New Year’s Resolutions

We all have them, whether boldly stated, quietly muttered, or secretly pondered– resolutions for what we will (or will not) do or accomplish in the New Year.  Resolutions are easy to make, but not so easy to keep.  Still, recognizing that a change is desired or necessary, and being open to that change, is a great start.

Thoughts from the EC artists

Be reasonable

The two big resolutions are “I’m going to lose weight,” and “I’m going to quit smoking”.  Both of these are really hard to keep, because they rely on you changing habits and combating addictions.  Being really hard to keep doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the resolution, but you should keep in mind what you’re dealing with.

One artist suggested that somebody might decide to stop burping.  But EC artist Sofia pointed out, “It’s gas. Just gas. Everyone gets gas.”  Hilda agreed, “Yeah. That would be like saying you’re never going to fart.”  So, rather than trying to fight your natural body functions, it may be more reasonable to say that you will be more polite when you burp—remembering to cover your mouth and say “excuse me”.

Instead of making a resolution really broad, like “I’m going to get healthy,” try to be more specific.  Maybe you want to eat healthier.  Maybe you want to get stronger, physically.  Maybe you want to feel better about yourself, emotionally.

Don’t give up

Sometimes, we quit when we have setbacks.  Everyone will slide a little bit when they’re climbing up a hill.  The steeper it is, the harder it will be, and the more you may slide back.  It’s okay.  Give yourself permission to forget about your setbacks.  Just keep climbing.

Shirley suggested "Drink more water... You could drink water instead of soda."

Shirley suggested “Drink more water… You could drink water instead of soda… I drink a lot of water, but I drink soda, too… I drink both.”

A resolution is a promise you make to yourself; not others.

Setbacks might be even more difficult to deal with if your resolution wasn’t really your goal.  Continue reading

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Digital Arts with Paul Longo

There is a slideshow of art and artists at end of post.

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You can’t see his face, but that’s Paul in the mirror, just right of center at the very tippy top of the frame, cutting off his own head as he photographs his class at work. From left to right, we also see (heads intact) Sue T, Anna R, Visual Arts Teaching Intern Ashlee Chan, Marlen H, Yesenia V, Martha R, and Oscar O.

What’s this? How do you– Ooooh, I get it. Cool!

New technology inspires apprehension in some people, but not in the EC artists.  They’re explorers.  They are used to learning and exploring new ways of artmaking.  The iPad screen is just a new surface, like paper or canvas.  A stylus is just a new tool, like a paintbrush, pencil, or pastel stick.

The Enrichment Center introduced a new Media Arts component this summer. Twice-weekly classes introduced media devices, such as Apple iPads, Apple TV, Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (styli?), Continue reading

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EC Webisodes: Hamlet

Introducing:  EC performances serialized as video webisodes.

We have two webisodes up on our YouTube channel ECArtists.  You can also find them under our GALLERIES page.  Here is one to give you a taste…

Oh, Shakespeare!

Brooding Hamlet (played by James Brizendine) is informed by his father’s ghost, the late King (played by Luiz Gomez), that his own brother (played by Hilda Cotta) killed him, married the dead king’s wife Gertrude (played by Marlen Hernandez), and made himself the new king… If you think about it, you’d probably be brooding, too.  Oh, poor Hamlet!  His emotionally delicate girlfriend Ophelia (played by Calixta Perez) Continue reading

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Get On Up… To The EC Office Shop

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EC art is back in the EC shop.  If you missed us at the Artisan Fair, don’t fret.  The EC Office Shop is open all year in Room 6 on the 3rd floor of the Arts Center.  With 4 short flights of stairs, you can get your shopping done and a nice burst of cardio while you’re at it!  Or you could use the elevator, because we have one of those, too. Continue reading

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On Exhibit: VESSELS and HOUSES

On the 3rd floor landing, the DIA DE LOS MUERTOS exhibit is coming down to make room for HOUSES.  VESSELS will be featured on the 2nd floor landing.

VESSELS and HOUSES are exhibits of ceramic works made of paper clay.

You may have seen paper clay in your local arts and crafts store.  That paper clay is generally for air drying.  That’s all good, but the EC artists need a lot of material, so we can experiment.  We made our paper clay for firing in the kiln, from a combination of our regular firing clay and a cellulose paper product.  It was a job and a half to make, but Kristine, our Clay/Ceramic Arts Teacher, was on it!

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VESSELS started as balloons dipped in paper clay slip.  It was a tedious process of dipping and drying… and dipping and drying… and dipping and—well you get the idea.  Layer by layer, day after day, Continue reading

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Time flies…

OMG! It’s been almost a year since our last blog post… The EC artists have been busy, and yes, having fun!

Here’s what’s new…

When you want some EC art, but 18″x24″ is just a tad too much…

We’re upping our game… The EC will now be offering matted prints of artworks by selected EC artists, in addition to individual and boxed sets of note cards. Images, sizes, and prices to come.

Trying out new boxes for our sets of note cards.

Trying out new boxes for our sets of note cards.

2015 Holiday Artisan Fair

The EC artists will be selling prints and note cards, along with ceramic ornaments– letters and hearts– at the 2015 Holiday Artisan Fair.  If you’re looking for a gift, be it for others or for yourself, come to the Merced Multicultural Arts Center at 645 W. Main Street on Friday, Dec 4th, 11am-6pm, and Saturday, Dec 5th, 10am-2:30pm.

Makin' tags for EC artworks.

Makin’ tags for EC artworks.

Paper clay ceramics

In addition to the goods for sale in our booth, we will have more amazing ceramic creations on exhibit, which are also available for purchase.  The EC artists have spent the last few months working in paper clay, and the results are beautiful. In the glass case on the 2nd floor landing– paper clay houses and buildings.  In the glass case on the 3rd floor landing–  paper clay bowls and vessels.  We’ll have more details about EC art on exhibit next week… WE PROMISE!

Paper clay bowls by (l-r) Yadira Prado, Arnold Hernandez, and James Brizendine.

Paper clay bowls by (l-r) Yadira Prado, Arnold Hernandez, and James Brizendine.

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2014 Holiday Ornaments

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Rows and rows of letters strung and hung and ready for sale!

Here they are:  the 2014 Enrichment Center ornament… LETTERS.

This year, the EC artists’ ornaments offer a new way to personalize your holiday (or any-day) gift giving and decorating. Our 2014 ornaments go everywhere! On inside trees and outside trees, garland, gifts, and stockings… boxes, bags, hooks and bottles… chains, pins, collars, and key fobs. Personalize your holiday gifts this season, with handmade ceramic letters which can be used year-round.

The letters have been cut from slabs of firing clay and decorated by the artists of the Enrichment Center, with imprints and relief.  They (the letters, not the artists!) were then fired to bisque in our kiln. The artists then spent two weeks painting the letters with glaze, before firing up the kiln again during the week of Thanksgiving.  Continue reading

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Dia De Los Muertos: The EC’s Ofrenda

The Enrichment Center hosted a community altar as part of the Merced County Arts Council’s Dia De Los Muertos exhibit during October and November.  Check out this gallery of photos of the exhibit.

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Here are a few photos from the November 1st reception.

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And here are just a few of the amazing altars/ofrendas exhibited in the 2nd floor White Box and Skylight Galleries.

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2014 Halloween Special

It’s ready! It’s ready! Our very first Halloween Special!

Watch out for when the zombies stop dancing and begin the attack.

p.s. Thank you Rod Temperton and Michael Jackson!

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Halloween Movie Posters

Things are getting spooky at the Enrichment Center!

As we put the finishing touches on our Halloween Special we couldn’t resist taking a moment to show off our costumes. Some are scary, some mysterious, but one thing is certain: they’re all amazing!

Without further ado, here they are: the Halloween Special movie posters!

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