In The Studio
What better way to cruise into a new week than working on projects in the studio. Yesterday was Monday– a studio day, when the EC artists are working on personal visual and performing arts projects.
EC artist Yadira Prado has been with the Enrichment Center for over ten years. She loves music she can dance to, and has been working on this dance project performed to Shakira’s song Ojos Asi for several months. With the help of her backup dancers, EC artists Marlen Hernandez and Jose Salgado, and the EC’s Music History/Performance Teacher Lulu Gamez, Yadira put the dance on video.
Every artist needs to get out of the studio from time to time. To get out into the fresh air, stretch the legs, take a moment to reflect, or just have a snack.
The EC artists are no exception. We are in the studio 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, 12 months of the year … getting out of the studio a few times a month is a well-deserved break.
Outing days are limited to destinations within walking distance, so being downtown is great, as there are lots of interesting destinations.
One of our monthly outings is called Sweet Treat Tuesday. We venture out in search of a vendor selling sweet treats… on a Tuesday. We have a few other outings, too. Wired Wednesday– one Wednesday a month we go for a walk to get coffee (or cocoa or whatever). The Downtown Lowdown outing is new for 2016. We’ll be visiting cool businesses, learning about what they do, meeting the people who work there, and reporting back in a bi-monthly blog.
The EC artists are good customers and smart consumers. We know that if 12 to 15 of us suddenly descend upon a business, it can be overwhelming… so we’re patient. We stand in line and wait our turn. We are friendly and polite. We’re pretty easy to please, but if someone is not sure what they want, we will let other customers go ahead of us.
We like going to places where we can get good food, good service, and a good price. We like going places where we feel comfortable– where the people are cool, relaxed, and Continue reading
Any artist can have a hard time convincing the public that the prices they set are legitimate. Outsider artists have a more difficult time because of the perception that their art is somehow less valuable, because the artist hasn’t received formal art training. That perception is most dangerous when it’s held, not by the public, but by the artist him/herself. We work hard to squash that perception when we see it in the artists.
(This is where I might normally get up on my soapbox, and vent about the myth of the “real artist” … but I won’t.)
Many of the EC artists have trouble pricing their art, and need some help. When we provide that help, we have simple guidelines.
#1: Numbers have to be real (“Ten hundred million thousand dollars” is… interesting to think about, but pretty unreal). Continue reading
January 2016 may be a new beginning, but it’s business as usual for the EC artists. Our first post for 2016 is the first in a monthly series called IN THE STUDIO. Today’s post is a slideshow of snapshots of EC artists working on new projects.
Robert Garcia is working on a poster for Disney Infinity 3.0. And this is just the sketch!
From snakes to sharks to birds of prey, Oscar Onsurez is drawn to powerful animals. He’s starting 2016 with a new eagle portrait. He doesn’t need a reference photo. He just needs to take off his hat!
Luiz Gomez is starting a new canvas from one of his fantastic sketches. (He’s always sketching!) He’s got his music, Continue reading
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.
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.
Setbacks might be even more difficult to deal with if your resolution wasn’t really your goal. Continue reading
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
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
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
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.
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!
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