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.
Be A Good Customer… And A Smart One, Too
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 →
Thanks to all who participated in our Art for the Heart fundraiser for community heart health. We raised $1200 for the Mercy Foundation to use for the Cardiac Rehab Department. The funds will help people with heart disease, who do not have a funding source to pay for their rehabilitation.
The exhibit was up at Mercy Medical Center on February 14th, and we’ll be taking it down on Tuesday, March 5th. If you are a Mercy employee, and would like to pick up your heart at the hospital, please let me know by Monday, March 4th. All other hearts will return to the Multicultural Arts Center.
You may pick up your hearts in the Enrichment Center office, in Room 6 of the 3rd floor of the Multicultural Arts Center (645 W. Main St.), at the following days and times:
Wednesday, March 6th – Friday, March 8th: 9am to 6pm
Monday, March 11th – Friday, March 15th: 9:30am to 3:30pm
Please remember that the Main Street entrance of the Arts Center is only open during Gallery Hours:
Tuesday – Friday 11am – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 2pm
Sunday – Monday Closed
However, the back entrance on Arts Alley is open Monday through Friday during all Arts Center hours, including when the galleries are closed.
On Saturday, March 9th, the hearts will be available at the front desk in the main gallery on the 1st floor, during business hours– 10am to 2pm. Front and back entrances are available.
Hearts must be picked up by Friday, March 15th.
Thanks again to everyone who participated, making this a successful fundraiser for community heart health. See you next year!
Technically, you’re painting a coating of silica-based fluid (glaze), which, when fired in the kiln, will fuse to the surface of the clay heart… now you know why we just refer to it as glazing.
When you spend as many hours as we do surrounded by art, making art, promoting art, talking about art, art becomes such a natural part of your speech and action, that you may forget the large number of people who may perceive art as being slightly foreign– a special skill, unique only to those gifted with a sense of creative genius. Not so!!
When you ask people who feel that way to engage in artmaking, many of them may imagine that you are asking them to do something they aren’t qualified to do… like auto repair, networking the office computers, catering a wedding, or teaching high school math.
For this project, especially given the short time we have before it concludes, convincing people that they are fully qualified to participate has been important, and involved making a few assurances:
1. You don’t have to worry about your skills. We will introduce you to the materials, how to use them, and be there to provide assistance and answer questions.
2. We’ve set it up so that it is only as complex as you want it to be.
3. It doesn’t matter how you paint the heart, as long as you paint the heart– whether you spend 2 hours perfecting every detail, or 2 minutes applying slapdash one-color coverage.
Answers to other questions people have had are:
The funds we collect will be going to the Mercy Foundation to be used in the Cardiac Rehab department, to help people with heart disease who do not have a way to pay for their rehab.
You should give yourself about 1 hour to select and glaze your heart. Those who have come in expecting to do it in 30-45 minutes tend to run out of time.
The glaze goes on looking very chalky, but firing reveals the vibrant color and glossy texture.
Drop-ins are acceptable, but reservations are a good idea. If you drop in, and there is no more space, you may have to wait.
We do not have a credit card machine. We accept cash and checks.
The cost is a $10 donation per heart. We also have a few small hearts, which were designed to be glazed as a pair for $10, but which may be glazed individually for $5.
Fortunately, except in rare circumstances (usually involving a professional artist who is trying to become rich and famous, or doesn’t learn from his/her mistakes), there is no failure in art. It is what it is. Most artists will tell you that mistakes are gifts you give to yourself. Making a mistake, you will either learn a valuable lesson—how not to do something, or you will learn something new—how to do something you didn’t intend to do… but will totally try again.
Saturday, January 19th 10am – 1pm
Saturday, January 19th 5 – 8pm (ART HOP!)
Tuesday, January 22nd 4 – 6pm
Saturday, January 26th 10am – 1pm
Wednesday, January 30th 5 – 6pm
Saturday, February 2nd 10am – 1pm
All workshops are at the Enrichment Center in Room 1, on the 3rd floor of the Multicultural Arts Center– 645 W. Main St. Merced
Putting the pieces together is difficult when your partnership doesn’t yet have partners. We knew we wanted to work with Mercy Medical Center, but we didn’t have any contacts there. Our good friends Monika Modest and Melissa Kelly-Ortega came to our rescue, providing awesome contacts. Now we’re collaborating!
We wanted to work with American Heart Association, but they no longer have a local chapter. It was important to keep the funds we raise local, so we’re working with our new partner– Mercy Medical Center– to identify a great organization to use our funds– promoting and advocating for healthy hearts, and supporting people making heart-healthy changes. Now, on to the workshops!
Pounding, rolling, slabbing. Cutting, smoothing, drying. In late November 2012, the artists of the Enrichment Center began preparing clay hearts for a project to promote health and wellness in the New Year.
Sadly, most of us have lost someone we care about to a heart-related illness. The New Year is the natural time for reflection and making changes for a better year. Health and wellness generally top the list of areas where we focus those changes. The artists and staff of the Enrichment Center, like everyone else, recognize the changes we could make to promote our own heart health. We also recognize the therapeutic qualities of the arts, and thought it was about time to make our own collaboration with the local health community.
The artists worked throughout December to make hundreds of clay hearts for the Art for the Heart project. People are invited to glaze a heart for a $10 donation, with proceeds going to a local organization which promotes heart-health, and assists people with making healthy changes. As part of glazing their heart, participants will be encouraged to dedicate their heart to something meaningful– a loved one lost to heart disease, a personal commitment to change unhealthy habits, or some other goal that will improve their health and well-being.
The first batch of over 300 dried clay hearts was fired to bisque in the kiln this week, and are now ready for glazing. Though clients used a general size template, each heart is different. Since we have sooooo many, there should be no lack of choices– a heart for everyone.
Contact the Enrichment Center for more information, and to sign up for a glazing workshop. Art for the Heart!