Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our First Student Art Show

Studio 4 Art is priviledged to work with many local school's offering After School Enrichment Art. We have just finished up our first 8 week course of the 2011-2012 school year and wanted to show off the student art that was created in our new addition, the Annex. We offered live music (compliments to the Magic Flute of Terra Linda for supplying!) and hors' deurves to set the mood for this special night. I love teaching these classes as the energy is always exciting and our usual full classes of 16 always offer a different experience every week! A special shout out too to our after school instructors: Marilyn Burkholder Creamer, Ann Gerard, and Susan Poer. And thank you also to the schools that welcome us in. This show was with 5 Novato California elementary schools; Hamilton Elementary, Pleasant Valley Elementary, Olive Elementary, Loma Verde Elementary and San Ramon!

With over 100 pieces of artwork, it was exciting to see the space come alive with color. The work looks amazing and the students have worked hard learning a lot of techniques while having fun and studying about Mr. Picasso.

Each session Studio 4 Art brings something new and exciting to students in our After School Enrichment programs. This session we studied and looked at Pablo Picasso, learning about his style, technique and what kind of art mediums he liked to experiment in. Students created a print using a foam plate while learning about Picasso's blue and rose period. They studied Picasso's cubist paintings looking at such work as "The Guitar Player". We took this idea and brought it to a new level of cubist painting. Beginning with acrylic painting (encompassing learning about composition and color mixing) student began their adventure with linear angled lines and then painted inside if this design. The next layer of this painting was to have the children fully explore the creative process by dividing their painting into pieces by cutting with scissors, to then put back together creating a completely different cubist type painting. We ended our session with clay and sculpture work. The emphasis in this exercise, continuing with Picasso, was how the artist loved to exaggerate features and figures, sometimes creating a more comic like piece and learning his reasoning for this exaggeration was in part due to perspective. The clay project is using clay that is a porcelain type clay and was fired in Studio 4 Art's kiln.

Studio 4 Art is very excited to have a space where we can let the students see their art work framed, hung and lit up. It gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment when their work is up for all to see. Looking forward to the next show in about 2 1/2 months.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How Studio 4 Art came to be... and a bit about me

It is amazing to me to think that I opened Studio 4 Art when my son was just 18 months old (he is now 4; and 3/4 as he will explain) because I had a vision of what I felt our children deserved and were not getting in any school. It has been a fast changing, ever thrilling ride so far. The doors of Studio 4 Art swung open in September 2008 with the power of one, myself. I was being mom to 3, teaching, marketing and learning the ropes of being a business woman, all because I believed in what Studio 4 Art could do for children. To look at the shop now, with our ever expanding group of 7 teachers, it is humbling to think that they work for Studio 4 Art. I don't know how so many awesome people have come our way, but I am thrilled, honored and extremely appreciative of each and every one of our instructors.

Now, on with the story of how I felt compelled to take this adventure on. Although Studio 4 Art is going into it's 4th year, I have been teaching for over 14 years. It all began 17 years ago when I attended Mill Valley Nursery School with my now 21 year old son. It was so inspiring to see the creatively through play and an open ended art curriculum. The children just thrived in this environment. As the years passed and my second child (now 18) attended this same school, I was beginning to realize it was not just the two of them that were growing, I too was gaining invaluable knowledge. Part of the requirement of this school was to teach once a week. So not only was I gaining information as a parent to my kids, but I was also "finding" myself in this environment. It wasn't long after this inspirational experience that I went back to school to begin getting credits for a teaching credential. For fun, as I was engaged in early childhood educational courses, I decided to take an art class. This is when the heavens opened, angels began to sing and my passion exploded.

Not soon after going back to college, I found myself a single mom. Trying to figure out what I wanted to do to support myself while going to school and my two kids, I decided to begin teaching after school programs in art. I started teaching at my own kids school in Mill Valley and I focused on painting, drawing, mosaics, paper making, sewing, printmaking and any combination of these. They were very successful and grew and I took on many more schools and joined efforts with the Mill Valley Recreational Department. I was jazzed every time I taught a class. It was so fulfilling to see the students create something from nothing. Something I was enlightened with back in my clothing design days at Kebby Kids.

So, the path of teacher had begun. I gained my degree and focused on art and child psychology as I thought that child psychology would be a knowledgeable base that would put me ahead. And boy has it come in handy over the years. My next adventure would be joining a new business called doodlebug. At the time it was a paint it yourself pottery studio. I was hired to be the education coordinator and put together a program that is still followed 10 years later. I was the teacher for 90% of the program and loved connecting with the students, but felt suppressed and challenged with the organization of the establishment. I had such strong visions of what I thought a learning environment should be for children that I needed to move on.

Eventually my path lead me to Studio 4 Art and the opening of a studio in San Rafael. This was short lived due to the sale of the building. But, it did give me a taste of the possibility and the desire of having a permanent brick and mortar studio.

Juggling my two older children and their many commitments in school, gymnastics and my own schooling, I continued Studio 4 Art, but took it on the road as Studio 4 Art on Wheels. I traveled all over Marin and even into Sonoma County teaching after school programs, home schooling groups and private classes. It was challenging, but I loved teaching art and felt that I could still teach while creating my own schedule around these other activities.

Time went on and this pattern continued, but something new and exciting was now in my life. A wonderful man, and surprisingly someone I had known for over 12 years. Sparks flew, love grew and in a short amount of time we decided to marry and have a baby. Now, call me crazy because I sometimes do too, because my two older kids were 14 and 17. But, it is the best gift I have been given yet. And with the strength and support of my now husband, I felt that it was time to grow Studio 4 Art into the vision that I had seen for years. My family is the greatest blessing of all, but I also feel so blessed to have a job that I absolutely love and find so extremely important in changing how our children are currently being taught in our schools. I feel that I have to stand up and not only be a voice for them, but to also give them a voice. The voice of choice in their creative exploration and the gained knowledge of the creative process that art teaches.

My path has been windy from being obligated to teach at a nursery school, to being enlightened by the creative learning process. From being employed as an educational coordinator for a different business, to then trying to open a Studio 4 Art in San Rafael. From being challenged and having to shut the doors to getting back on the horse to teach after school programs yet again. All leading me to the finale, the brick and mortar we now call home. Whew, I get dizzy trying to follow my own story. But, I do hope you find it entertaining and now have a better understanding of what you can do with a vision, passion, patience and determination. And my story is not over yet. I continue to have inspiration that I feel compelled to follow.and determination.
It takes a Village, Oil on Canvas, 4' x 4', Kebby McInroy

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's that Time of the Season, begin your Handmade Holiday Gifts now

Preregister for all workshops:

Thursday November 10th &/OR
Friday November 11th

School is out, so take advantage of the time and get a start on
Handmade Holiday Gifts.
@ the Art Annex (behind Studio 4 Art)

Clay, painting, wheel throwing, and sewing will be available. Teachers will be their to guide workshops to create amazing handmade gifts for the holiday season.

10:00-12:00 $35 (ages 4-14)
10:00-3:00 $75 (ages 7-14) We will take a break for lunch and then after lunch we will continue a free choice in all and any art mediums we have, including oil painting!

10% discount for friends and family on the 10th and the 11th workshop schedule. Sorry, not available for the daily workshops.

Additional Workshops throughout November and December:

5th ($40) Gingerbread house; Create a house made from clay that will last a life time. Many of our families have come to this workshop for years and are now creating villages. Beginning with slab construction, then adding clay that is molded to look like candy, ending with a finished piece that is sure to dazzle. Studio 4 Art teachers will be there for you every step of the way for any guidance needed. Great for a family gift too.
12th ($20) Card Making; Card Making; Studio 4 Art has many handmade papers, fabric, sewing machines, block printing supplies, printmaking and stamps. From these teachers at Studio 4 Art will assist in any way needed for you to create a set of holiday cards. The end product will be something that is so fabulous it should be framed. (each student receives 6 cards to create)
19th ($30) Clay Ornaments; Clay Ornaments; It is amazing what you can create with a pound of clay. Creating with raw clay, adding 3-D details, using Studio 4 Art's clay tools and all kinds of cut outs, you will have many handmade gifts for the upcoming season. Studio 4 Art will also have glaze that will be applied in the same session.
*This workshop is excellent for even young kids to enjoy!
**Families are welcome to work together. Extra clay available at additional cost ($8).
3rd ($40) Gingerbread house; for those that couldn’t make it on Nov. 5th, or for those that had so much fun they want to make another!
10th ($35) Decoupage Art; Learn how to create decorative plates and ornaments using glass and beautiful papers. This workshop is new to Studio 4 Art. You will be amazed at what you can do with this simple step. Once you have it mastered, you will be sure to continue creating at home.
17th ($35) Mosaics Mosaics are great for gift giving. Choose between frames, mirrors, flower pots or stepping stones. Studio 4 Art has amazing pottery and treasures to incorporate into your mosaic art. Teachers will explain how to create mosaics in hopes of inspiring you to create more at home.
**Please let us know which surface you would like to mosaic when registering.

FREE “How To” workshops Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30
Fundraising ideas Wednesday November 9th; S4A has lots of ideas and will share. But, we also want you to come and brainstorm about what has worked and what brought lots of $$!

Beginning Oil Painting; Wednesday December 7th. This is a “how to” in hopes of getting your creativity flowing to paint your own work of art. This is educationally packed with information from supply lists to brush techniques so make sure to bring a notebook.

Space is limited and preregistration is a must to enable Studio 4 Art staff to have everything set up and ready for the fun.