moths.


Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight.  Some, like the Monarch, will migrate over long distances. A few butterflies eat harmful insects. Culturally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and literary arts.


Everyone enjoyed the creative process of making a butterfly today.


Maybe you can join us for a class, workshop, gallery opening or our next family art day.


Drawing Lab -Week 5


Week 5 began using black acrylic paint with an improvised brayer to add paint with strokes.


This resulted in some very interesting results that were used as a starting point for drawing.

drawing lab #5#1

Working collaboratively, participants created some very interesting drawings.

drawing lab #5#2

One of the problems to work through was to add to what another participant had begun or to ignore what they had done.

drawing lab #5#3

Creative exercises are just that….a project meant to expand boundaries of thinking and doing.

drawing lab #5#4

Craziness leads to fun which leads to new insights into the personal creative journey.

DSCN7225We ended the session with some quick ink wash images.

DSCN7226These quick washes changed up the creative flow of the evening.


Artist Paul Klee expresses the idea of drawing as “taking a line for a walk”.  Participants learned that making a drawing is first about communicating with yourself as they went for a walk this evening in the drawing lab.

A Place for Creatives to Come and Perch


by Chris Breslin 3/11/13

Mercury Studio takes the temperature of Durham’s arts scene.

Unless you’re paying attention, you might mistake the “café work area” of Mercury Studio for another coffee shop, only without the periodic clamor of an espresso bean grinder. When I visited the controlled bustle of the workplace (equal emphases on work and space) this fall, I began to see rhythms and relationships that make this “community-minded coworking space” different from the third spaces in abundance here in Durham, North Carolina.

Near me sat an ER doctor at his personal desk diligently writing a novel. A “home-schooled” teen—which, in this case, deserves scare quotes, as the studio becomes equal parts “home” and “school” on any given school day—works slightly less assiduously through a Mark Twain novel. Later in the day, after-hours studio members drifted in (all members have keys and around the clock access) to work on their passions and/or professions, everyone from videographers to pastors and accountants. Everyone who uses Mercury Studio pays to be a member, and prices vary based on need and use, from the periodic café member to the more dedicated desk or studio member. Some members are full-timers hanging their shingle in the company of others. Others bear a litany of “who-also-______” titles: some who-also pursue a passion, some who-also start to work on the next thing to get them out of the job they hate. Whatever the scenario, they’ve been welcomed into a different way to do it at Mercury Studio, which opened in early 2012.

Katie DeConto helped start Mercury in part because of her first job after college, an office gig that made her wonder if “pushing papers is all there is, you might as well get comfortable,” says the 27-year-old New England transplant. But she relished the fact that her job let her build relationships. “I began to realize what a wasted opportunity it would be not to be able to get to know people who are different,” says DeConto.


Meanwhile, Milligan College friend and trained painter Megan Jones contacted Katie with similar thoughts. “Both of us were realizing the value of a community of people who keep you accountable but also respect the work that you’re doing,” says Jones. Connecting professionals, part-time creatives, and professional artists is especially key for Jones. She says, “Bringing actual artists into the picture elevates the view of artists as professionals and not just ‘art as hobby.'” Non-artists and artists need each other, for they each have something unique to offer the other, says Jones. And artists certainly need other dedicated artists to provide the kind of mentorship and companionship specific to their craft. One of Jones’s early major contributions to Mercury was the vision of professional rapport among like and differently skilled creative professionals.

In this pursuit, Mercury has been true to its elemental namesake: acting as a thermometer and indicating the kind of sea change bubbling up from its surroundings. Without restaurants, art galleries, a major indie record label, and other co-working and creative entrepreneurs around it, the studio might seem like an oddball, either unaware in trying economic times, or painfully idealistic about the desire for people to want to be around each other. Instead, Mercury Studio fits in. It makes total sense in the landscape and dynamic of a city named by The Atlantic as the most creative-class rich metro area in the nation.

Located on the edge of a growing and renewing progressive Southern city, Mercury Studio differs from other small business incubators in that it doesn’t merely serve as a space to get off the ground and then leave, but rather a more stable spot in which to create. Rather than viewing Durham, with it’s affordable cost of living and entrepreneurial spirit, as a launching pad to bigger and better things, many of Mercury Studio’s inhabitants are committed to growth and welfare of their fair Bull City. But ask if Mercury Studio is a “Christian business,” and DeConto shifts in her seat. “This place is so saturated with Christianity that almost everyone knows. We’ve tried to build it on community and grace, concern and consideration of everyone around you. There are no crosses anywhere though.

“It’s very natural,” DeConto says, “all of it flowing out of what we want to be as people and what Jesus might do.”

While half of the Studio houses carrels and café tables and the other half gallery and artist studio space, the entirety bears Jones’s aesthetic touch. Almost every detail of the old storefront, from its repurposed doors-make carrels, to its gallery space bearing the art of a renowned concert poster artist, hints at the intersection of creativity and hospitality that DeConto and Jones have fostered.

In his book The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield says, “The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.” Mercury Studio is designed precisely to combat this sort of existence. While many artists know and experience Pressfield’s description, these co-workers feast on something more than either the mere proximity of coffee-shop working or the isolation of secluded studio life. Through “art salons,” workshops, and other events, the artists stared criticism and ridicule in the face. The result is something strange and at times downright trinitarian: finding one’s existence enriched and passions flourishing in mutuality. These salons offer critique and interpretation for finished or unfinished work, and have served to raise the water level for local artists. They represent hospitable safe havens from the harsh world of inattentive and often unfair criticism, instead providing room for contemplation and advice. In the past several months, Mercury Studio has begun monthly “Listening Rooms,” events that invite local musicians not only to perform but to receive questions, offer answers, and provide an interactive glimpse into new and often unfinished material.

While Mercury’s doors have been open for a year, Jones and DeConto are excited to see how every new member will change the identity of their experiment. DeConto says she is continuing to learn “. . . the power of giving a person a space to belong without expectation. I’ve seen that in my home, my community, and in my church. I’ve watched the effect on a person who has not previously been given that, being told that they are allowed and accepted and cared for. To get to watch them blossom and achieve things.”


Changes are also indicators to Jones and DeConto that the mustard seed of an idea they planted in early 2012 is growing into something much bigger: a witness of creativity and hospitality to the city around it, a place for workers, like birds, to come and perch.

Family Art Day


Family Art Day

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Drop by between 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon

 Bring your family and create a 3D Butterfly out of air-dry clay together as a family.

In one Saturday morning using a few hand-building skills families can create their own butterflies together to celebrate renewal and rebirth.


Cost is $3.00 per person

(This helps to cover the cost of the materials)

*PLUS a canned food donation to the Willard Food Bank!

 Plus you can enjoy a free snack lunch next door at the New Haven United Methodist Church along with other fun activities!

 For more information contact Kevin Casto at 419-935-3404 or email:



 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 or visit our blog

Drawing Lab -Week 4


Week 4 found the drawing lab group exploring a continuous line and how to incorporate this idea into drawing various subjects.


The artist Paul Klee said that “a line drawing is like taking a dot for a walk.”  In this week’s lab we went for a walk, skipped a little and began to run.


A continuous line drawing is actually a very powerful way to create a piece that is both hard-edged and fluid, representational and abstract, rational and emotional all in one.


Known as unbroken line drawing, continuous line drawing or blind object drawing, the premise is that the pen, pencil or another easy writing instrument never leaves the paper until you are done.


To do this type of drawing you need a pencil or any writing element that offers a smooth, continuous line and a smooth, blank piece of paper. Choose something you want to draw such as a person, flower, fruit or whatever inspires you.


In the drawing lab we are trying to capture the essence of the object and the idea of movement.


The final part of this week’s exercise was to add color to the images we created.

Bead Workshop


Saturday we had a wonderful time learning to create beads using polymer clay.


Many colors were used in the process of creating beads.


There was a lot of camaraderie during the workshop as everyone enjoyed learning and sharing ideas during the creative process.


Polymer clay is a type of hardenable modeling clay based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It typically contains no clay minerals, but like mineral clay a liquid is added to dry particles until it achieves gel-like working properties, and similarly, the part is put into an oven to harden, hence its colloquial designation as clay.


The time flew by as everyone relaxed and enjoyed the process of making beads.


A pasta-making machine is a popular multi-purpose tool for polymer clay artists. It is used to create sheets of uniform thickness, to mix colors or created variegated sheets, and to condition (soften) the clay.


Maybe you can join us for a future workshop using polymer clay.

Drawing Lab -Week 3


Week 3 found the participants exploring drawing and collage as they combined these two elements together.


Participants began with a small image to glue to their drawing, and they used it as a starting point for their exploration in drawing.


Beginning with a drawing prompt is a great way to start a creative investigation which can be a fun method to jump-start the drawing process.


All of the participants enjoyed this new exercise in creativity.


Maybe you can join us in a future creative expedition at the Art Junction.