When I was a teen I was immersed in arts. I was always enrolled in an art class and when I wasn’t at school, I was in my room drawing, painting or writing poetry. It was my outlet. And I don’t know what I would have done without it. Sadly, at some point from adolescence to adulthood a wedge came between me and my art.
I recently learned about a local event held by the Joslyn Art Museum called Draw-a-Thon. It’s a special lock-in style event for teens to make art and learn from local artists. Joslyn holds this annual event at the museum and celebrates art as an essential part of the creative process.
The teens came from all over the Omaha Metro area to participate. During the event they moved from multiple workshops taught by various local artists. Each artist teaching a different style of art and various artistic techniques. Between each workshop, they would come together as a collaborative group to work on the creation of a large-scale storybook mural of Pecos Bill. When they finished the series of drawings, Joslyn installed the mural in the Museum’s Riley Education Gallery and it remains there on view for guests to see in person.
At the event, I aided artist Bethany Kalk who encouraged the teens to explore multi media art with the use of stencils and transfers. Not only was I impressed by Bethany’s talent but was amazed by the creativity and talent of the various teens attending the event. I was so inspired!
I walked away from the event and couldn’t help but think about how much I had learned from that night.
Definition of Artist
Some may think an artist is someone who paints or draws. But we need to expand our definition of art. A baker, cook, florist, etc. are artists. Each of these also have expressions of creativity and are just as valuable as a painter or others that we call artists. In many ways, many of us are artists in our own right and we should embrace the artist within.
Art is Subjective
A teen at the event was struggling with her painting and speaking of her work said to me, “This is not art. It’s just a cat.” My response, sure it is! Art is subjective. And if you or I think it’s art, then it is. This teen was sadly discouraging herself because she was comparing her work to her peers. We do this all too often. So many times I’ve heard other criticize artwork exclaiming that it’s either not art or lacks talent. But really should we ever tear down another’s ability to see something as art because we cannot? Instead we should appreciate and encourage during every step of the creative process, even if we don’t understand or relate to it.
Never Stop Creating
The thing that weighted on me the most that night was the fact that I wish I had never stopped creating. I think it’s important to create and maintain a harmonious balance in our lives and make provisions for the arts. Art is a means of communicating ideas, feelings, and solutions in a way other than verbally or written. Arts are not only a source of fun but also a way to inspire collaboration, build confidence and foster problem-solving skills.
If you’re from the Omaha area, what other local art events do you enjoy? And/or what creative activity do you enjoy?
love & pixels,
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