⊕ Recent ARTalong workshop series connected artists to community

Students busy at work on their sculptures during Linda Johnson’s Garden Sculpture workshop. Photo Shannon Terry
Students busy at work on their sculptures during Linda Johnson’s Garden Sculpture workshop. Photo Shannon Terry

COOKEVILLE – Art Round Tennessee’s recent ARTalong workshopseries gave participants the opportunity to learn new techniques and create artwork all their own.

Currently in its second year, ARTalong was made possible by a Tennessee Arts Commission Arts Build Communities’ grant. Grant funding allowed these workshops to be offered for $35 each and provided all workshop instructors with compensation for their work and materials.

ART is already working to obtain funding for the third ARTalong workshop series, to be held in spring 2016. The recent series was held each Saturday from May 9-June 13

“It is clear that the positive repercussions are far-reaching into the community, and more artist-taught workshops are in ART’s future,“ ARTalong administrator Arlene Dubo said.

Local artists Katelyn Dunn, Sandra Bos, Linda Johnson, Sandy Miller and Joyce Sievers taught hands-on workshops in fibers, charcoal painting, clay, and book binding. Most of the workshops were held in artists’ studios, which helps showcase the talents of local artists and build awareness of the profession.

“The hands-on workshops taught by professional artists successfully provided participants a direct experience with the creative process in an artistically charged atmosphere,” Dubo said.

Sievers, who taught bookbinding with origami pop-ups, added, “Having hung up my ‘teaching’ hat a year and a half prior, I was reminded once again that while one teaches a single book format, each participant’s book was uniquely their own by the choices that they made and what they wanted to express. For me, that’s ‘magic.’”

Johnson, a sculptor, had a similar experience with her workshop.

“The theme for my clay workshop was ‘Garden Creatures,’” she said. “Everyone’s creature had great decorative elements, and was very unique to its creator.”

Miller, ceramics artist, added, “I loved the enthusiasm of the participants and their faces as they were working. Their concentration and fascination with what they were doing were apparent, and everyone came away with something original. Even when some were using stamps or carving with the same tools, each of their applications were unique and heart-felt. I was thrilled with their end results, and I could tell they were too.”

A great benefit for the artists who teach these workshops is that they get to show participants some of the work involved in their artistic process.

“One participant told me she had a much greater appreciation for the work involved in what I do and how it increased her knowledge of the process,” Miller said.

As for what else is upcoming, ART’s 15th annual ART Prowl will be held Nov. 13-14 in Cookeville. Visit artprowl.com for information.


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