As artists, we’re the lucky ones. We get to create the art and music that people enjoy when they get home from a long day of work. We get to make the films, write the books and produce the theater that can enrich, challenge, entertain, bewilder, illustrate beauty and light and give joy and meaning to people’s lives.
That was the message delivered by a faculty member at orientation for Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. I think I needed to hear it more than my daughter – who is attending the college – did. As a working artist, I sometimes overlook the importance of my own work. We artists spend a lot of time contemplating our work, remaking it, stepping back, redoing something then coming back the next day to say, “What the heck was I thinking?” and starting over again.
But the best part of being an artist is the unremitting permission to play. The work can be demanding, but there is a lot of play involved. Artistic play is different from other kinds of play because it includes manipulating images, storytelling, exploring the subtleties of materials, intangible ideas, visual literacy and watching for new ways to see old ideas.
Working at the Durango Arts Center as the education coordinator, I want to invite all of you to join us in some artistic play. I can appreciate the apprehension to try an art class because there are risks involved. Most are psychological, which for me are the hardest type. But I also witness adult students enjoying the classes because, in the end, they are having fun!
DAC’s fall programming offers a rich array of adult classes. Here’s a rundown:
Fueling the Artist Within, Sept. 27, will be a nontraditional workshop with Susan and Jeff Wise in conjunction with their exhibition “Different Eyes.” The workshop will include a field trip to their studio, drawing and exploring the artistic process.
Deborah Gorton will offer a Mixed Media and Collage workshop on Oct. 4-5 in conjunction with her beautiful exhibit “Every Stitch tells a Story” in the DAC library.
Oct. 11 will bring Peter Gil-Sheridan, a professional playwright from New York City, to teach a workshop on writing plays.
Barbara Tobin Klema will offer a water-based painting class from Oct. 15-Dec. 10. She will also teach Create an Artist’s Book workshop starting Nov. 1.
Kath Macaulay from Tucson is coming to Durango from Oct. 17-19 to offer Pocket Sketching, a quick draw technique for capturing a scene in small format.
DAC’s own theater director, Theresa Carson, will teach an Acting class starting Oct. 22. I’m considering taking a risk and signing up for that one.
Beginning Drawing and Figure Drawing will be offered by Ed Bolster beginning Nov. 4.
Come and play with us at DAC this fall, starting at our Autumn Arts Festival this week. We will have 86 artist booths, live music, Chautauqua, 10-minute plays and much more. I’ll be playing at the Creation Station with a yarn forest, dumpster painting, trufulla trees and face painting. Please stop by and say hi.
Visit www.DurangoArts.org for more information and a schedule.
Sandra@durangoarts.org. Sandra Butler is the arts education coordinator at the Durango Arts Center.