Adams County Arts Council – Supporting the arts in Adams County, PA

Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Artist Spotlight: Andrew Smith

Posted on: October 9th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

Photography is an art form that magically captures a single moment.  The photographer freezes time for a split second allowing viewers to zoom in on details that may otherwise have passed us by.  But what if the photographer not only captures a moment, but also creates it?  This is a question ACAC member artist Andrew Smith addresses, particularly with his abstract photography.  “One can pose individuals in a portrait or choose how far to focus in on a still life, but the photographer typically can’t change the subject. [My] abstract work adds an extra dimension to the creative process,” says Smith, who has manipulated and captured colored liquids in varying states with macro-photography to pleasing results.  His pieces have been included in ACAC’s annual Abstract Show for the past two years.

This piece appeared in the Adams County Arts Council's 2014 Abstract Show last summer.

Fluid III appeared in the Adams County Arts Council’s 2014 Abstract Show last summer.

Andrew Smith experiments with subjects in both liquid and solid forms.

Andrew Smith experiments with subjects in both liquid and solid forms.

As a full-time middle school music teacher and band director at Susquenita Middle School, Andrew doesn’t aggressively pursue photography as a career right now, but he feels fortunate to have been included in several juried shows, and has some items for sale in the Frame Shop & Gallery in Hanover.  In addition to his macro-liquid shots, he has a great eye for landscapes, and hosted nine “photo-walks” in the area from 2008-2013, availing area participants to photograph interesting scenes and share their results on a custom Flickr page.

Lost in Death was shot during a Photo Walk, and appeared in

Lost in Death was shot during a Photo Walk, and appeared in the 2012 Gettysburg Festival juried exhibit.

Andrew not only made these tortilla chips, he seasoned them to a perfection requiring no dips, and then captured them in a tantalizing photograph.

Andrew not only made these tortilla chips, he also seasoned them to a perfection requiring no dip, and then captured them in a tantalizing photograph.

Regardless of subject matter, however, Andrew enjoys the entire process of his projects – from composition through printing and choosing the mattes and frames for finished pieces. Perusing his portfolio, you will find that in addition to nature, landscapes and abstracts, Andrew is also a foodie – enjoying the creation and manipulation of recipes, which he then captures in tantalizing images before sharing and eating his art.

Creativity obviously infuses all he does, and like most creative folks who know to value process over outcome, the results for the rest of us are quite good. You can see more of Andrew’s work on his website, Visual Realia, and you can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

Photos © Andrew Smith. Reproduction of any image is prohibited without express consent of the artist.

 

 

 

Time Well Spent with Paint and Wine

Posted on: September 25th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

10494637_1438922073062932_4388369497265544773_nAs the passing days of my life turn into months and years, I realize I am running out of time to become the next van Gogh.  I have been pretty busy raising children and working over the past several years, and I haven’t taken much time to practice painting.  Yet I have always wanted to know how to paint. I often find myself viewing the world in watercolors, imagining beautiful sky-scapes on canvas, wishing I knew how to capture the beauty of a fall day in a painting. I have also always wanted to win an Oscar for best actress, but we’ll stay focused here and keep it real.

Last fall, I registered for a watercolor class at the ACAC. Committed to cutting out a little time just for me, I impressed myself with my ability to carve out the three hours a week to attend the class, only to experience a head-slapping V-8 moment when I was reminded that if one wants to become fluent in any creative process, she has to practice, preferably daily.  I hadn’t cut out the time to practice.  I had literally budgeted my time to the minute just to be able to attend the class.  Our instructor suggested we set up an area in our homes where our paints were always accessible, which sounded wonderful, but I knew with a heavy heart from day one that this was not a class I would be able to continue with any success at this season in my life.

Although I highly recommend the class and the instructor, I confess my paints have remained in the closet for the most part since last year. They come out every now and again on a random Saturday when my daughter and I have a few hours to play with paint together.  Now that it’s fall again, Sunday afternoons leave us a few hours clear of distraction while the boys in our house watch football, so maybe we’ll paint then, too.

I had resolved to put my dreams to master painting aside for the time being, when another opportunity presented itself.  I was intrigued to hear about the Paint and Wine Nights hosted at the ACAC, taught by instructor Marie Betlyon Smith.  During these monthly evening classes, the ACAC provides paints, easels and brushes, while Marie supplies a sample painting, accessible instruction, and music. Students are invited to munch on snacks and enjoy the beverages of their choice, while Marie leads the class through a complete work, from start to finish, in just a few hours.  No experience is necessary.  Seriously.  Absolutely none.  I went to my first class on August 7, and painted this: mypainting

 

There are a variety of people who come to the class – regulars committed not to miss a class, dabblers like me who will fit it in when we can, people who have never touched a brush, and some avid painters who may not even paint the subject matter presented, but who enjoy the opportunity to paint in community.  The result is a truly lovely evening of relaxation and creativity with interesting people, complete with the satisfaction of a finished painting to bring home.

Marie leads her students through the process of her sample painting, but artists are free to vary the palette and subject as they wish.  I pretty much followed the example during my first class, but next time I might branch out a little more, like my classmate, Jim McCabe, who decided to zoom in a little closer to the moon.

10600452_1438923096396163_1820215587162587821_n-1

Left: Marie’s sample painting for the evening
Right: Jim’s interpretation of the subject

I enjoyed the opportunity to work with a new medium (acrylics), to see how Marie was able to break down the painting into simple steps, and to discover what I could do.  I was able to practice painting without any worry about when I might get to practice again, thanks to a meaningful starting and ending point during an evening I can commit to one month at a time.  I enjoyed food and wine with friends, new and old, while listening to good music.  The energy of the room that evening was pretty magical.

August Paint Night

The October paint night is already sold out, but there are more scheduled. Not available evenings? ACAC is also offering some daytime offerings.  So grab some friends, or come out for a solo-adventure to meet new friends.  Set aside some time one evening or afternoon to let your inner-Picasso come out to play.

Upcoming classes are:

Thursday, November 6 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 4 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Monday, December 8 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.

All classes are held at the ACAC Education Center on 125 S. Washington Street, Gettysburg.  You can register for the November class here or call (717) 334-5006 for more information.  Links to register online for December should be available soon.  Cost for the class is $36.

This is the lovely painting being offered for the December afternoon class, taught by Marti Yeager:

 Moon-at-SunsetHope to see you there!

 

Adventures in Abstract Art

Posted on: July 22nd, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

Robyn Warren - DaveLisa VinoOpportunities for adventure are endless with abstract art.  Whether you claim to “like it” or not, abstract art invites an audience to participate in the creative process.  Because the pieces often do not represent identifiable objects, viewers are taken on an adventure of the senses, drawing on individual experiences and emotions: Does that shade of purple evoke the soft color and smell of flowers in your grandmother’s garden?  Do those undulating blues remind you of a trip to the beach with a long-lost love, making you melancholy? Or do they remind you of a vacation you took last week with a new love, evoking a sensation of bursting happiness?  Whatever you are feeling, the person standing next to you may be simultaneously on a different, but equally relevant emotional adventure.

This phenomenon only allows the adventure to continue.  Once we have processed our own feelings about a piece, we can discuss our impressions and feelings with a friend… or a stranger.  Will you bond over the experience of the piece with the person next to you, or will you engage in a debate, so moved are you by the feelings that no other interpretation seems possible?

Continuing the adventure still, we can imagine the motives of the artists who created the pieces.  Is Arlyn Pettingell’s “Night Ocean” a peaceful sea or a harrowing one? Is there a storm threatening a lovely sky, or are the soft yellows and pinks glimmers of the calm that follows the storm?Pettingell

If you would like to find out, join us for the ACAC’s Abstract Show adventure, which peaks on Friday, August 1 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with a First Friday reception at the Adams County Arts Council’s Education Center, 125 South Washington Street, Gettysburg, PA, and will continue throughout the month of August.  The show offers a diverse range of style and subject matter in a variety of media, including paintings, photography, sculpture, and mixed media.  Artists will be in attendance at the reception to discuss their work, and all pieces are for sale.

Handshaw

 

Artist Spotlight: Carol Herren Foerster

Posted on: June 23rd, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

CarolAdams County Arts Council member Carol Herren Foerster has been sharing her drawings in Adams County for more than 25 years, but she recently recommitted herself to “really doing her art.”

Unexpected family obligations that arose earlier in her career made it impossible for Carol to finish her teaching certification, despite finishing a Bachelor’s degree in art.  Later, a work-related injury left her legally disabled with Radial Tunnel Syndrome in her right arm.  Carol says it’s no coincidence that drawing is the one activity that doesn’t aggravate the disorder.  The fine detail of her work is further evidence that drawing is what she is called to do.

Carol’s first priority has always been her family. Though her two children and four step-children are now grown, her house still often bustles with the sounds of little people – her grandchildren – for whom she cares while their parents are working.  As a younger mom, she worked odd jobs here and there, squeezing in time to draw when she could.  Since her own children are now grown, she is enjoying the freedom to pursue her drawing more seriously, particularly since the youngest grandchild is out of diapers.

amanda

This piece will be on display as part of the Art of the State Show at the State Museum of Harrisburg until September 2014.

She also credits a sense of artistic liberation to Facebook and social media.  Since posting her work on Facebook, the overwhelmingly positive responses have allowed her to let go of self-imposed angst and inhibition surrounding her abilities as an artist. Her confidence has snowballed over the past few years, during which she has not only improved her skills, but she has also entered more shows and contests, won a few awards, and most recently, she received a letter from Pennsylvania Senator Richard Alloway, III congratulating her on a spot in the Art of the State Show at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, which began Saturday, June 22 and continues through September. She also has work showing at the Salmagundi Club in New York City this summer. Because she practices her art and submits her work without expectation or worry, the notifications of awards and acceptances like these feel like happy surprises.

When asked about her plans for the future, Carol says, “I’m no longer taking commissions. I just draw what I want.” An earlier plan to draw a series of women’s portraits evolved into a beautiful, eclectic collection of subjects that were on display at the ACAC Education Center last May.  She looks forward to another show at ACAC in April of 2015.  To prepare for that show and other upcoming events, Carol says she will just “go with the flow and follow inspiration.”  It’s a tactic that has been serving her well so far.

captured

This piece will be featured for the summer at the Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Ave., New York NY.

Carol has a website, but you can see her most up-to-date work on her Facebook page.

Contact her through Facebook or at carolsartsite@gmail.com to inquire about purchasing her drawings.

dalmatian

The fine detail of Carol’s work makes it clear that drawing is what she is called to do.

Would you like to nominate yourself or another ACAC member for an Artist Spotlight article on this blog?
Email Lisa Cadigan or Karen Hendricks with your ideas for a great art story.

Three Cheers for A-B-C

Posted on: May 27th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

thankyouAPPLAUSE ALL AROUND
A huge “thank you” to all who contributed to our Arts Benefit Children (ABC) Online Fundraiser  May 20-22.  We did it together!  We didn’t even have to promise you Christmas wrapping paper or junk food – all we did was ask, and you answered. Thanks to your thoughtful generosity, we collected $2,763 in 48-hours to be used for camp and class scholarships.  A majority of our donations were received in $10 and $20 increments, proving that our small actions do indeed carry great impact.  If you missed out on this particular online event, you can always make an online donation to the Adams County Arts Council and share our sponsorship page with your friends.  No amount is too small.

MORE GOOD NEWS
Prior to the ABC fundraiser, ACAC staff also reached out to Adams/Hanover social clubs for scholarship assistance; an effort that resulted in $3,470.  Thanks to both of these efforts, the summer will be brighter for many children.

Ella - Eric Carle Collage CampCHECK OUT OUR CAMPS!
Summer is right around the corner, and ACAC’s camp schedule promises something for everyone.  From preschoolers to teens, the variety of offerings include pottery, sculpture, painting, music, drama, dance, cooking, photography, sewing, weaving, comic book art, collage, mixed media and more. If you haven’t checked out the summer camp offerings yet, click here.  Click on the camp of your choice to register online today! Camps are filling up fast.

Do you need financial assistance?
Fill out this simple form (click here for Spanish) to determine whether you qualify for a scholarship.  Children who qualify for the school lunch program are eligible for scholarships.

The Adams County Arts Education Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with friendly staff available to answer your questions, and art on the walls for you to explore.  If you have questions, would like to become a member, or would like more information about summer camps, call (717) 334-5006 or stop in for a visit.

TODAY’S THE DAY!

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

 

I am a believer that all of our choices – big and small – have an impact beyond our wildest imaginings.  A kind word you share today can change the tenor of a stranger’s day; holding a door open for someone can restore his faith in humanity, even if only for a moment. Grocery shopping at 9 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. can be the difference between bumping into an old friend or getting the last of the fresh strawberries. Each tiny decision (and there are thousands of them we make each day) has the potential for a ripple effect into the future.

When I was in high school, my dad took me on a road trip to tour colleges.  I was pretty sure I wanted to go to the University of Maryland at College Park – it was my dad’s alma mater, and the charm of the “south” with its beautiful campuses appealed to me (I am from NJ, so Maryland is “south”).  From College Park, we headed further south to check out the University of Richmond and the University of Virginia.  Our plan was to head home from Charlottesville, but when we found ourselves on a two-lane highway in the lovely rolling hills of Virginia, we realized we had missed an exit or made a wrong turn somewhere. Looking at the map, taking I-81 home made more sense than trying to work our way back to the I-95 corridor, so we re-routed our trip.  When we started seeing signs for James Madison University, we detoured to stretch our legs and check it out. I had never heard of JMU, and was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the beautiful campus and talk to some folks in the theatre department.  We picked up an application on a whim and continued home.

I applied to three of the four schools we visited that weekend, including JMU, but I was still fairly set on going to College Park. However, when the acceptance letter came from JMU, my trajectory changed in a split second. I am not sure why.  Maybe the pretty bluestone buildings appealed to my aesthetic sensibilities.  Maybe it was the appeal of a theatre department that boasted several student-produced productions each year.  Whatever it was, I decided to go to JMU instead of U of MD.  My life changed because my dad and I turned left when we were supposed to turn right. (Side note: I met my husband at JMU. There are also two children who exist in the world because my dad and I got lost.)

We aren’t always conscious of the impact small choices make in our lives or the lives of others, but there are times when we have an opportunity to make those choices knowingly.

Today is a day like that.

Today, you have an opportunity to click a few buttons and change lives.  Today you can share this post with your friends and family and donate a small amount towards an art-scholarship for a child.  The children who receive these scholarships would not otherwise be able to participate in the summer camps and classes offered by the Adams County Arts Council.

Where would that dollar, or five dollars, or ten dollars burning a hole in your pocket go if you didn’t send it to ACAC?  Maybe it would go toward an extra cup of coffee late in the afternoon, which would in turn, keep you up at night and make you grumpy tomorrow and more likely to yell at your kids.  Maybe it would go towards a pack of gum that somehow ends up chewed and stuck to the rug in your car.

OR…

You can send it the Adams County Arts Council, and know that your pocket change can make our community better by strengthening and enriching its youngest citizens.  Your few dollars and clicks could be the turning point that determines where a child in our community decides to go to college later.  It could be the miniscule thing that makes it possible for the next Ansel Adams or Georgia O’Keefe to discover his or her talent.  At the very least it could be the opportunity for two siblings to find something in common that they like to do together, building family connections.  Your pocket change has infinite possibility today.

How can you get involved?  It’s as easy as A-B-C:

A.  Click here: https://adamsarts.org/sponsorship
Donate $10.  Don’t have $10 to spare?  Donate $5. Or $1.  Every dollar counts – a click and a dollar or two makes a difference with unlimited potential.

B.  Share this story with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email, and encourage them to play along and donate, too.

C.  Watch our progress on the blog and social media over the next 48 hours as we strive to meet our goal of $4,800 in 48 hours.  We’re hoping to reach 480 people who will donate $10 each.

“Sometimes the little opportunities that fly at us each day can have the biggest impact.” –Danny Wallace


 

 

Once upon a time…

Posted on: May 7th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

Arts Benefit Children - An Online Event - May 20-22Once upon a time, there was a middle-aged woman.  Every Monday, she woke up, made coffee, woke her children, made breakfast, nagged at them to brush their teeth and put on their shoes, and then drove them to school to start their day.  She continued on to her workplace, where she usually spent the first ten to fifteen minutes of her day checking email and perusing Facebook; a comforting routine to ease herself from the role of mother to the role of employee, ready to tackle the tasks on her to-do list.

One day, as she sat at her computer, a beautiful, brightly colored-image danced across her Facebook newsfeed.  “Arts Benefit Children!” it said.  “Well, of course the arts benefit children,” she thought to herself, and so she clicked. Here is what she read:

Postcard-web“SAVE THE DATE!  On May 20-22, you will have an opportunity to help the Adams County Arts Council raise $4,800 in 48 hours!  We are harnessing the power of the internet to reach out to thousands of people, who can change the lives of children and make the world a better place with just the click of a button!”

“Hmmm…I’m a little skeptical,” she thought to herself.  But she read on.  It turned out that an old friend of hers was involved in the fundraiser, and had posted the colorful image.  She clicked the “donate” button, sent in ten dollars, and then shared the link on her Facebook page, in an attempt to reconnect with her friend.  Her donation surprisingly brought on the sense that she had already accomplished something helpful and important that day, and it was only 8:45 a.m.  “Huh,” she thought. “Simple mouse-clicks do have the capability of affecting people.  But why would anyone want to donate to an organization with which they may not have a personal connection?”

The answer came to her surprisingly quickly.  She suddenly remembered a painting class she took as a third grader.  She had just moved to a new city and school where she hadn’t yet made friends.  She was lonely and worried she would never adjust.  At the beginning of the class, she couldn’t think of anything to paint, so she decided she would just choose colors to paint “lonely.”  The result was a beautiful painting in blues and greens, and her teacher shared it with the rest of the class.  At the end of class, another student approached her and told her how much she liked the painting.  The girl was still her friend thirty years later.  Art had changed her life in that moment.

A man in another state, who knew the woman in college, saw the brightly colored image pop up in his newsfeed.  Seeing her name attached to the post unexpectedly flooded him with college memories. He recalled a meeting with his freshman advisor, who told him he was required to take an art class.  “I don’t want to take an art class,” he had thought at the time. “I’m a mathematician, not an artist.”  But his advisor explained that the art class was a requirement for graduation.  So he decided on an acting class.  He realized he had been using principles from the class every day in his classroom as a math teacher. Thanks to that acting class, he was comfortable in front of a crowd and better able to read the faces of his students.  Not to mention, he met his wife in that acting class.

He called his wife, and nostalgically recounted the memory of their meeting place, telling her about the post on Facebook.  “I am sharing it with you right now,” he said.  “You should share it with your artsy-friends and donate a dollar or two.”  She laughed, because she and her husband often playfully debated the differences in their educations; his was much more math and science-based, while she had been a music major with a minor in English.  They were both highly intelligent people, and both were teachers now, touching the lives of future generations with skills polished at least partially, if not entirely, by their experiences with art.

She shared the Facebook post, too, and donated five dollars.  As she read the stories across shared posts, she was deeply touched.  She had been the recipient of a music scholarship in the fourth grade that allowed her to take violin lessons.  Her family could not afford the instrument rental without that scholarship, and if she had not taken those lessons, she would never have tapped into the musical part of herself that filled her heart and life so significantly.  She realized the scholarship was the reason she taught elementary orchestra now.  She tweeted and emailed the fundraiser information to all of her colleagues.

This is how it works. 

Every day, we connect with people, and the common source of our human connection is creativity.   Whether it is telling a joke, watching a movie, writing a business memo, or writing a novel, the source of human connection requires a creative thought and a medium through which it can be expressed.

In the coming weeks, we will share real stories of kids who have benefitted from scholarships. You can be part of giving them the tools to creatively contribute to their relationships, careers and to the quality of life in our communities.

Do you have an art story?  Will you share it, along with this invitation to help others write theirs?

If just 480 people donate $10 each, we can offer scholarships to more than thirty disadvantaged young people.  We can unleash the creative potential in children who may not otherwise be able to tap into such a venue.

Don’t have $10 to spare?  Donate just $5.  Or $1.  Every dollar counts – a click and a dollar or two makes a difference with unlimited potential connections

How can you get involved?  It’s as easy as A-B-C:

A. Visit our donation page between May 20 and 22nd
https://adamsarts.org/sponsorship
Donate a dollar.  Or $5.  Or $10.  Or more, if you feel so inspired.  But know that every dollar counts.

B. Share this story with your friends, and encourage them to play along and donate, too.

C. Come back to the blog to hear stories about past scholarship recipients who have enjoyed classes and camps here, and track our progress.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

lisaandkaren

 

 

 

Lisa Cadigan is a director on the Adams County Arts Council’s board and the chair of ACAC’s Marketing & Development Committee. She is also the sole proprietor of Cadigan Creative, where she offers graphic design and marketing services.  You can  find out more about Lisa on the Cadigan Creative website, and see samples of her writing on her blog, Daily Presents.

Karen Hendricks is a volunteer on the Adams County Arts Council’s marketing and development committee and the owner/president of Hendricks Communications, LLC.  Karen demonstrates a love of writing and communicating in all she does; it’s the common thread linking all of her current and past experiences.  Her communications firm provides compelling public relations and marketing services to a select but varied group of clients. You can find out more about Karen on the Hendricks Communications website and see additional samples of her writing on her blog, Off the Merry-Go-Round.

Welcome to the Adams County Arts Council Blog

Posted on: April 30th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

By Lisa Cadigan and Karen Hendricks

Blogimage-welcome1

We are thrilled to introduce the Adams County Arts Council’s newest creative endeavor—this blog!  Here you will find a variety of articles ranging from ACAC event announcements, news, features on local artists, and creative stories to inspire our membership. Come back often to go behind-the-scenes with the ACAC.

Do you have an idea for a story that may interest the ACAC community? 
Submit it to one of our co-curators, board member Lisa Cadigan or marketing committee volunteer Karen Hendricks.

Subscribe to get posts delivered directly to your email account as they are published.  You can also follow the blog through our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts.

We look forward to sharing stories about The Adams County Arts Council and developing a more interactive relationship with you.  Please “like,” share and comment on the stories that touch you the most.

Creatively yours,

lisaandkaren

 

 

 

 

Lisa Cadigan is a director on the Adams County Arts Council’s board and the chair of ACAC’s Marketing & Development Committee. She is also the sole proprietor of Cadigan Creative, where she offers graphic design and marketing services.  You can  find out more about Lisa on the Cadigan Creative website, and see samples of her writing on her blog, Daily Presents.

Karen Hendricks is a volunteer on the Adams County Arts Council’s marketing and development committee and the owner/president of Hendricks Communications, LLC.  Karen demonstrates a love of writing and communicating in all she does; it’s the common thread linking all of her current and past experiences.  Her communications firm provides compelling public relations and marketing services to a select but varied group of clients. You can find out more about Karen on the Hendricks Communications website and see additional samples of her writing on her blog, Off the Merry-Go-Round.

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