Art Inspires Art - Working Collaboratively

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Art Inspires Art

Marcia Eager my Wesleyan Potters co-op buddy and I installing a small installation. 

Russel Library - Middletown, CT

4 Artists Metal and Clay Through August 2016

Art accountability buddies and peer networking groups can be a way to keep your art practice moving forward.  Meeting with other artists and creative friends regularly to share recent work, talk about where you are in your creative biz and hearing about the creative practice of others can help you stay inspired, motivated and on track. Working side by side in the studio can become a catalyst for creativity.  The energy of the creative environment seems to expand ideas for all parties involved.

Marcia Eager, Cheryl Tuttle and Myself Bowlapalooza 2014

We co-chaired a spring fundraiser for many years at our co-op this was our last year!

Even so when it comes down to it the work is always yours to do, you need to get into the studio and work. Even if your studio is a desk top or cleared off corner of the kitchen table – optimally you should try to make something every day.  Anything and everything creative counts – drawing, sketching, doodling, or even working in a second creative medium; it all works and builds your creative muscle. I often have my young drawing and painting students switch off and 3D projects such as clay sculpture, fiber arts and metal or wire sculptures because it expands how we see as artists. When we return to the flat surfaces of paper or canvas we do so with a new and expanded ability to render.

My Exploratory Art kids participate in a collabrative public art project on the grounds of the Guilford Art Center to raise awareness about endangered butterflies.

As a teaching artist I am connected to two wonderful non-profit art centers and have lots of artistic and creative friends.  I also belong to a long standing juried women’s art organization where I can network and meet with other women artists.

In my days as a young artist I had a standing art date with my dear friend Mary.  Each Monday we met and painted for the entire day.  This standing art accountability date was very important to both of us as we were both beginning in our craft and working day jobs. Today I have a core group of women who I like to create with – we meet at our co-op and work in clay and metals and gather at our homes to make mixed media art.  We bounce ideas and teach each other new techniques, concepts and processes. I believe that this is beneficial and helps us grow as individual artists.

Wisdom Shared Lois Eldrich and Lori Lapin Wesleyan Potters Co-Operative

I try to bring the spirit of collaborative art into the classroom with even my youngest students. This week I introduced the idea of conceptual art and temporary art installations to my Kindergarten through Second grade kiddos at the Guilford art center.  It being spring we talked about butterflies and the Monarch in particular once being very common in our area having dwindling numbers due to the lack of the #1 food source the milk weed pod because of spraying and reduced open wild spaces.  We talked about artists creating temporary art in public spaces that brings awareness to issues and ideas that are important to the community and to society as a way to voice an opinion.  We had messy paint-y fun creating butterfly silhouettes on the lawn in white paint.  They will eventually fade away with the trimming of the grass – as will our butterflies if nothing is done to reverse the damage to their habitat. Even the youngest children can grasp the concepts and benefit from participation in community and art collaboration – and have a really good time doing it!

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