Mission Statement

Our Mission is to promote art and art education in the community and among its members. To encourage and promote a public interest and understanding of art; to create and develop a closer relationship between art and the community and further the education and artistic development of its members.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Assembling Art: Wednesday Junior Art Class

As most of you know, I lead a Wednesday Junior Art Class. I say lead because I don't know how much actual teaching I do. Mostly I try to mentor and guide them into doing what they want to do anyway, rather than imposing what I want to do. I try to give them the skills and confidence to achieve what they need to do.
Robbie Sets things up

To this end, I have been looking into having other artists give demonstrations in their own art, and how they approach the creative process. How they work, what they work with, what are their goals, that sort of thing. To this end, I bludgeoned, ah, asked by friend and fellow Renaissance Art Gallery artist, Robbie Poore to give the class an insight into his unique approach to art.

Robbie is an assemblage artist at The Renaissance Art Gallery. This means that he creates works of art out of things that everyone else would through out. His demonstration was simple. You take a surface, in this case canvas; you use glue and start building. Robbie seldom has the complete design in mind when he starts. Oh he has an idea, even a goal, but he follows obediently to where the art leads him. It is not unusual for him to change directions in mid-stream. He gets inspiration from the objects themselves and the music he listens to.
Working on Art

So he presented the idea of found art, and assemblage. He brought in 12x12 canvases, glue and bags of different items including bottle caps, old CD’s (shattered) broken records (literally) cut up gift cards, string, lugs, eye hooks, crushed shells, and tubes of kitty litter (unused, thankfully!) All kinds of things! Others brought in miscellaneous items also.

Creative use of materials
Several items proved to be rather popular and flexible items, such as the kitty litter. Now, I did think some of those nice decorative polished stones you get in floral craft shops would be good, but kitty litter? It works. As well as the wooden keys you often get when you buy stretched canvas, but seldom use? It was very well received, both as a tool for spreading glue and for parts of the artwork. Things with a lot of texture worked really well, but unusual things also were used. All of them mixed and matched things with abandon, but with their own unique aesthetic eye.

We do have paint for the kids, both tempura and craft acrylics, but they actually preferred working with the natural colors of the items. Quite a few used random puzzle pieces, sometimes the print side, and sometimes the backs. They were really innovative in how they used these items, working with texture and design. Things I would not have thought would make good art found their way into some rather nice pieces. The work they did give me a fresh look at art. It also gave them a different point of view on just what art is. We had done standard collage and torn paper projects but this was totally different for them and me.

Watching each piece develop was exciting

The success of today makes me realize just how important it is to expose these young artists to other points of views, to other ways of approaching art. In the coming months I will be having other artists and other media in the Junior Art Class at The Renaissance Art Gallery. I do enjoy working with them and giving them my point of view on art. Teaching them to look at the work as an artist does. But what I can give them is simply one point of view, and that is in itself limiting. I am not looking to turn out clones of me but help them access their own unique artistic gifts. Being exposed to other artists, with different aesthetics will help them focus on their own views without stifling them. And by having each gallery member visit, they will be exposed to multiple mediums.

~Susan Tschantz

Renaissance Artist

Butterflies are free!
Here's looking at you, Kid
Lots of different materials
gave many options

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