By Susan Gallacher-Turner Megan Delius and Shelley Hershberger
This year, Portland Open Studios paired up 21 artists with about 40 students in a new mentorship education program. Students from four area high schools, Wilson, Century, Grant and Arts & Communications Academy were offered a unique learning opportunity to work with artists in their studios during and after the Portland Open Studios Tour.
Education program chair, Allen Schmertzler, describes the program, “The focus was to educate the public about the process of art making. Students were able to make art with the artists, have their own portfolio/artwork critiqued, learn about organizing and maintaining an art studio, gain sales experience, and spend time in a hands-on manner in the artist’s studio. Students also were able to get credit towards Career Pathways, Career Education, Senior Project, Job Shadow, and/or an Internship for their school’s art graduation requirements.”
Shelley Hershberger, an artist in North Portland was paired up with Megan Delius from Arts & Communications Academy in Beaverton. Here’s what they have to say about their experience with the new mentorship program.
Shelley Hershberger said, “My high school student, Megan Delius, was helpful, polite, showed up on time and respectful of my space and tools. She was in heaven having an opportunity to make monotypes all weekend with ample space and an etching press pretty much to herself. We had great chats during lull times and she pitched in graciously when things were busy. She would be welcome in my studio anytime.”
Megan Delius said, “I definitely loved working with you. It was a fantastic learning experience and overall a really good time. I feel so honored to be able to work with a professional artist, and learning how to do monoprints.”
Susan Gallacher-Turner, a sculpture artist in Tigard was paired with Dani Goodman from Wilson High School in Portland. This is what they have to say about the program.
Dani said,“I learned that you don’t have to limit yourself to one type of art. I learned the different effects you can create with metal using chemicals and heat and how to make different imprints on copper. I learned that by working on a number of projects at once, you can be more patient with your work by moving onto something else. I find myself experimenting with tools to create new effects.”
Susan said, “It was a delight to have Dani in my studio before and during open studios. She greeted guests and gathered contact information. Dani listened so well as I talked and demonstrated, she was able to talk about my art to some visitors while I was talking to others. When we had a lull, I was able to get her started on her own copper repousse’ project. I enjoyed teaching her something new and her energetic help during the tour was wonderful.”
Allen Schmertzler, artist and teacher was paired up with Chrissy Hoover from Century High School in Hillsboro. Here’s what Chrissy said about her experience at Allen’s studio, “I really enjoyed my experience. It was both culturally and artistically enriching. It is fascinating to watch artists get in their personal creative zone and just manipulate ordinary concepts of life into alluring works. The beauty of the movement captured from a split second and transferred to paper has an almost hypnotic appeal to the mind’s eye. Hence, I love the look in the admirer’s eye when they’ve found a piece that really strikes them. This was a great learning experience and also a joy to help with. I give my 100% thanks for this incredible opportunity.”
Students from Wilson High School wrote about their experiences with their artist mentors. Here are some of their experiences in their own words.
Marina Palmrose about artist mentor, Mark Randall, “I experienced a part of the business side to being an artist. Gratification does not come right away, but if you are doing something you love, then following your passion is the most important idea.”
Alex Sanchez shares working in the studio of Shawn Demarest, “Watching her spread the ink on the copper plate, she told me about types of ink and how to handle the cloth as you rub it onto the plate. I ended up taking the copper plate along with the etching needle to work on, once I return, I’ll be looking forward to the outcome of my piece.”
Magali Lopez was inspired by mentor, Kitty Wallis, “I really loved this opportunity. She has been doing art professionally for 50 years, creating her own paper, pastels and techniques. Kitty Wallis is an amazing artist, and very inspiring.”
Dani Goodman about artist mentor, Susan Gallacher-Turner, “I got to see behind the scenes of how a talented artist works. She showed me her sketchbook and her research. How she uses her hands as her main tools. I felt like I stepped into a real artists shoes for a moment, it was a rewarding experience.”
Emily Hall recommends all art students try this experience after being in the studio of Careen Stoll, “This is a great opportunity for students to learn from people at a high level in the artistic field. Anyone who is considering art as a profession needs to experience this. I found it very interesting to see how professionals live and interact with their customers. It definitely opened my eyes to the fact that creating art for a living isn’t a walk in the park like I imagined. I learned so much in just a few hours from an amazing artist.”
Art Teacher, Susan Parker of Wilson High Schools sums up the programs success, “It was an amazing opportunity for these students. I hope Portland Open Studios artists will consider doing something like this again.”
Works of Faith, juried art exhibit, is a mixed media art show featuring paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture that express faith and a celebration of the gifts of God and discovery of God’s presence in human life.
Jan Von Bergen’s print piece, Text Panel, won honorable mention and a $100 cash prize. The print’s title refers to a textile panel of cloth or clothing representing a spiritual message, the Ginkgo leaves represent the timelessness and importance of a spiritual word or message in a persons life. Susan Gallacher-Turner’s copper repoussé piece, Reflection, symbolizes the flow of love and spirit into the world creating true joy and peace. Reflection by Susan Gallacher-Turner
Works of Faith show at First Presbyterian Church opened October 25th runs through January 3, 2010. Gallery located at 1200 S.W. Alder Street in downtown Portland.
Carole Zoom’s wood block prints and Andy Paiko’s blown glass vases were among the gifts taken by Mayor Sam Adams on his Goodwill Trade Tour of Japan.
When city staffers visited Carole Zoom’s studio during Portland Open Studios tour in October, they saw a connection between Carole’s prints and Japan’s long history of wood-block printing. The City chose five of Carole’s wood-block prints depicting Oregon flora and fauna.
Visiting Andy Paiko’s studio, the city staffers watched him work and selected his blown glass vases and orbs to make the trip to Japan. The Goodwill Trade Tour, October 30-November 6 included a stop in our ‘sister’ city of Sapporo.
Bottles by Andy Paiko
You can watch videos of Carole and Andy talking about their work selected to go to Japan, just click on Mayor Sam Adam’s video the video link
Museum of Contemporary Craft
Showcases Portland Open Studio Tour Artists
March 3 – April 4, 2009
Above, the Community Showcase on the second floor of the museum.
Come and marvel at a wood-turned cowboy hat, fused glass, woven and ceramic vessels, a hand-printed art book, knitted wire and bead choker, and sculptures made with aluminum screening, wood, clay and crocheted copper wire at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. This community showcase features just a few of the wide range of talented artists from the 2008 Portland Open Studios Tour.
Over 90 artists were juried into the 2008 Studio Tour which is held on the second and third weekend in October. This unique self-guided tour gives you the opportunity to watch artists at work in their studios. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to do a demo for studio or museum visitors, you can ask the artists, like I did.
Here are a few responses from last week’s artists, Wendy Dunder, Bonnie Meltzer, Susan Gallacher-Turner and Careen Stoll.
Wendy, what were your feelings about doing demonstrations during the studio tour and/or at the museum?
“I thought it was a perfect chance to meet my neighbors, who must have been curious about what I was doing.”
Bonnie, do you enjoy demonstrating your art to the public? Why?
“Actions speak louder than words. It is so much easier for some artists to show what they are doing than to tell about it. Although those of you who know me, know I do talk a lot. I find that there is real communication when I demo. More questions than when they are just looking at finished artworks and people are more at ease. It is also easier for me to find which subjects to bring up.”
Careen, how do you decide what kind of demonstration to do? Or what part of what you do as a demo?
“I pick something that is as dramatic as possible without being inaccessible… larger bowls, taller vases. I try to blend the “exciting parts” of seamless pulling with the slow careful decision-making aesthetic decisions like spouts and handles, to give people as accurate a picture of my process as possible.”
Susan, do you find that your demo piece becomes a finished art piece or is it just an example for demonstration purposes?
“Last year, I would’ve said, a demo is just a demo. But since I’ve been doing these demonstrations, all of my ‘demo’ pieces have turned into 2 finished masks, 1 sculpture and a copper repousse’ landscape. I’m amazed at that.”
Any other comments/ideas you’d like share with other artists out there?
Wendy: “I had done a winged man piece that was less than perfect, but that had lots of hours in it. A 10 year old boy really loved it. The price was $60. He asked his mom if he could buy it. She said “You have your Christmas Money.” I sold it to him for $40. And I am sure he has become an artist or at least an art collector.”
Careen: “In a crowd of people watching me, I focus on the kids- “here, do you want to play”, and I hand them a ball of clay.”
Bonnie: “At first I didn’t think anyone would be interested in seeing someone crochet. Boy, was I wrong. They want to touch the wire, touch the pieces. We are so used to our processes we forget that it isn’t second nature to everybody.”
Susan: “I always share the fact that I was fascinated with the hardware store as a kid and I’ve found out many people share that fascination with me.”
This month, you can see some of our artists at work every Saturday from 1-4pm doing demonstrations of fiber, clay, wood and more in The Lab on the second floor of the Museum.
The Museum of Contemporary Craft showcase features 16 artists: Maggie Cassey, Nanette Davis, Wendy Dunder, Nicky Falkenhayn, Susan Gallacher-Turner, Jerry Harris, Gwen Jones, Ken Forcier, David Kerr, Morgan Madison, Bonnie Meltzer, Gene Phillips, Tom Soule, Careen Stoll, Sara Swink, Jan Von Bergen, and Shu-Ju Wang.