One of our on-going projects is working with students at the Willard Hope Center. It’s a lot of fun to give the students a creative outlet that benefits our whole community.

Symbols of hope


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


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


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


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


Everyone chose different combinations of symbols.


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”.


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


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


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

‘Buy Local’ Gets Creative

CSA1-articleLargeMINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL Drew Peterson’s prints and Liz Miller’s collages were among the art for members of this C.S.A., for community-supported art.

Published: August 4, 2013  By

PITTSBURGH — For years, Barbara Johnstone, a professor of linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University here, bought shares in a C.S.A. — a community-supported agriculture program — and picked up her occasional bags of tubers or tomatoes or whatever the member farms were harvesting. Her farm shares eventually lapsed. (“Too much kale,” she said.) But on a recent summer evening, she showed up at a C.S.A. pickup location downtown and walked out carrying a brown paper bag filled with a completely different kind of produce. It was no good for eating, but it was just as homegrown and sustainable as what she used to get: contemporary art, fresh out of local studios.


“It’s kind of like Christmas in the middle of July,” said Ms. Johnstone, who had just gone through her bag to see what her $350 share had bought. The answer was a Surrealistic aluminum sculpture (of a pig’s jawbone, by William Kofmehl III), a print (a deadpan image appropriated from a lawn-care book, by Kim Beck) and a ceramic piece (partly about slavery, by Alexi Morrissey). Without even having to change the abbreviation, the C.S.A. idea has fully made the leap from agriculture to art. After the first program started four years ago in Minnesota, demonstrating that the concept worked just as well for art lovers as for locavores, community-supported art programs are popping up all over the country: in Pittsburgh, now in its first year; Miami; Brooklyn; Lincoln, Neb.; Fargo, N.D.

csa2-popupJeff Swensen for The New York Times

PITTSBURGH Blaine Siegel, right, an organizer of the C.S.A. at the Space gallery, presents local art by Alexi Morrissey to a shareholder.

The goal, borrowed from the world of small farms, is a deeper-than-commerce connection between people who make things and people who buy them. The art programs are designed to be self-supporting: Money from shares is used to pay the artists, who are usually chosen by a jury, to produce a small work in an edition of 50 or however many shares have been sold. The shareholders are often taking a leap of faith. They don’t know in advance what the artists will make and find out only at the pickup events, which are as much about getting to know the artists as collecting the fruits of their shares.

The C.S.A.’s have flourished in larger cities as a kind of organic alternative to the dominance of the commercial gallery system and in smaller places as a way to make up for the dearth of galleries, as a means of helping emerging artists and attracting people who are interested in art but feel they have neither the means nor the connections to collect it.

“A lot of our people who bought shares have virtually no real experience with contemporary art,” said Dayna Del Val, executive director of the Arts Partnership in Fargo, which began a C.S.A. last year, selling 50 shares at $300 each for pieces from nine local artists. “They’re going to a big-box store and buying prints of Monet’s ‘Water Lilies,’ if they have anything.”

Since the idea was set in motion in 2010 by Springboard for the Arts, a St. Paul nonprofit organization, and mnartists.org, an online database of Minnesota artists, it has taken on new personalities as it has migrated.

jpcsa-popupZoe Prinds-Flash

C.S.A. shareholders in Minneapolis look at their take, by Areca Roe and Danielle Everine.

In Philadelphia, a folk-art C.S.A. has sprung up in addition to a more conventional contemporary art program. In Lincoln — where the mayor bought a C.S.A. share — an original piece of poetry by Ted Kooser, a former poet laureate of the United States, is among this year’s offerings. In Pittsburgh, where that C.S.A. was started by four friends in the city’s art world, there is also a performing-arts version, founded this year, in which plays, concerts and other events are created specially for the shareholders. In Michigan, a combined art-food C.S.A. is in the works.

“I think it has worked in part because lots of places are already familiar with farm C.S.A.’s,” said Dennis Scholl, who oversees the national arts program for the Knight Foundation, which has provided support to art C.S.A.’s, including early seed money to help create a guidebook used by people in many cities to set up their programs. “Here, instead of getting a basket of carrots or zucchini, you get a basket of artworks,” he said.


Laura Zabel, the executive director of Springboard for the Arts, said that a lot of thinking went into the particulars of the program, so it would have the same grass-roots potential as farm C.S.A.’s. The price, usually annual, for the shares, she said, was set so that it would be “high enough to promise to the artists that some of these people will have the ability to continue buying their work going forward, but low enough so a lot people feel like they can afford it.”

Prices range from $450 for a share in Miami to as low as $50 a share in a craft-art program in Flint, Mich. An art and design C.S.A., which organizers plan to get under way in Brooklyn in the fall, will charge $500 a share, with partial shares available.

There were some initial worries about whether established collectors would become involved and buy multiple shares as a way to place relatively inexpensive bets on up-and-coming artists, Ms. Zabel said. But the programs are appearing to remain fairly uncorrupted that way. They tend chiefly to attract young people, she said, and those whom “I would describe as my parents,” she said. “Their children are grown and gone, and they’re kind of interested in reinvesting in their community and getting involved with something.”


In Pittsburgh, about 30 buyers arrived on a recent sunny summer evening at Space gallery, a nonprofit that inhabits what was once a downtown video pornography store, to find their shares waiting for them on large tables, in nice brown paper bags with the question “Do You Know Where Your Art Comes From?” printed on the side. (One of the pieces from an earlier share pickup, by the artist Lenka Clayton, took the concept of local to a new level: framed swatches of a plum-colored shirt once owned by Andy Warhol, native son.)

Rupam Sharan, a gastroenterologist, and his wife, Serena, heard about the program on public radio. “We’re interested in contemporary art, but haven’t started a collection yet,” Dr. Sharan said. “This is us getting our feet wet.”

Ms. Beck, the artist who made the print borrowed from an old lawn-care book, said she was interested in the program because the dynamic was so different from gallery shows. “There’s that beautiful thing about looking at art and loving it so much you want it, and of course normally you know you can’t have it,” said Ms. Beck, who lives in Pittsburgh and New York City. “But here all these people know they can. And they’ve already paid for it, so there’s no pressure.”


What happens if the shareholders don’t like the pieces? “People sometimes ask us that when they come to the pickups, but we’ve never had anyone come back to complain,” said Casey Droege, a local artist and one of the Pittsburgh program’s founders. Last year in Fargo, a local artist, Jill Johnson, contributed an eerie wax-figure piece that shareholders did not know quite what to make of. This year she returned with something equally idiosyncratic but slightly more accessible: a painting made with Jell-O powder. “If you’re from here,” Ms. Del Val said, “you know Jell-O. “There isn’t a church around here that doesn’t serve a lot of Jell-O at potlucks.”


Painting at the Hope Center -Week 3


Students continued to add layers of color to their images of hope.



Learning to use masking tape to create various sizes and widths of lines was a new idea for the students.


Choosing the right colors to add a new layer is a fun but challenging task.


The results of the new layer were very exciting to the kids.


The next step was to add another layer of lettering using stencils and spray paint.


Everyone was excited to learn this process.


Multiple layers of lettering and color were added to the images.


With immediate results the kids were thrilled with this process.


Finally one more layer of color was strategically added to the images.


This was a great end to a very fun session of painting for the kids at the Willard Hope Center.


Painting at the Hope Center- part 2


Week two of painting at the Hope Center finds the kids adding text to their images.


Kids are using the theme of Hope as they add color to the stenciled letters on their canvas, learning to control paint and brush together.


There is a real community to the painting process as everyone works in one accord.


Some of the kids really enjoy the focus of this new endeavor.


Hope is a concept that the kids are exploring.  Martin Luther King stated that “everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” We seek to introduce this to the kids.


The kids artwork will be sold in the upcoming auction for the Hope Center.

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!

Painting at The Hope Center

The Art Junction began a collaborative project with the Willard Hope Center this past week.

The Art Junction was asked to help the Hope Center create some original paintings to be auctioned off for their upcoming benefit.

The participants were given some basic instructions on design and color as they began to embark upon their creative journey.

After choosing a base color and masking off some lines to help define the shape of their creative expression, everyone jumped into the process of art-making.

Acrylic paint is fast drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion.

Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry.

Depending on how much the paint is diluted (with water) or modified with acrylic gels, media, or pastes, the finished acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor or an oil painting, or have its own unique characteristics not attainable with other media.

After covering their canvas with a layer of paint the next step was to remove the masking tape.

Masking tape is a type of pressure sensitive tape made of a thin and easy-to-tear paper, and an easily released pressure sensitive adhesive. Very clean lines can be produced by employing it; without it, the paint bleeds under the edges of the tape, producing a fuzzy or varied line.

Black paint was then mixed with the base color to create a shade of the base color.

In color theory, a shade is the mixture of a color with black, which reduces lightness. Mixing a color with any neutral color, including black and white, reduces the chroma, or colorfulness, while the hue remains unchanged.

The shade was added to the unpainted masked areas on the canvas.

A free, loose line was created by this process, leaving the canvas covered with its first layer of paint and design.

The paintings have been set aside to dry and await next week’s Hopeful painting session of creative expression.

I hope you will stop by the Art Junction’s blog to see the progress in this creative journey!