UPDATE: Due to rain, we are moving to the underpass under the South Orange Train Station!
Tomorrow afternoon, weather-dependent, I'll be enjoying a unique opportunity to moderate part of a day-long FREE Life Drawing Marathon in a public park in South Orange, NJ! Artist, Charles Hawthorne, would be pleased. No, the model will not be nude, but I'm pretty excited about the event regardless. The Life Drawing Marathon is part of the South by South Orange Festival which is touted to be the "first of its kind" in New Jersey by Jay Lustig, founder of NJArts.net.
From 10 - 4pm in Spiotta Park, three artists (Ed Gunneson, Sarah Petruzielo, and myself), will be guiding a model and visitors in life drawing sessions. I will be moderating from 12:40 - 2:30, should you want to stop by and see me. Spiotta Park is considered the Creative Midway which is free to visitors and will offer a host of other events including: paint ball art, Celebration Singers’ performances, an improv poetry scavenger hunt, a creative collisions open mic sound stage, a ‘zine workshop, Theatre Group Dzieci, buskers and assorted performers, and a group art and architectural project hosted by David Everitt-Carlson of DEC Design and iThinkOutsideMyBox.com. Whoa!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The festival is a "3-day collision of Art, Ideas, Music and Exploration" with too many speakers, artists, and performers to list. You must spend some time exploring the event listing, and really take advantage of the terrific topics and tantalizing timetables. Plus, I just discovered there is childcare available through the Baird and Work & Play (my host for the upcoming Watercolor Workshop I'm teaching)!
Sometimes all you need to be creative are some basic tools, a framework, and a nurturing guide within which to make something. During the 1st annual NJ Makers Day on Saturday, March 21st, I will be offering visitors to the West Orange Public Library an opportunity to creatively contribute their mark without intimidation or expectations.
I hear all the time from adults "I can't even draw a stick figure" and "I'm not creative". Banish those thoughts and let me help you contribute to a community "Handala". Influenced by the structure of mandalas, the "Handala", a concept I discovered from artist, Ron Hornung, is a mandala made of hands. (While rooted in Buddhism and Hinduism, mandalas in their simplest constructs are visual structures, which represent wholeness, because of their arrangement of integrated elements around a unifying center.) Visitors both young and young at heart, will be asked to trace their own hand and embellish it or the space around it with colored pencils.
During the making of the "Handala" hopefully I'll dispel some myths about art making, giving you a chance to express yourself without fear, as well as a chance to learn more about a very old artistic / spiritual symbol. The completed "Handalas" will remain at the library for display after the event. Children and adults are welcome. I guided students and parents in making "Handalas" at Gregory School's Happy Healthy Kids Night in the Fall and saw many self-conscious adults in particular, sit down, get past their fear and make something with their kids.
I will be at the library from 1:30 - 4pm on the 21st. Many other STEM activities will be offered throughout the day including creating recycled jewelry and family activities involving technology demos and art. Check out the article in The Alternative Press for more information about workshops, demos, makers, and hours. I hope you'll save the time to participate in a day that promotes the culture of making!
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Sometimes called the Kitchen God's Artist, I'm balancing mothering two energetic sons, our new pup, Cider, while making and teaching art. TraillWorks is the apron under which I create and teach. My own art develops mostly in my home studio, but is often spurred through my teaching, and travels. I just relocated to Durham, NC, from West Orange, NJ, so my studio is in renovation right now.
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