Saturday, August 10, 2013

Final weeks of summer

Hard to believe that summer is winding down! Last I remember, May was rolling into June and the hot summer sun was just beginning to shine.

Part of the reason for the seeming speed of this summer for me is that ALL 7 of the classes I offered have run! It's kept me humming, that's for sure. In addition, my 13-year-old car died suddenly in early July, and even though I knew exactly what I wanted to replace it with (a new version of the same thing), it took much time and effort to price cars, test drive, and ultimately close the sale. (Online price quotes are THE way to go, folks. You have so much more control over the negotiation process than when you're standing in the showroom.)

Last week wrapped up one of my professional development classes, offered at the Danforth Museum School in Framingham, MA, for public school art teachers. The course, titled "Inspired by Women Artists," focused on the artwork of 4 female artists: Kathe Kollwitz, Miriam Schapiro, Alma Thomas, and Kara Walker. We studied their biographies, practiced their techniques, and created works inspired by their styles, in a variety of media from acrylic paint to charcoal drawing to fabric collage to silhouettes cut from black paper. The students seem to have been indeed inspired, and now have many new ideas and projects to take back to their art classrooms in the fall.

I hung a group of their paintings (inspired by Alma Thomas) in the school hallway:

Student artworks from my "Inspired by Women Artists" class

I did have a moment's break to take an art-related road trip last weekend, when my old and dear friend John Borowicz opened his solo show at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery in Westport, MA. It was wonderful to have the chance to see what John as been up to lately, plus the exhibit included a selection of past works from over the years to give those who don't know him as well a chance to see how he's arrived at this point.

It was such a pleasure to chat with John and his family (hi, Wen!), and to reconnect with so many good people from the Southcoast Massachusetts area that I haven't seen in a while. There is a warm and welcoming art community there, one that I've very much missed being a part of since we moved to the Metrowest area 10 years ago.
With John Borowicz in front of "Gabrielle d'Estrees and One of Her Sisters," 2013, oil on canvas, 60" square
Some fun things on the horizon for fall: a three-person show at the Mazmanian Gallery at Framingham State University, a curatorial proposal for a four-person show that I have high hopes for, and as usual, lots of hours of teaching. There's no evidence yet of an autumn nip in the air, but it will be here before we know it.

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