Crowley Art Association Summer Workshops: 'Every child is an artist'
CROWLEY - Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I think he was right.
I got to be a kid again this week and it was awesome!
A couple of weeks ago, I asked the Crowley Art Association whether I could sit in on, and actually participate in, one of its summer youth art classes. I was, of course, welcome to attend, and on Tuesday I went to the second class in Robert Baxter’s week-long “Adventures in Art” workshop. There was cardio.
Baxter moves at the speed of light and his classes are literally jam-packed with activity, but he still manages to take a holistic approach to the entire experience.
When students arrive for the two-hour classes, they receive numbers that are their seat assignments. That keeps everyone in the class interacting with different people every day, opening them to new inspiration and points of view.
Whoever is in seat 12 gets to pick the music. It was Michaela Jabusch on Tuesday, and we heard a lot of Rihanna and Ke$ha, which proved to be pretty good background music for our manic-paced work.
Tuesday’s “adventure” was a two-dimensional/three-dimensional sculpture, which is somewhat architectural and explores visual perception and three-dimensional space.
Baxter explained the technique and showed the class one of his own sculptures as an example, but the fun really began when he finally distributed the bi-level raw wood bases that he had prepared ahead of time. The young artists then had to prepare the wood for their projects by sanding and priming it.
As he circulates through the room assisting with sanding and distributing primer, Baxter is constantly explaining to the students what they are doing and why they are doing it. No time is wasted, and the students learn the “why’s” behind the “what’s” of their activities.
Next, Baxter produces a box filled with various wood remnants of a hundred different shapes and sizes, tosses some out and instructs everyone to select pieces that appeal to their imaginations to combine for their sculptures.
This was probably the hardest part, at least for me. It seemed to call for a level of creativity I had not exercised in years.
After everyone had selected their cut-out shapes (most kids chose three to four, although some had more), Baxter helped them place the shapes and then screwed them to the bases.
And then there was paint.
Paper plate palettes filled with acrylic paints allowed students to mix their own colors and experiment with various painting techniques.
In the end, each student had created an original sculpture that was purely a product of imagination. It was amazing. And it happened in just two hours.
There are four more weeks left in the CAA’s children’s summer workshop program, and Baxter will teach “Adventures in Art” again next week, July 1-5 (not including July 4), from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Ages nine and up are welcome, and the fee is $65, which pays for the materials the children use.
For registration forms and more information, contact The Gallery’s coordinator and summer workshop chairperson, Susie Baronet, at 783-3747.