Last semester was such a success that I have continued to create opportunities for my students to meet artists in their studios via Zoom.
In September, my studio art class visited with NYC activist and puppeteer, Andrea Lomanto. I have known Andrea since 1985, when we both met in Paris. Later in life, our lives crossed paths again in the Czech Republic while studying puppetry in the early 2000's. Andrea was part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement and has brought her puppetry to a South African Township to promote girl's rights.
Here is a link to a recent piece that Andrea created with her partner.
In October, my students and I traveled to upstate NY to visit with sculptor and ceramicist, Robin Whiteman. What attracted me to Robin's work is how reminiscent it is of the relics one finds in ancient cultures.
|Screenshot from Robin's Instagram.|
|Screenshot from our Zoom visit.|
|Screenshot of Robin from our studio visit.|
Robin had many words of wisdom to share with aspiring artists. So much wisdom and great advice that I've put a link to her audio. (We lost connection for about 5 minutes during the hour but you can just skim through it for more gems.)
|Image taken from Robin's website.|
In November, my advanced portfolio class met with local muralist, MJ Lindo Lawyer.
|Screen shot from MJ's Instagram video of a mural in progress|
MJ (Maria José), was born in Miami, lived in Oklahoma, Toronto,Canada and Nicaragua, (where her parents are from), before moving to Santa Rosa. Art has been a constant in her life through all the moves. She was studying architecture at the local community college in Santa Rosa, CA when she had an epiphany while browsing through an art magazine that she could become a muralist.
Her advice to students is to seize the moment and don't let "no" stop you. Seek out job opportunities rather than wait for them. MJ showed us an example of a beer label that she had designed and told us that she had approached the company about creating a label. The other big piece of advice she shared was that as a muralist, once your work is out in the public it becomes the property of the public. For example, one of her murals was defaced by someone who threw paint on it. This happens often with public artwork and you just have to let it go and not take it personally. That was a hard lesson to learn but important.
|Screenshot from our Zoom session.|
|MJ's sketchbook and a small oil painting.|
Her paintings are currently on display in NY at the Stone Sparrow Gallery.