Month: December 2013

A lesson in local art history


3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students from the Willard City Schools visited the Art Junction in November to view the art work of military artist Don Moore, who grew up in Willard and had an exhibit of his work at the local art gallery.


Students viewed the work of Don Moore and were led in a discussion of the artist’s work by the Art Junction’s director, Kevin Casto.

audieStudents viewed many examples of Moore’s work and learned of his influences such as Audie Murphy, whom he recreated in several drawings and prints on display at the Art Junction.


Students had many questions about the artist, his work, and being a military artist.


Students really enjoyed the various images of Don Moore that gave them an unexpected history lesson of the United States through his art work.


The students learned that in 1968 Don left Willard, Ohio for the United States Marine Corps recruit depot at Parris Island, South Carolina. Upon completing boot camp and advanced combat training, he received the military occupation of illustrator/combat artist. Don served 16 ½ years in the Marine Corps before joining the Army in 1984 as an illustrator. Don retired from the military in 1989 with 22 ½ years of service.


Students learned that Don Moore has received many awards for his artistic skill, service, and excellence. His most prized achievements are: induction into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, knighted into the Order of St. George, and commissioned an admiral in the Texas navy.


Owner and operator of Don Moore Illustration since 1989, Don has had a variety of notable clients, including authors John Carroll, Robert Utley, Steve Wise and Paul Hutton; United States presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush; and the magazines and corporations Armchair General Magazine, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter, the National Park Service, the Institute of Heraldry, and the History Channel.


This was a great opportunity for students to see and learn about an artist who grew up in their hometown and became a very successful artist.


This was a great field trip for the students to see how art is alive outside of the classroom and how they can participate in local art events like this exhibit at the Art Junction.


Poppies for Veteran’s Day


Student members at the Willard Hope Center created poppies for their Veteran’s Day Dinner.


After listening and learning about the tradition of poppies for Veteran’s Day, everyone learned how to make poppies out of tissue paper and flexi-sticks.


The remembrance poppy has been used since 1920 to commemorate soldiers who have died in war.


Inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields“, they were first used by the American Legion to commemorate American soldiers who died in that war (1914–1918). They were then adopted by military veterans‘ groups in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Today, they are mainly used in the UK and Canada to commemorate their servicemen and women who have been killed in all conflicts since 1914.


The small artificial poppies are often worn on clothing for a few weeks before Veterans Day/ Remembrance Day/Armistice Day (11 November).


The use of the poppy was inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields“. Its opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers’ graves in Flanders, a region of Europe that overlies parts of Belgium and France.


The poem was written by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on 3 May 1915 after witnessing the death of his friend, a fellow soldier, the day before. The poem was first published on 8 December 1915 in the London-based magazine Punch.


In 1918, American YWCA worker Moina Michael, inspired by the poem, published a poem of her own called “We Shall Keep the Faith“.  In tribute to McCrae’s poem, she vowed to always wear a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance for those who served in the war.


At a November 1918 YWCA Overseas War Secretaries’ conference, she appeared with a silk poppy pinned to her coat and distributed 25 more to those attending.  She then campaigned to have the poppy adopted as a national symbol of remembrance.


At a conference in 1920, the National American Legion adopted it as their official symbol of remembrance.  At this conference, Frenchwoman Anna E. Guérin was inspired to introduce the artificial poppies commonly used today.


Students were made aware of this symbol that has somewhat been forgotten, and they have had the opportunity to remember those have fought and died for our freedom through making poppies and participating in a Veteran’s Day Dinner at the Hope Center.


In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

 In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

 Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Soap-making workshop


On Saturday, November 2, 2013 we had our first soap-making workshop led by Sue Wolfe of Kait-Tana Soaps.


The workshop was sold out, and we did not have an empty seat in the studio.


Sue demonstrated the various techniques of soap-making to the class.


This was a very hands-on workshop.


Sue even brought her assistant, Kevin Wolfe, to aide everyone in the soap-making process.


Everyone was fully engaged in the creative process.


It was a labor of love as everyone had the opportunity to create two bars of soap and a 4oz bottle of lotion.


The studio still smells wonderful from this fun-filled workshop.


If you were unable to join us for the soap-making workshop in November, plan to join us in February for the next opportunity for good, clean fun!

Autumn afternoon art classes


Students in our autumn afternoon art classes explored a variety of methods of making art.


Students learned about balloon painting, the process of using a balloon as a paint brush to begin an image.


Students also explored collage as a method of making an image.


We also developed new skills in drawing.


We explored building sculptural shapes using newspaper as a building tool.


Students pushed their skills into new directions.


The class gave the students a wide exposure to many varied art terms, artists and mediums.  We will be resuming our afternoon classes in mid-January.  If you have a child who is interested, classes will be on Wednesday afternoons for six sessions.  There will be two classes: one for ages 6-11 and the other class for age 12 and up.  Check back in early January for more information.

Elyria Arts Depot

art-depot-exterior-230x300The former Brandau Jewelers will be the new home of the Elyria Arts Depot.

The artistic spirit of Lorain County will soon have a home in downtown Elyria, a project that will not only breathe new life into a long-empty storefront, but also will bring a tried-and-true Lorain initiative to the city.


For an up-and-coming artist, the biggest struggle in establishing a career is finding a place with plenty of foot traffic to showcase pieces. Likewise, the biggest obstacle standing in the way of revitalizing downtown Elyria is finding ways to bring more pedestrian traffic to the area.  Marrying the two problems and birthing a solution is taking shape in the soon-to-open Elyria Arts Depot.  “This space will give someone like me a place to showcase my work,” said artist Elizabeth Hamister-Burnett, 32. “I’ve shown artwork everywhere but my hometown. To be in my hometown is huge.” Hamister-Burnett has painted since she was a young child, but has done so professionally for two years. Her works have graced walls in galleries at Cleveland State University and the Waterloo Arts District in the Collinwood area of Cleveland.

art-project-barrios-300x204Antonio Barrios, executive director of the Lorain Arts Council and the head of a new project in Elyria, talks about the project Monday in the former Brandau Jewelers building on Broad Street in Elyria. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Starting Saturday, she and other artists will have a temporary home in Elyria.

Four years ago, the Lorain Arts Council opened shop in downtown Lorain and now the arts movement is coming to Elyria with the opening of the Elyria Arts Depot in the former Brandau Jewelers Building at 336 Broad St. The space, which will feature the works of 10 to 15 local artists, will open to the public 10 a.m. Saturday to coincide with Elyria’s Festival of Lights Holiday kick-off.  The Elyria Arts Depot is a project that has been 18 months in the making, said Mayor Holly Brinda. It will, hopefully, serve as the springboard for more pop-up shops and businesses that support the arts.  “We are trying to set the stage for revitalization and growth,”


Brinda said, inside the former store that, with several days worth of sweat equity, will be transformed into a working gallery. “This is part of a larger strategy for downtown Elyria. It has been proven in other cities that those communities that know how to leverage the artistic and cultural spirit of the arts can move forward.”  Brinda said she looks to other communities such as Reno, Nev., St. Paul, Minn. and Pittsburgh for inspiration. Closer to home, it’s the Gordon Square area of Cleveland that is a model of transformation to mimic. It has been nearly a decade since the work began in the west side neighborhood, but pumping more than $400 million of economic development into the community has made it one of Cleveland’s most sought-after neighborhoods. Elyria is far from becoming the next Gordon Square, but every project has to start somewhere, said Antonio Barrios, president of the Lorain Arts Council.

art-depot-painter-215x300Elizabeth Hamister-Burnett, an artist who will be displaying her paintings inside the Elyria Art Depo,t does a little less skilled work as she preps paint to cover the walls


“When we started in Lorain, there were no art galleries anywhere in the city,” he said. “Now we have three locations where art is being shown. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel here. But with just a little education as to what an art district can do for a community, we are seeing change.”


The Elyria Arts Depot is coming together with the help of a lot of people. In addition to the city’s sponsorship and the Lorain Arts Council taking ownership, property owners Janice and Tom Haywood have offered the property for six months at a reduced rate.“By offering the building for the cost of utilities and insurance, we hope to help jumpstart Elyria’s new arts district and provide added exposure for the marketing of our building and other buildings downtown,” Janice Haywood said. It is unknown at this time if the Haywood property will be the permanent home of the Elyria Arts Depot. That possibility remains a viable option, depending on the group’s success. “We are stepping out here and Elyrians can support us very easily by coming,” Barrios said. “Come, visit the gallery, talk to the artists and take an interest in what they are doing. Of course, we hope people will support the arts by purchasing the one-of-a-kind pieces, but the traffic and word of mouth is also very important.”


Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

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