environment

Crayon Explosion


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The Art Junction had a fun workshop called Crayon Explosion.

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Participants enjoyed exploring many different methods of using crayons in new and unusual methods.

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Learning to melt crayons was lots of fun for all.

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Painting with crayon was another fun experiment for everyone as they learned to draw with a warm, soft crayon.

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We also created crayons from what was left melted in the muffin tin.

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Everyone enjoyed the creative process.

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Crayon shavings were also used to create melted images with the iron.

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Lots of fun accidents and explorations were had by all participants.

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Working together everyone explored this somewhat familiar medium.

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Maybe you can join us for our next crayon explosion session in the future at the Art Junction.

Crayon Explosion Workshop


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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. -12 noon  

Cost $5.00 with all materials provided. 

Class size 4-10 participants ages 5 to 105

For more information or to reserve your spot call 419-935-3404 or email, theartjunction@yahoo.com

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/

Denver arts community stirs $1.76 billion in economic activity in 2011


 

A visitor to the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver spends a Tuesday morning viewing the various works of art. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

Denver arts community stirs $1.76 billion in economic activity in 2011

By Jason Blevins The Denver Post

Calling his city “the cultural capital of the West,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Wednesday heralded the $1.76 billion in economic activity stirred by the metro area’s bustling arts community in 2011.

Citing Denver as a leader among U.S. cities climbing out of the recession, Hancock joined several hundred arts supporters early Wednesday in celebrating the financial contribution art and culture provide metro Denver’s economy.

“The arts are a huge component of Denver’s appeal. We all know a smart city needs a diverse economy in order to thrive and that includes a robust culture sector,” Hancock told the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts gathering at downtown’s Four Seasons hotel. “The arts and culture are playing a strong and significant role in our economy.”

Arts and culture indeed do more than entertain and educate metro Denver’s residents and visitors. The CBCA’s biennial economic impact report shows that the 310 organizations of the 23-year-old Scientific and Cultural Facilities District — which spans seven metro counties — delivered a direct economic impact of $527 million in 2011, a 36 percent increase over the 2009 impact.

With indirect spending and capital expenditures, total economic activity was $1.76 billion, up 18.4 percent from 2009.  “If any one of our businesses during this period of time had held steady, we are celebrating success. Thirty-six percent increase from 2009: It is the largest economic impact ever recorded in the history of the SCFD,” said Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce president Kelly Brough. “We have a phrase for that in the business community. When we hear numbers like that we say: ‘Shut the front door.’ ”

More than 2 million visitors from outside Colorado toured Denver’s cultural attractions, including the Clyfford Still Museum. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

 

Denver’s transition from a gateway to mountain fun into a bona fide tourist destination has been fueled by the metro area’s “cultural renaissance,” said Visit Denver chief Richard Scharf.

More than 2 million visitors from outside of Colorado toured Denver’s cultural attractions in 2011, generating $378 million in spending. “I have to say they all pay taxes, too, that we don’t have to pay,” said Scharf, adding that all but two of the metro area’s top 10 attractions are SCFD-funded.

“We also believe that the brand of the city is built from the ground up,” Scharf said, noting that the sixth annual Denver Arts Week, which kicks off Friday with 250 discounted or free events by 170 metro arts organizations, is designed to help people in Denver understand the importance of the local arts community.

Since its inception in 1989, the taxpayer-supported SCFD has distributed more than $2 billion to metro arts organizations. Since 2001, the district has distributed $424 million to its 310 member groups, including $41.9 million in 2011. Arts, cultural and scientific groups employed 9,354 workers in 2011 — a 7 percent increase over 2009 — with a payroll of $145 million.

$1.76 BILLION: That’s the economic activity in the Denver area’s arts scene — and arts supporters gathered Wednesday to celebrate the financial contribution from art and culture. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows arts, entertainment and recreation employment in Colorado — including jobs in cultural, sports, gaming and amusement venues — is up 2.9 percent this year over last year, or about 1,300 jobs. That compares with about 1.7 percent growth for the state overall.

Arts and cultural event attendance reached its second highest peak ever in 2011, with 14.6 million visits fueled by more than 400,000 visitors at the Denver Art Museum’s “King Tut” exhibit and more than 50,000 attending the Colorado Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”

Nearly 9 million of those tickets were free or reduced, revealing the arts community’s dedication to “being available to everyone,” said Jack Finlaw, chief legal counsel for Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Jason Blevins: 303-954-1374, jblevins@denverpost.com or twitter.com/jasontblevins

Art by the numbers

$145 million: Total payroll for arts, cultural and scientific groups in metro Denver in 2011 , up from $131 million in 2009.

50,460: Volunteers who worked at arts and cultural institutions across metro Denver in 2011, up from 42,226 in 2009.

1,500: New arts and culture jobs added in metro Denver between 2001 and 2011, paying $66 million in salaries.

$203 million: Capital expenditures in arts from 2001 to 2011. Attendance during the decade was 142 million, corporate sponsorships were $102 million.

Source: 2011 Colorado Business Committee for the Arts economic study

Read more: Denver arts community stirs $1.76 billion in economic activity in 2011 – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_21894627/denver-arts-community-stirs-1-76-billion-economic#ixzz2COJGUQPF

Closing Weekend


Closing weekend for the Art of Drue Roberts at The Art Junction.

The Art Junction presents:

                         The Road So Far…

The artwork of Drue Roberts

Regular Gallery Hours:

Fridays & Saturdays September 14 – October 6, 2012 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

*Special showings upon request!

 

Drue Roberts graduated from Willard High School in 1993 and went on to study Geology. After graduate school, he became an environmental geologist performing studies at superfund sites, the military and national laboratories. Drue is a self-taught artist who specializes in acrylic painting and has shown his work in Santa Fe, New Mexico and in Ohio. He and his wife have travelled the country and now reside in Granville, Ohio with their two boys.

Art is an extension of the inner artist and there is always some trepidation in sharing so much of one’s self. “When I think of showing my artwork in my hometown, it simply terrifies me,” Roberts shared. “Here I stand at the midpoint of my life worrying how people I haven’t seen in 20 years will react to it. Much of what I’ve spent my life seeing, analyzing and interpreting is wrapped up in these paintings.” A lot of how he sees the world has been colored by his experiences and the culture that exists in Willard, Ohio.

 

Roberts, a geologist by trade who has traveled the country with his work, taught himself to draw and paint. He began with colored pencils and eventually graduated to acrylic paints, which he’s used to develop his unique style of layering paint using bold colors and pronounced light and shadows to produce his diverse themes. Roberts’ experience as a geologist dealing with environmental contamination inspires much of his work. “Presenting an amplified view of our surroundings awakens the viewer to the impact our lives have on the world around us,” he said. He also adds that the murals of Diego Rivera, the sparseness of Edward Hopper and the dinosaurs of William Stout influence his work.

The Road So Far…


The Art Junction presents:

   The Road So Far…

The artwork of Drue Roberts

Opening Reception Saturday, September 8, 2012 4:30 – 6:30 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 September 14 – October 6, 2012 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

*Special showings upon request!

Drue Roberts graduated from Willard High School in 1993 and went on to study Geology. After graduate school, he became an environmental geologist performing studies at superfund sites, the military and national laboratories. Drue is a self-taught artist who specializes in acrylic painting and has shown his work in Santa Fe, New Mexico and in Ohio. He and his wife have travelled the country and now reside in Granville, Ohio with their two boys.

Art is an extension of the inner artist and there is always some trepidation in sharing so much of one’s self. “When I think of showing my artwork in my hometown, it simply terrifies me,” Roberts shared. “Here I stand at the midpoint of my life worrying how people I haven’t seen in 20 years will react to it. Much of what I’ve spent my life seeing, analyzing and interpreting is wrapped up in these paintings.” A lot of how he sees the world has been colored by his experiences and the culture that exists in Willard, Ohio.

Roberts, a geologist by trade who has traveled the country with his work, taught himself to draw and paint. He began with colored pencils and eventually graduated to acrylic paints, which he’s used to develop his unique style of layering paint using bold colors and pronounced light and shadows to produce his diverse themes. Roberts’ experience as a geologist dealing with environmental contamination inspires much of his work. “Presenting an amplified view of our surroundings awakens the viewer to the impact our lives have on the world around us,” he said. He also adds that the murals of Diego Rivera, the sparseness of Edward Hopper and the dinosaurs of William Stout influence his work.

 

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

A walk in the park


For our last digital photography class the group took a walk in the Willard Park to explore the many wonders to a photographer’s eye.

Part of the skill of a photographer is to turn an ordinary scene into an interesting image.

Everyone has their own vision of the everyday landscape that surrounds them.  It’s the photographer’s job to find the beauty in the ordinary.

Sometimes beauty is discovered through a gray scale of a black and white image.

One of the joys of this class was the fun of discovery, finding something new through the lens of a camera and learning how to compose a compelling image.  Maybe you can join us for a class in the future.

Meet Painter Bruce Bitmead


The Visitor, 1997, Acrylic on wood panel, Bruce Bitmead

Bruce Philip Bitmead was born in Buffalo, New York in 1963 and graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1983, starting to paint in earnest that same year.  He has been exhibiting his works steadily since 1987, mainly in Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York, with solo shows in California and London, England.  Bitmead spent much of the 80’s and 90’s employed as a graphic designer and illustrator in Chicago, but returned to Buffalo in 1998, where he concentrates on his personal work.  Bitmead is no stranger to North Central Ohio, having served as an artist in residence in the 90’s at Black River Local Schools and Willard City Schools.

“Since 1983, I have alternately concentrated on drawing, painting and sculpture in both representational and abstract manners.  The skills I learn in one discipline inform the others, which has enabled me to slowly but surely develop a cohesive artistic vision over the past 29 years.  I am glad for the opportunity to gather various types of work and present them in one exhibit at the Art Junction.”

Bruce Bitmead’s long-weathered painting table, or taboret, carries 20 years of paint and scars.

Slick black ice coats the walk on the winding way to Bruce Bitmead’s basement studio. He welcomes me into a single long rectangular room with a low ceiling right off the laundry room of a large brick apartment house anchoring one corner of a Richmond Avenue roundabout. Bitmead is a painter who loves paint. His paint table, or taborette, is evident of the 20-plus years of his artistic life. A short, ordinary, mass-produced, two-shelved cabinet, it is essentially grey with years of built-up encrustations of flicked pigment mixed into a congealed impasto. It stands on little wheels as over time he moves it from one studio to another.

“Twelve years in Buffalo, the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place,” he says, “Seven years in one apartment.”  After art school, Bitmead was a graphic artist for a while in Illinois. With no car or bike but not far from work, he spent evenings walking home through lighted suburban neighborhoods wondering what lives were lived within. His paintings, landscapes for the most part, create for the viewer the same wonder lust. Using the pictorial vocabulary of Edward Hopper, Fairfield Porter, and more recently Alex Katz, Bitmead situates his subject houses in a built environment. They look heavy in the earth, fixed vessels with strong intentional architecture in a palette of grays, blues, and ocher-whites that appear inhabited but give no animate expectations. He illuminates these in brush-width strokes: windows in the side of a house, moonlight grazing sidewalks.

Unlike Hopper or Porter, there is no narrative, no visual story line to identify time or place. Nothing to suggest familiarity. His paintings are closer to those of the well-known New York painter, Alex Katz. Like Katz, Bitmead builds paintings modularily with a fully loaded brush, creating a stark solid weight of a roof line in one stroke, placing one tree slightly in front of another tree and both in front of a house within a raking light ebbing at the penumbra of a cast shadow all with an assured sense of the way paint color affects the perception of volume in a painting.“I always felt outside, even in a city, felt left out of things, uninvited wondering what it would be to be part of something inside,” he says.

Bitmead’s paintings are strong in exactly those terms and why a viewer might recognize a similar vantage point: the sense of outside, just passing through. One new painting is of doors—one facing another, each seeming to question the other’s interior. Another sites a low brick wall featuring a vacant open rectangle with blue sky beyond. Bitmead works in a painterly way, investing his images with both craft and character, but it is the character of a glimpse, a brief encounter, a momentary memory flash to a film, or novel, or poem. It is in the rectangle and how the distance from the painter (observer) to the space (subject matter) creates a context, a believable place. In Bitmead, an artist with a gentle probing curiosity, inspiration is fused with an incentive to find the intrinsic character of each spatial mystery.

-From: Artvoice Buffalo, NY  http://artvoice.com/

Bitmead’s exhibit called Deleted Scenes Selected drawings, paintings and sculptures since 1997 by Bruce Philip Bitmead, which opens at the Art Junction on Friday July 20, 2012 with a reception.  The Art Junction is located at 2634 Prairie Street, New Haven, Ohio 44850 next to the New Haven United Methodist Church Regular Gallery Hours: Fridays & Saturdays July 21 – August 18, 2012 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. *Special showings upon request!

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

Drawing the out-of-doors


The home-school art class had a drawing session outdoors to explore viewing the environment around the Art Junction and capturing it in a drawing.

This was a new experience for the students and a great way to learn how to really look at the world around us that we tend to take for granted.

Drawing outside is known as “Plein Air” drawing. Literally translated, this French term means “in the open air”.

Drawing and painting outside is a common thing for artists to do today, but as writer Marion Boddy Evans explains, “…in the late 1800s when the Impressionists ventured out of their studios into nature to investigate and capture the effects of sunlight and different times of days on a subject, it was quite revolutionary.”

French Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir advocated en plein air painting, and much of their work was done outdoors, in the diffuse light provided by a large white umbrella. The popularity of outdoor painting has endured throughout the 20th century and continues today at the Art Junction!

Everyone had fun in this great creative exercise on a warm spring afternoon in north-central Ohio.

Exploring clay


For the last class of the winter session, the home-school art students explored using oil-based clay.

Oil-based clays are made from various combinations of oils, waxes, and clay minerals. Because the oils do not evaporate as does water, oil-based clays remain malleable even when left for long periods in dry environments.

Oil-based clay is not soluble in water. It can be re-used and so is a popular material for animation artists who need to rework their models. It is available in a multitude of colors and is non-toxic. Oil-based clays are referred to by a number of genericized trademarks.

Oil-based clays are also suitable for the creation of detailed sculptures from which a mold can be made. Castings and reproductions in a much more durable material can then be produced. Items made from oil-based clays are not fired, and therefore are not ceramics. Because the viscosity of oils are inversely related to temperature, the malleability can be influenced by heating or cooling the clay.

Students learned about building with clay through various methods of slab, coil and pinching the clay.

Students explored hand-building traditional three dimensional shapes.

Students learned to roll coils, spheres and cylinders.

Part of the fun was exploring all of the many things your hands can do to turn clay into many exciting and wonderful three-dimensional objects.