creativity

Symbols of hope


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The Art Junction has returned to the Willard Hope Center this fall to offer some creative opportunities to the student members.

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This fall we explored symbols and how many symbols surround us in our daily life.

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We explored combining the various symbols together to create a pleasing design to the students.

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Everyone enjoyed the activity and could easily relate to the symbols we encounter daily.

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Everyone chose different combinations of symbols.

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A symbol is an object that represents, stands for, or suggests an idea, visual image, belief, action, or material entity. Symbols take the form of words, sounds, gestures, or visual images and are used to convey ideas and beliefs. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for “STOP”.

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These symbol ideas will be used in an upcoming painting project the student members will be participating in.

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Everyone had fun in the creative opportunity and the fellowship we had.

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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! Located at 2634 Prairie Street, New Haven, Ohio 44850 next to the New Haven United Methodist Church.  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

Art Camp Jr.


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Art Camp Jr. was held this past week, and all of the kids enjoyed our theme of bugs.

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On the first day of camp everyone explored building their own imaginary bug out of found objects in the Art Junction.  The second day, campers worked on painting and designing their bugs.

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Campers also created chalk art bugs using many new techniques.

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Campers also used watercolor paint to begin a bug painting.

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Adding marker to the watercolor design, campers defined their images with strong lines.

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Examples of some wonderfully fun bugs.

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Picasso said that “every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up.”  I think I know the answer: continue to make art with kids.

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Finally we explored mixing primary and secondary colors with paint scrapers.

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Everyone enjoyed the action and texture created with scrapers and paints.

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Art Camp Jr. was a wonderful time of exploration, creativity and plain old fun!

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Tye-Dye Workshop


TyeDye Workshop

Have you always wanted to create a Tyedye T-shirt?

    This is your chance to learn how with your friends and family. 

     Date: Saturday, July 14, 2012

10 a.m. -12noon   Cost $15.00  Ages 10 & up!

Class Size: Must have at least 8 for a class for material cost!  

Must sign up by July 2, 2012

Materials Needed: Must provide your own shirt(s)

For more information or to sign up call 419-935-3404 or email theartjunction@yahoo.com

Create your own Basket Workshop


Linda Kirgis will teach you how to make a small, round reed basket.

The basket will be from 5-1/2” to 8-1/2” in diameter (your choice) & will be woven from flat reed and round reed.

You will have the opportunity to weave in the color of your choice.

 Cost $25 includes all supplies.

We have extended the deadline -Sign up by June 16, 2012

The tools are simple and will be provided for your use during the class.

Class Size 6-8 people participants Ages 10 and up

 Date: Saturday, June 30, 2012 

9 a.m.-1 p.m.

(or until all baskets are completed.) Please feel free to bring along snacks,drinks or a lunch for yourself.

To sign up for this workshop email: theartjunction@yahoo.com  or call 419-935-3404

Painting at The Hope Center -the final coat of paint


The last two painting sessions were a lot of fun as the participants added letters and words into their image.

Adding text to an image can aid the artist and viewer in interpreting the expression of the painting.

Adding masking tape to cover what you want to save and deleting what needs to be covered is the next step.

Working in community aids the process and encourages the creative process.

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision. -James Whistler

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

Art and the creative process allows us to make sense of the world around us as we seek to form an expression of what we experience.
Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art. -Miguel Angel Ruiz
As we join together in this dance of life creativity is the song we learn to sing together.
Joining together in the creative process allows hope to be passed along to those who do not fully understand its meaning.
I challenge you to share the creativity with those around you…instilling hope for our future.  These paintings will be auctioned off at the Hope Center Auction.  I hope you can support this effort in some way!

4th grade Art Show


The Art Junction presents:

Willard City Schools Elementary Art Department

4th grade ART Exhibition

Opening Reception Friday, May 11, 2012 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

at The Art Junction

2634 Prairie Street, New Haven, Ohio 44850 next to the New Haven United Methodist Church

Regular Gallery Hours:

Fridays & Saturdays May 12 – June 1, 2012 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

*Special showings upon request!

Come view the monochromatic paintings of the Willard City Schools 4th grade visual art students under the direction of artist/teacher Kevin Casto. Support the emerging art talents of these young artists by attending their exhibition this spring as they visually express themselves and the greater community around them. Students will also have their Underground Railroad quilt on display.

The 4th grade students’ 16” x 20” monochromatic paintings will be on sale during the exhibit.  All proceeds from the sale of their artwork will be placed in the Outdoor Education fund for their 6th grade experience at Mohican Outdoor School. We hope you will participate!  Their artwork would be a great addition to your home, business or organization!

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

Painting at The Hope Center -week 2


Week 2 of the Hope Center painting project was truly a community effort.

This week we added mixed media to the project as participants employed oil pastels into their image.

Oil pastel (also called wax oil crayon) is a painting and drawing medium with characteristics similar to pastels and wax crayons. Unlike “soft” or “French” pastel sticks, which are made with a gum or methyl cellulose binder, oil pastels consist of pigment mixed with a non-drying oil and wax binder.

The surface of an oil pastel painting is therefore less powdery, but more difficult to protect with a fixative. Oil pastels provide a harder edge than “soft” or “French” pastels but are more difficult to blend.

Tape was again used to create straight edges and to preserve colors and areas that were previously painted.

To have the sense of creative activity is the great happiness and the great proof of being alive. -Matthew Arnold

Letters and words were incorporated into the images this week to give a sense of direction, shape and form to the expression being created.

Creativity depends on a number of things: experience, including knowledge and technical skills; talent; an ability to think in new ways; and the capacity to push through uncreative dry spells. -Teresa Amabile

Creative cooperation was a big part of this evening’s effort as everyone learned to aid each other in a community effort.

Sometimes the best part is just getting some paint on one’s hands.

Painting allows us to experience the joy and wonder of the creative journey.

As you can see it was a productive evening of painting.  I hope you will join us next week to see how the journey continues or will buy a painting at the upcoming auction on May 12, 2012.

A view of the Spring Art Exhibition


The Art Junction presents: Willard High School Art Department’s Spring ART Exhibition

Fridays & Saturdays, April 14 – May 5, 2012 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.  *Special showings upon request!

Come view the paintings, drawings and clay work of Willard High School visual art students under the direction of Art Teacher John Buss.

Support the emerging talents of these young artists by attending their exhibition this spring as they visually express themselves and the greater community around them.

We hope you will stop by the Art Junction and support the local art students and view their wonderful exhibit of visual art.

Butterfly Day


The Art Junction held it’s second Family Art Day on March 31, 2012 with the theme of Butterflies.

Families had the opportunity to come together to create together.

Butterflies are a wonderful symbol of Spring and the transformation that is taking place in the environment around us during this season.

A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect  which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly’s life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult.

Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies (superfamily Papilionoidea), the skippers (superfamily Hesperioidea) and the moth-butterflies (superfamily Hedyloidea).

Butterflies like the Monarch will migrate over long distances. Some butterflies have evolved symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants.

Some butterfly species are pests because in their larval stages they can damage domestic crops or trees; however, some species are agents of pollination of some plants, and caterpillars of a few butterflies (e.g., Harvesters) eat harmful insects.

Culturally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and literary arts.

When the butterfly larva is fully grown, hormones are produced. At this point the larva stops feeding and begins “wandering” in the quest of a suitable pupation site, often the underside of a leaf.

The larva transforms into a pupa (or chrysalis) by anchoring itself to a substrate and moulting for the last time. The chrysalis is usually incapable of movement, although some species can rapidly move the abdominal segments or produce sounds to scare potential predators.

The pupal transformation into a butterfly through metamorphosis has held great appeal to mankind. To transform from the miniature wings visible on the outside of the pupa into large structures usable for flight, the pupal wings undergo rapid mitosis and absorb a great deal of nutrients. Let’s see how the creative process is similar to the metamorphosis a butterfly endures.

Participants first painted coffee filter paper which, after drying, transforms into the butterfly wings.

While awaiting the drying process, families had the opportunity to create another type of butterfly.

Employing a technique called a “blotto panting”, families  could create another butterfly.

Blotto painting is a painting made by applying tempera paint onto one side of a sheet of paper, then folding the paper and pressing the two sides together.


Like an inkblot, a blotto painting is apt to be symmetrical and nonobjective. Making one is largely an aleatoric act — leaving much to chance.

Although the concept of symmetry is used in creating half of the butterfly design, much is left up to creative chance or a happy accident.

This project reflects much of the mystery of the creative process…we never quite know what the final results of a creative experience will foster.

This makes a blotto painting a transformative project, much like the pupa becoming a butterfly.

The next step in returning to the 3D butterfly project is to select a plastic bug body and a flexi stem for the antennae and to then put them together.

The final step in transforming the wings is to cut the coffee filter in half and the half shape into a rectangle.

The very last step in creating the wings is to create a thin fan fold from the rectangle shape and insert it into the bug body to create a 3D butterfly.

One of the goals in having a Family Art Day is to allow families the opportunity to create together.

We all have the desire to create something, and in our post-modern society there seem to be few opportunities to come together and create together.

We have many examples around us of the effects of the break-up of the family and community.

It’s time to come together and make a creative, transformitive change in our community.

When various ages work together, unity creates community.

Seeing generations create together passes on traditions and knowledge and understanding of where one lives.

We are not meant to create alone.

We were meant to work as a community, passing on our knowledge as well as learning from others, no matter what their age.

The community is the web of life that inextricably embraces, defines, and empowers children and adults alike. -Peter London

I hope you can join us for future classes, events, gallery exhibitions and creative opportunities to creatively transform our community.

Week 6 -Exploring acrylic painting


Our final painting class was a flurry of activity as our painters speedily worked to complete their images.

How does one know when a painting is complete or finished?

Some questions to ask yourself to see if your work is complete: Is there enough contrast?

Does the composition make sense?

Is there harmony, unity and rhythm to your image?

Could you live with it?

Are you happy with your work and the effort that you have put into the current project?  If so it may be time to stop and move on to another project, with the option of returning to add, edit or change what you have initially begun in your image.  I was tremendously impressed and invigorated by the students in this class.  I hope they will continue their creative pursuits!