Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Garden Flags Craft Workshop

On Tuesday morning, June 26, a small group gathered to decorate garden flags at the LAC gallery.  Ann Quinn had prepared two different fabrics (black and white) and also had a full array of wire flag holders, expertly made and donated by her father-in-law Boyd Quinn.  To expedite the process, Ann provided a reference folder full of line drawings with gardening and nature themes.  Some of us used markers and stencils to design the 8” x 15” flags, and others used paint to create.  There were also flags available the size of seed packets that could be used to label a vegetable garden or to indicate where bulbs are planted.  This labeling technique is most helpful to gardeners who carefully plant bulbs in the fall, then accidently dig them up again when planting over the summer!  It was fun for all, beginning with the continental breakfast and coffee, followed by the continual chatter as we all worked and laughed hard, and ending with the final step of stapling the finished flags onto the holders!
For those who missed this craft workshop, Ann’s garden is on the garden tour in July, so you’ll have a chance to see a few of the flags in action!

By Ann Quinn

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Inspire" - Lakewood's Arts Week

Hope you had a chance to attend some of the exciting events that were included during this year's Arts Week here in Lakewood!  The Lakewood Arts Council took an active role during the 10 day event thanks to the participation of so many wonderful volunteers. (This year's activities ran for 10 days - even though it is called arts "week"  so we could include the open dress rehersal from the Lakewood Symphony on June 6th). The event is the idea of Lorene Joos from the City of Lakewood - representatives from all the various Lakewood based arts organizations spend a year planning and preparing for what will now be an annual event.  The official kick-off for the week was the "Rock and Block" party at the Lkwd. Heritage Center.  LAC had a booth with artists Loraine Miller,  Barb Benik, Barb Tobiska on hand to interact with visitors.

 The discussion group held at the LAC Art Center on Wednesday, June 13 brought several new visitors to our facility as we talked about "Viewing an Art Show".  We shared ideas about why people go to see an exhibit as well as the etiquette of viewing a show.

 Artists Katy Haas, Lynnette Kupferer, Arlene Krogstad, Marje Walsh and Barb Tobiska worked with visitors during the morning of our interactive art event.  People were thrilled to take home a mini-art project.  We even had a visit from Lakewood's Ch. 8 photographer, who shot a lot of video of the activities as well as our entire gallery.

 A good crowd gathered on Thursday night to rock to the music of James Horne.  His personal charm and skill on the keyboard got everyone's toes tapping and put a smile on our face. A fun, lively event.

 A very attentive group joined us for our last event on Friday, June 15.  We learned a lot about keeping your lawn green and what to do in your garden now from guest speakers from the CSU extension program. You can find these knowledgeable people on a regular basis at the Jeffco Fairgrounds.  They answered lots of questions and gave many handy hints to the interested attendees. 

All in all, this was a great week for LAC. It gave us a chance to meet some new folks as well as visit with frequent visitors to our facility.  Hope to see you at one of the many LAC events that are still to come this year!  Next up will be our annual garden tour scheduled for Saturday, July 21st.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Artists' Challenge 2012

Barb Tobiska, Kathy Berls, Barb Benik, Ann Quinn, Gail Firmin
The latest exhibit hanging in the LAC Members’ Gallery is a combined effort from five artists titled “The Artists’ Challenge”. The five artists represented are Barb Benik, Kathy Berls, Gail Firmin, Ann Quinn and Barb Tobiska.  The challenge in question was for each artist to come up with two or three themes, and paintings for each of the combined total of these twelve exhibit themes.  By the deadline, I was searching for a few of my already existing pieces to satisfy these topics, but greatly enjoyed brain-storming ideas for new pieces and creating them.  Each artist was free to use their own interpretations of the themes which makes the show quite interesting to view. “For each topic, I tried to find the twist in the word, to create something unexpected and to keep myself thinking”, Ann Quinn explains.
Topics chosen ranged from a specific item such as Barb Benik’s choice of “eggs”, to more abstract ideas such as “patterns”, one of Ann’s themes.  I offered “cows” and “shoreline”, mainly because I already had a photo in mind from a recent trip to Nova Scotia that I wanted to tackle.  Other topics included “ribbons”, offered by Kathy Berls, and “figure”, suggested by Barb Tobiska.  Barb enjoyed painting “eggs” because she used her two granddaughters as models with their Easter Eggs.  “Fish” and “shoreline” brought back good memories from her travels.  With Kathy’s love of the ocean, she also enjoyed the “shoreline” theme, but found painting a portrait of her little niece Madeleine for “figure” a bit scary, not sure if she could capture her likeness.  Barb Benik’s most enjoyable piece was her “leaves” painting, which she says is really a floral and a subject matter she favors.
Being presented with these themes and a deadline offered the artists the path to discovery of new ideas and techniques, and with a deadline, Ann finds the anxiety gives her an edge.  Kathy gets bored with a piece if she spends too much time on it, so having a deadline keeps the painting fresh and interesting.  For Barb Benik, “Having the themes was interesting and began a new thought process for me,” she says.  “It isn’t always the subject matter that excites me; I’m challenged by shapes, colors, patterns, design and that is how I approach any subject.”   In my case, I found I was able to prioritize my painting time, knowing I wanted to complete these.  Sometimes it’s too easy to sacrifice creative time to get those nagging chores done!
All  five artists have agreed that they would enjoy this type of challenge again.  As Barb Tobiska maintains, "This type of exhibit is always relevant to the educational progress for artists and viewers alike”.   Ann agrees, stating, “I’d like to paint more outside of my comfort zone…with a deadline.”  I’ve already decided on new themes for the next Artists’ Challenge.  Now, how to convince my husband we need to do some travelling to gather resource material?  That’s a challenge!
     And below are photos of the reception Sunday, June 10.  Thanks for the photos Ann Quinn!