Trending Articles

Friends of SOAR

For great posts about the business of art, check out The Artsy Shark HERE!
ArtistsBillofRights.org reviews competitions and appeals seeking creative content, listing those that respect your copyrights and highlighting those that don't. Art Matters! publishes calls to artists, and not all of them may be compliant with ABoR's standards. Visit their site to learn more.
We support the Embedded Metadata Manifesto.  Metadata is information such as copyright notice and contact info you can embed in your images to protect your intellectual property, save time when uploading to social sites and promote your art. Click to visit the site and learn more.

News from LightGarden Glass Art

News from LightGarden Glass Art

1086 Washburn
Medford, OR                                   Tues-Fri 10-5pm
www.lightgarden.net                     Sat  10-1p
(541) 779-0272                                 Closed:  Sun & Mon.

News from LightGarden Glass ArtNews from LightGarden Glass Art

2016 is another record-breaking year!

We collected 133 Flowers of Hope panels this year!!

 
Thanks to everyone who came out and participated in workshops or brought in panels to donate, especially the ones that Karen Christ brought all the way from Dunsmuir. It’s because of your hard work
that we are able to keep this program going year after year.

This is our 11th year!

A special thank you to our amazing Barbara Kelberlau and Diane Kobal, who not only completed 7 panels each, but came out to help hang the display!
And to Val Dann, our last year’s winner, who completed two more panels this year and helped take the show down.
 
This program has grown so much since the 23 panels we collected in 2005!  I REALLY appreciate all the help!
 
 
News from LightGarden Glass Art 
 
These panels were on display at Art Presence in Jacksonville
September 23-25, 2016, and we had a Flowers of Hope
 Artist’s Reception on Saturday the 24th.
News from LightGarden Glass Art
We had such great attendance this year!
News from LightGarden Glass Art
News from LightGarden Glass Art
Barbara Kelberlau’s beautiful field flowers
(panel #6) won this year by a considerable amount of votes!
News from LightGarden Glass Art
 
 
“Calaveras Carlos”
 
  News from LightGarden Glass Art
 
The next show at Art Presence is Gallerie Carnevale!
 
This fun Halloween themed show runs
September 30th – October 30th
 
206 N. Fifth Street, Jacksonville

 
  News from LightGarden Glass Art
 
 
One thing I’ve heard over and over again in the studio is “I’m not an artist.” To which I would usually reply, “oh, I think everyone is an artist.  You just need to find the right media.”  But after more reflection I realize that isn’t quite true either. 

Everyone has the potential to be an artist.

Most things in this life don’t come without a little dedication and application on your part too.  People don’t go out and become an Olympic athlete overnight.  It takes years of training and practice to become the best in their field.  So it is true with art!
 
First, you have to believe that you are an artist or are capable of becoming an artist.  Whether you believe you can or that you cannot, it is probably true.  Without belief that something is possible it is unlikely to come true.
 
Second, what do “artists” do that most people do not?  I believe they look at things differently.  They actually look at things: leaves, trees, the way the light falls on petals.  Where is the light coming from?  What is causing the shadows?  They notice where the veins on the leaves begin and end, where the branches of the veins form.  This is just one example.  Not every artist paints nature.  Some gravitate towards other passions: glass (duh!), fabric, music, dance, theater…it’s all art!
Following your passions will help you find your way.  What makes you happy?  Researchers say that just the act of making things with our hands creates joy within our spirit.  (Whether it is good or not!)
The more you practice, the better you will get.  It is inevitable.  If you put forth the energy to get better, it will happen.
 
Just a few thoughts on “how to be an artist”.
 
 
 

 
Great Spectrum Glass News! 
 
Latest word from Spectrum on 9/22/2016 is that they have
sold to Oceanside Glasstile.
 
News from LightGarden Glass Art
  
I’ve been thinking about a Sugar Skull workshop in October.  
Who’s interested?  Email me:
 
 
News from LightGarden Glass Art
News from LightGarden Glass Art

 FLOWERS OF HOPE Workshop

 Even if you’ve never done any glass fusing before you can make an 8″ x 8″ fused panel to donate to Flowers of Hope.
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!
$15 buys you a base piece of glass, access to all frits, stringers and scrap glass, hanging hardware and firing. Come in and try your hand at fusing and find out how easy and fun it can be. You’ll also be doing a wonderful thing for a woman going through a tough time.

TRY FUSING!

 The same class only you get to keep it! Try fusing and see if you like it! Learn about using frits, stringers and noodles in this easy workshop!
$20
FLOWERS OF HOPE / TRY FUSING! workshops are available during any regularly scheduled Wednesday or Saturday morning  10a-12p Workshop

Please call or email to reserve your space!
 
News from LightGarden Glass Art
   
Painting with Frit    
 10a-12pm
Lunch
1-4pm
October 1st
Learn to use frit, hand pulled stringers and confetti to quickly add dimension and a painterly quality to your fused glass art.We’ll explore different techniques through 3 small panels, focusing on clouds, trees, water and layering backgrounds. We’ll also address combining colors and picture composition.Find out how easy it is to develop your sketches from photos and other inspiration. These panels can be a great reference guide for future projects.

All frit, confetti, stringers, glass and lunch are included.

Glass fusing: Basics or equivalent is required.

$125

 

 


News from LightGarden Glass Art
Glass Fusing Basics
Two Saturday Afternoons
October 15th & 22nd
1-4pm Learn one of the fastest growing mediums in glass! In this two week class you’ll complete a 4″ tile and a 8″ fused & slumped plate. Covers firing programs, prepping kiln shelves and ware and much more! If you’re considering getting a kiln or have one that you’d like to understand better, this class is for you!        All supplies are included.
$85      

Need a Kiln?  Rent one of ours!

 

Bring in your fused work and we will fire it for you!

 

Projects small enough to fit on a 7″ shelf:              $   5.00

One or more projects on a 13″ round shelf:                8.00

Fuse + Slump on 13″ shelf:                                         12.00

Projects on a 20″ shelf:                                                11.00

Fused + Slump on a 20″ shelf:                                    14.00

Long Bubble Squeeze  add                                            3.00

 

  

 Morning Workshops:

 

Come join our morning workshops on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 10a – Noon.  Use our tools and workshop space.  $10 for 2 hours!  Call to reserve your space.  You can do a Flowers of Hope panel during any of our workshops…or a “Try Fusing” panel to get you started in fusing.  You can also schedule bigger projects.  Contact us for more information.

LightGarden New Fall Classes 2016

LightGarden New Fall Classes 2016

 
Time is running out to
make your panel for
Flowers of Hope
this year!
 
September 17th
is the last day you can turn your panels in .
 
I know summer is busy for everyone
 but we haven’t added many to our stack of
 Flowers of Hope
panels in weeks! 
There’s still plenty of time to complete
 a work of art for this year.
 
 
This year’s Artist Reception
will be held at
Art Presence
 
 
All of the panels will be on display at
Art Presence
in Jacksonville
September 23-25      11-5pm
Flowers of Hope
 Artist’s Reception
 1-4pm on Saturday the 24th.
 
 
A big THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed! 
 
 

 
 Susy sent me a picture of her latest fused work along with an enlightening note of an artist statement:
 
“My art energy craved a glass expression of geology (which i am fascinated by)… so I made this 8 inch circle of 2 layers of fused glass showing striations of sedimentary soils… uplifted to a diagonal… and a fault line. Skyline, upper half in clear glass, was cut using a Taurus ring saw… in one continuous motion. very exciting, and I breathed all the way through!!”
 
Pretty impressive.  Thank you for sharing!
 
 

 

Well, the summer is speeding by again and fall is rushing at us.  I have spent a lot of time playing with the Colors for Earth paints and have been having a blast with them.  They sure open up the realm of possibilities!  Either as a stand-alone paint project or a scaled up frit painting.

 

I am offering some basic classes in painting with glass enamels to share what I’ve learned to do and what not to do!  It’s hard to make a mistake because just about everything is fixable.  It takes all the worry out of it.

 

I hope you will sign up for a class and join in on the fun!

 

Jess

 

 FLOWERS OF HOPE Workshop

Even if you’ve never done any glass fusing before you can make an 8″ x 8″ fused panel to donate to Flowers of Hope.
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!
$15 buys you a base piece of glass, access to all frits, stringers and scrap glass, hanging hardware and firing. Come in and try your hand at fusing and find out how easy and fun it can be. You’ll also be doing a wonderful thing for a woman going through a tough time.   

 
TRY FUSING!

 The same class only you get to keep it! Try fusing and see if you like it! Learn about using frits, stringers and noodles in this easy workshop!
$20
FLOWERS OF HOPE / TRY FUSING! workshops are available during any regularly scheduled Wednesday or Saturday morning  10a-12p Workshop

 
        Please call or email to reserve your space!
Painting with Glass Enamels:  Mini class
September 17th 10-12N
&
October 29th

 Learn to paint with glass enamels that actually fire shiny like glass. These enamels can be used on any kind of glass, they have no c.o.e. so can be used on 90, 96 or float glass. Use these enamels to step up your frit painting or to create any beautiful image you can imagine.

Mini class includes one 6″ x 6″ clear, one 6″ x 6″ opal art and 8 colors of pre-mixed paint. You have the option to outline with the black outliner and color as easy as a coloring book or just paint over the pattern. Totally fun and easy! The “Dragonfly” is the pattern of this workshop.

$35

Painting with Glass Enamels:  Step it Up!
September 17th  1-4pm
or
October 29th

This class is much the same as the mini class with an upgrade to two 8″ clear sheets and 10 premixed paints. You will learn to create your own backgrounds on the second sheet by mixing and blending enamels. The “Frog and Lilly Pads” is the project for this class.

$45

Glass Fusing Basics
Two Saturday Afternoons
October 15th & 22nd
1-4pm

Learn one of the fastest growing mediums in glass! In this two week class you’ll complete a 4″ tile and a 8″ fused & slumped plate. Covers firing programs, prepping kiln shelves and ware and much more! If you’re considering getting a kiln or have one that you’d like to understand better, this class is for you!       

All supplies are included.
$85      

   
Painting with Frit    
 10a-12pm
Lunch
1-4pm
October 1st

Learn to use frit, hand pulled stringers and confetti to quickly add dimension and a painterly quality to your fused glass art.

We’ll explore different techniques through 3 small panels, focusing on clouds, trees, water and layering backgrounds. We’ll also address combining colors and picture composition.

Find out how easy it is to develop your sketches from photos and other inspiration. These panels can be a great reference guide for future projects.

All frit, confetti, stringers, glass and lunch are included.

Glass fusing: Basics or equivalent is required.

$125

 


 

Need a Kiln?  Rent one of ours!

 

Bring in your fused work and we will fire it for you!

 

Projects small enough to fit on a 7″ shelf:              $   5.00

One or more projects on a 13″ round shelf:                8.00

Fuse + Slump on 13″ shelf:                                         12.00

Projects on a 20″ shelf:                                                11.00

Fused + Slump on a 20″ shelf:                                    14.00

Long Bubble Squeeze  add                                            3.00

 

  

 Morning Workshops:

 

Come join our morning workshops on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 10a – Noon.  Use our tools and workshop space.  $10 for 2 hours!  Call to reserve your space.  You can do a Flowers of Hope panel during any of our workshops…or a “Try Fusing” panel to get you started in fusing.  You can also schedule bigger projects.  Contact us for more information.

LightGarden Glass Art, 1086 Washburn Lane, Medford, OR 97501-2000

Celebrating Summer with LightGarden Glass Art

1086 Washburn                            July 2016
Medford, OR                                   Tues-Fri 10-5pm
www.lightgarden.net                     Sat  10-1p
(541) 779-0272                                 Closed:  Sun & Mon.

 
Flowers of Hope
Artist’s Reception
will be held at
Art Presence
this year
 
This has been a great year for Flowers of Hope!
We’ve had many people, including large groups, come in and make these beautiful panels for women with breast cancer.
 
All of the panels will be on display at
Art Presence
September 23-25      11-5pm
Flowers of Hope
 Artist’s Reception
 1-4pm on Saturday the 24th.
 
 
A big THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed! 
 
 Last year we broke another record
and I’m confident that we can do it again this year
but we’re not there yet!

 

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

It’s been very busy around here with a show at Valley View Vineyard, Taste of Summer, “Celebrate” at Art Presence, the awesomely successful yard sale, and a couple of fun commissions.

One commission was for Westminster Presbyterian Church here in Medford.  They wanted two large bowls for the baptismal font in their church. Pastor Barnabas Sprinkle met with me and liked the colors in a set of coasters I had made….and we went from there.

Another adventure I got involved with this year is doing a piece for the Oregon Wine Experience “Art on the Wall”. Proceeds go to benefit Children’s Miracle Network.   Canvases are given out to local artists and then auctioned off at the event.  I haven’t really painted with acrylics in over 20 years but I made a fused glass tile for the center of the canvas then painted the border.  Rules say it can be any kind of art as long as it’s attached to the canvas.

So, yes I know, summer is a busy time.
I have some great ideas for classes
and workshops coming up soon!

You can still come in and make Flowers of Hope panels,
Try Fusing!
or other projects during our

Wednesday and Saturday workshops
from10-12N.

ENJOY YOUR SUMMER

IT’S GOING FAST!


 

It is that time of year when we schedule fewer classes.  Summer is such a busy time.  I know, it’s hard to fit it all in.  It goes so fast!  It is also a time when I have the opportunity to go out and promote our glass studio so that we can continue to bring you new classes and techniques.

 

We will continue to do our Flowers of Hope, Try Fusing! (OUR NEW PAINTING WORKSHOPS!) and open workshops on most regularly scheduled days.  You can always go to the website to see if there is a workshop scheduled.  If we have special events they will be listed.  

 

calendar schedule

 

 

Most of our easier classes such as Dichroic Jewelry, Table Lamps, Cabinet Knobs and Fused Glass Switchplates can be scheduled during workshop time as well as the dragonfly, butterfly and daisy dish casting forms.  Please email or call for availability. 

 

 

 

 

 FLOWERS OF HOPE Workshop

Even if you’ve never done any glass fusing before you can make an 8″ x 8″ fused panel to donate to Flowers of Hope.
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!
$15 buys you a base piece of glass, access to all frits, stringers and scrap glass, hanging hardware and firing. Come in and try your hand at fusing and find out how easy and fun it can be. You’ll also be doing a wonderful thing for a woman going through a tough time.

 

TRY FUSING!

 The same class only you get to keep it! Try fusing and see if you like it! Learn about using frits, stringers and noodles in this easy workshop!
$20
FLOWERS OF HOPE / TRY FUSING! workshops are available during any regularly scheduled Wednesday or Saturday morning  10a-12p Workshop

 
        Please call or email to reserve your space!
 

Need a Kiln?  Rent one of ours!

 

Bring in your fused work and we will fire it for you!

 

Projects small enough to fit on a 7″ shelf:              $   5.00

One or more projects on a 13″ round shelf:                8.00

Fuse + Slump on 13″ shelf:                                         12.00

Projects on a 20″ shelf:                                                11.00

Fused + Slump on a 20″ shelf:                                    14.00

Long Bubble Squeeze  add                                            3.00

 

  

 Morning Workshops:

 

Come join our morning workshops on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 10a – Noon.  Use our tools and workshop space.  $10 for 2 hours!  Call to reserve your space.  You can do a Flowers of Hope panel during any of our workshops…or a “Try Fusing” panel to get you started in fusing.  You can also schedule bigger projects.  Contact us for more information.

LightGarden Glass Art, 1086 Washburn Lane, Medford, OR 97501-2000

“One Artist Changes His Art & Saves His Life” Interview, Video and Discount Codes!

“One Artist Changes His Art & Saves His Life” Interview, Video and Discount Codes from the Studio of Leah Fanning Mebane and Natural Earth Paints

drip-effects_inger-jorgensen
Artist Inger Jorgenson, uses Eco-Solve to create beautiful drip effects.

ARTIST FOCUS: ROBERTO PARADA

One Artist Changes His Art and Saves His Life

Artist Roberto Parada

Artist Roberto Parada

Note from the Author: Natural Earth Paint sent Roberto a complimentary bottle of Eco-Solve to try after hearing of his health troubles. We look forward to hearing his feedback!!
Roberto Parada is an internationally known oil painter and illustrator, having been published in Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, ESPN The Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, and Huffington Post. Few people know that his art process came close to ending his life in 2004. I had the honor of interviewing him about his journey in discovering which of his art supplies were literally killing him, how it happened and what he did to change his process while continuing to paint very high quality, archival and professional paintings.
Were you ever taught about the toxicity in art supplies in art school?

I went to a very prestigious art school in the late 80’s and early 90’s and was never taught about any hazards in art supplies by my painting and illustration teachers. I did have one sculpture teacher who adamantly forbade the use of fixatives, solvents and chemicals because he had gotten lymphoma from the use of those chemicals. He never really explained why we shouldn’t use them but just told us not use them in his classroom. My painting teachers all used toxic materials themselves and probably just didn’t know the health risks involved.

What was your painting technique throughout your school years and career?

I have always been an oil painter and I’m guilty of never wearing gloves or having adequate ventilation or even thinking that I should. Noone ever taught me the risks and on the warning labels on paint thinners I only saw warnings about difficulty breathing and respiratory issues. There was nothing about the fact that it can get into your bloodstream and cause death risks. The warnings are very ambiguous and limited considering the fact that I can list 5 different types of cancer that come from paint thinners. For example, 3 kinds of leukemia AML, ALL, CLL,  and Multiple Myeloma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. I also used all of the heavy metal based paints – cadmiums and cobalts – and didn’t think much about it. In the 90’s the “Odorless Mineral Spirits” came onto the market and we all thought that this was a healthier alternative. Now I know that Odorless mineral spirits still have petroleum based distillates and benzene which is exactly what brought about my illness.

READ FULL INTERVIEW ON OUR BLOG:

FEATURED VIDEO TIP:


How to use Eco-Solve to clean oil paint brushes without toxins or solvents!

The Benefits of Eco-Solve:

  • 100% natural and non-toxic
  • Archival, professional artist-quality
  • Subtle, fruity licorice scent
  • Does not irritate the skin
  • Does not emit harmful vapors.
  • Soy-based and vegan. Cruelty-free.
  • Superb for creating washes, under-paintings, glazes, drip effects, etc.
  • Excellent brush cleaner! Can be used to clean all oil painting tools, palettes, brushes, containers, and work surfaces
  • Does not pollute the soil or waterways

Order Now! 20% OFF! Use Coupon Code: ECOSOLV16

20% off Eco-Solve Now through May 26, 2016! The Green School in Bali uses Earth Paints exclusively in their curriculum and painted a collaborative Earth Day mural this year.

The Green School in Bali uses Earth Paints exclusively in their curriculum and painted a collaborative Earth Day mural this year.The Green School in Bali uses Earth Paints exclusively in their curriculum and painted a collaborative Earth Day mural this year.

Natural Earth Paint Wins the Cribsie Awards – 380,000 people voted that Natural Earth Paints have the “Best Non-toxic Art Supplies”!Natural Earth Paints Wins 2016 Cribsie Awards!

Connect with us via social media!

“Discount Thursdays”

Every Thursday on Facebook we post a Coupon Code or FREE Give-Away! “Like” to get access.

JuarezX: Dragged Across Borders

JuarezX: Dragged Across Borders art exhibition, center on contemporary art, seattle, washington, may 2016Center on Contemporary Art presents “JuarezX: Dragged Across Borders”

Politically Charged Art Exhibition Challenges Socio Political Borders

Seattle, WA: From May 5 – 28, 2016 CoCA presents “JuárezX, Dragged Across Borders,” co-curated by Joseph C. Roberts and Peter Bill.  The exhibit presents work by undocumented immigrants and artists from Juarez, Mexico to explore the intersection of race, class, and migrant status at the US and Mexico border.  Simultaneously, the exhibit presents readings and interactive workshops that invite visitors to consider social norms, or borders, created around gender and sexuality.  CoCA is proud to present an exhibition and support artists that dissolve boundaries and invite visitors to question borders as places that allow fixed notions of identity to bend, stretch, and even disappear.
The exhibit features work by artists from Juárez, Mexico who have literally and conceptually been “dragged” across borders. Yorch Otte, an urban muralist, serigrapher and leader of the Art Collective “Rezizte”, presents graffiti art on panel depicting life on the border. Gabriela Hernandez, an undocumented Seaburry Fellow and New Mexico Highlands University alum, features a series of 6’x3’ banners that represent struggles of LGBTQ and undocumented people. Mario Romero juxtaposes topics of the occult, scientific and astronomical with the border. Pulsoans Ans, graffiti artist and ANS Art Gallery owner, commands spray paint canisters to produce pieces that play with the idea of life and death as they apply to the identities in the margins. Peter Bill, Assistant Professor of New Media at Western New Mexico University, and Héctor Domínguez Ruvalcaba, Associate Professor of Queer & Border Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, documented their projections of guerrilla video texts onto the streets of Ciudad Juarez. Sarita Corderito adds witty political commentary and tasty painting/collage chops to the mix.
Special presentations include Héctor Domínguez Ruvalcaba, PhD’s reading from his work “Aesthetics and Politics of the US-Mexico Border urban art,” at 7pm during Pioneer Square artwalk on May 5.  At Noon on Friday, May 6, Gabriela Hernandez will present Jotería Undocumented Workshop, a participatory workshop exploring gender identity and immigration. CoCA is able to bring this important conversation to Seattle audiences and acknowledge LGBTQ individuals in the fight for immigration rights with the support from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture.

Exhibition opens May 5 and runs through May 28 at CoCA PS35, 106 Cherry St., Seattle, WA. Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday, 1-7pm.

Premiere of Student Films about Drugs and Bullying in McCloud Feb 19

“Drugs” and “Bullying”

Premiere Showing in McCloud of 2 Video Shorts by Local Students, February 19th

 

Complex personal subject matters were the learning theme for Mccloud High School students during their digital workshops with Christina Schmidlin while creating two short videos on “Drugs” and “Bullying” .  Ms Schmidlin is a videographer and film maker in her professional life and was contracted by the Mccloud Resource Center and the Mccloud ARTS Society to work creatively with our high school students.. For the last two years McCloud students had the privilege to work with her in developing the storyline for the two short videos.  Utilizing their input, talent, and their personal experiences these two short videos represent the efforts for over the two years.   Students were enthusiastic participants in all aspects of the project including learning to act with drama coach Bennett Gale. The acting recreates some of their personal experiences regarding these vital social issues which youth everywhere are addressing on almost a daily basis.

 

In Bullying, “The story focus for this particular project was on the “making of” and “unraveling of” a bully. It is mostly told from the bully’s perspective. Most students in the class experienced bullying both as perpetrators and victims, so we chose this particular, and in my opinion, very effective perspective for the story narrative. There was also one student in the class who experienced a bullying related suicide and ensuing drug use, which lent a powerful story element to the narrative.” said Christina Schmidlin.  She further explained that “all participating students linked the experience of bullying or being bullied to the risk of drug use and teenage suicide. Consequently, all the students wanted to explore this topic in depth in the story sessions.”

 

The Premiere Video Showing of McCloud High Student’s   2 Video Shorts will be Friday, February 19, 2016,  7 – 8:30 pm upstairs in the Mercantile Building. Admission is free in support of the students.  The event is being organized by the McCloud ARTS Society.  Jeff Wescott and some of the high school band members will provide musical entertainment to showcase their talents.  The community is invited to come to the premiere showing and support the students in the first effort to develop a meaningful video short that may later to useful to other students that may or may not be experiencing similar circumstances.

SOAR Welcomes Art 4 Joy!!

Art 4 Joy: Fun Arts Program Opens in Central Point

Create Fun Art!

Central Point, November 18, 2015: “Sip and Paint” classes have been spreading across the U.S. like wild fire, but more often than not these venues are limited to availability in larger cities. “Sip and Paint” classes are a new social scene for adults who enjoy painting in a social atmosphere often served up with alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) beverages while guests are guided through a pre-determined painting project from start to finish in about 2 hours. At these events all supplies are included for the project and guests go home with their finished “masterpieces”.

Kim Samitore, Art Director/Owner of Art 4 Joy, located in Central Point has brought big city fun to small town America in the heart of downtown Central Point! Art 4 Joy, which offers not only “sip and paint” style classes but a full schedule of youth programs, quietly opened their doors Oct. 12, 2015, at 63 S. 4th Street in Central Point. Samitore chose to start her company as a grassroots project,rather than buying into the popular franchises offering similar services so that she could bring arts and crafts to children and adults of all ages within the Rogue Valley with her own unique program plan!

In late November 2015, Samitore moved her business to a larger location just around the corner at 425 Oak Street in Central Point (still located in 4 Oaks Centre) to accommodate for the community’s growing desire of different class offerings. Art 4 Joy has classes for children 5 years old and under that focus on tactile and motor skill development through creative art play, as well as weekly youth painting classes for first grade on up. Other classes offered include classes for Seniors 55+, some of which have never painted before, but are very excited to learn! Jim DeKorte (73), Samitore’s father, has Parkinson’s Disease and enjoys his art classes as his tremors subside and his cognition increases during art class. Other Seniors attend for increased social activity, for relaxation or mood elevation, etc. “Art is very therapeutic for mind, body and spirit,” says Samitore. She feels strongly that art classes can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle no matter what age or experience level you have. “Studies have shown that art is a valuable therapy for stress, anxiety, depression and more. Our classes are very social and always educational in a fun way, so whether a guest is young or young at heart, they leave with very positive feelings,” says Samitore.

Samitore has been fielding calls and emails for work parties, birthday parties, potential partnerships with local schools and non-profits who provide services to foster care children and more. Her goal is the bring art back to the community due to reduced art activities within the schools and to inspire adults to take a night out for social time in a new and fun way that is different and healthy for body, mind and spirit. She wants to help people feel good about themselves through creativity.

Art 4 Joy is currently working with the City of Central Point’s Recreation Department to expand their arts and crafts offerings during Community Christmas, scheduled for Dec. 5th, 2015. Art 4 Joy will be open to the public for free arts and crafts to all kiddos who attend Community Christmas, just 1 block east of City Hall so that families can enjoy the celebration a little longer where they can get out of the cold.

Samitore recently retired from teaching horse back riding lessons at Samitore Stables, also of Central Point, to children and adults with and without disabilities/learning/behavior disorders since 2005, to pursue her other love in life – CREATIVITY! She hopes to keep working with special needs children and adults as well as those without them. “What’s neat about this new learning opportunity is that no level of physical fitness, or experience is required and fees are lower (than horse back riding) so I can work with a larger population within our community,” says Samitore. She loves teaching and sharing the joy of expanding one’s horizons of what’s possible when you give something new a try!

Samitore is planning a Grand Opening/Christmas Open House in December (TBD), as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony (still to be scheduled) with the Central Point Chamber of Commerce.

Photo Opportunity: Saturday, November 21, 2015, 4:30-6:30pm, a promotional free class will be held at Art 4 Joy to introduce the community to our Taste and Create classes.

Call to Artists - National Art Project

Call to Artists – National Art Project

Call to Artists - National Art Project on Gun Violence
A group of citizens in the Rogue Valley are so concerned about the gun violence in this country they are proposing a VISION QUILT project to cultivate compassionate change and help create a country that embraces gun sense not gun violence. We call to artists for entries to our national art project.

We need diversity.  We need art.  We need you!

Create a cloth panel with a message that resonates with you on this issue.  You can do this solo at home or join us at Art Presence on November 4th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.   Space is limited that day to the first 15 people who sign up. Please RSVP to the email address below to 1) sign up or 2) let us know you plan to make a panel on your own.
Canvas panel blanks (gessoed or plain) will be available for purchase for $5 on November 4th or bring your own fabric.  However, artists need to provide their own materials to create their designs.  Panels will be collected, juried and displayed locally and nationally as the project unfolds.

A FEW DETAILS:

Final dimensions:  18″ X 24″ with finished edges.
Media:  oil or acrylic painting, sewing, quilting, embroidery, silkscreen, stencils, digital printing.  Please, no glues, however.
Final Deadline:  By November 29 to Art Presence from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

To RSVP or Questions…… [email protected]

Thank you so much for thoughtfully considering to add your unique voice to this collaboration of concerned and compassionate humans.

LightGarden's Flowers of Hope A Success!

 

Light Garden Glass Art Banner

1086 Washburn                            September 2015
Medford, OR                                   Tues-Fri 10-5pm
www.lightgarden.net                     Sat  10-1p
(541) 779-0272                                 Closed:  Sun & Mon.

Val Dann’s
 abstract bouquet 
won by a big margin
in our popular vote!
People's Choice Winner at the LightGarden Glass Art Flowers of Hope 2015 reception!
 
Congratulations, Val!
 
You won a $50 gift certificate
to
LightGarden Glass Art!

Best Flowers of Hope

Artists’ Reception EVER!

 
Thank you to Traute Moore, Porscha Schiller and all of the wonderful people at South Stage Cellars for making this the best reception ever!
 
The biggest
THANK YOU
goes to all the wonderful artists that helped us make
115 panels
this year!
 
Ginny Nosal came all the way from Klamath Falls almost every month to make 10 panels
Diane Kobal made 7 panels
Barbara Kelberlau made 6 panels
Melanie Dines made 4 panels
 
and a
BIG FAT APOLOGY
for saying no men contributed!
(I was running on serious lack of sleep)
 
Steve (age 7) made 1 panel
(even though he really doesn’t like art)
Kevin Smith made 1 panel
Cole Smith made 1 panel
Mitch Sherman made 1 panel
 
so ok…111 made by women
4 made by men.
 
So we could even that out a little next year?
(still a challenge to you guys!!)
 
or how about this challenge?
 
Everyone that made one this year…
next year bring a friend and see how many we
can collect!
 

 How Art Therapy Is Being Used to Help Syrian Children in Lebanon

Ninety-five thousand Syrian children in Lebanon have been traumatized by the conflict—can painting help them?

BARJA, LEBANON–Anita Toutikian stands alone in a bare-bones classroom, huddled over a table covered in art supplies. She carefully arranges paint bottles and brushes, and sets out a sleeve of plastic cups for pallets.

In a few minutes, 22 students, five of whom are Syrian refugees, will burst into this room for a two-hour art therapy session. Toutikian, a working artist and a clinical psychologist, is there to help alleviate tensions between the refugees and their Lebanese classmates. According to the UN, at least 1.3 million Syrians refugees are currently living in Lebanon, which has led to a crisis-level strain on resources that impacts virtually every facet of society – and education is no different. This is the second time Toutikian has come to the Barja Technical School, a secondary school in this costal town 30 minutes south of Beirut. The first time the students all drew a figure – a firefighter, to be specific – individually. But today the students will be painting in groups.

Barja Technical School is one of the hundreds of schools in Lebanon that are struggling to accommodate the nationwide surge of Syrian children into the Lebanese school system, which the UN has called “under served prior to the Syria crisis.” As a result, Syrian children all over Lebanon are facing a crippling lack of access to education. A recent UN report found that only 22 percent of school-age children are receiving a formal education. “The Syrian influx has increased the demand on the limited public school places by almost 134 per cent,” according to the report.Art Therapy Helps Syrian Children Recover from Trauma of War: Anita Toutikian leading a class of Syrian children in Lebanon. Image by John Knefel.

Anita Toutikian leading a class. (Image Credit: John Knefel)

“There’s an education crisis,” in Lebanon, says Amnesty International’s Lama Fakih. And that current crisis could result in a heightened susceptibility to recruitment to violent groups. “When you talk about a person’s ability to care for himself and his family and have a fulfilling life, obviously the opportunities are very limited without an elementary education,” adds Fakih.

Even those who are enrolled in school face significant barriers. Lebanese classes are often taught in either French or English, which most Syrians don’t speak. That’s an issue at the school in Barja. “This is one of the challenges, but teachers who teach languages are helping with this, are working with Syrians,” says Haifa Abu Hader, who works for the school. “It’s not easy. They’re very brave,” he says, referring to the harassment Syrians often encounter in schools across Lebanon. Prejudice against Syrian children and even some teachers is a growing concern for the U.N. Refugee Agency. “Syrian girls and boys face blatant discrimination, bullying and violence,” the agency noted in a recent report. “Violence against boys can be serious—in Mount Lebanon a 13-year-old was hospitalized after being beaten up outside his school.”

At Barja Techincal School, many of the refugee students initially fled Syria to the northern Lebanese city Arsal. Regular cross-border fighting between the Lebanese army and jihadi groups, including ISIS, then pushed those families deeper into Lebanon. Between the trauma of the war and the continuing struggles that come from a precarious living situation, many students aren’t receiving the support they need. The U.N. estimates that there are 95,000 Syrian children in Lebanon who have been traumatized by the conflict, which has diminished their learning abilities. “There is a lot of pressure on Syrian children in schools,” says Chantal Chedid, prevention coordinator at Skoun, a Lebanese NGO that works with adult drug users as well as young people through their early intervention program. Though Skoun – who organized the session I’m observing – doesn’t see some of the worst manifestations of trauma, school administrators say many of the Syrian students struggle with a variety of issues related to fleeing the war. “We see dropouts of Syrians, many are feeling sad, or depressed,” says Chedid. She adds that other common symptoms are “insomnia, [and] trouble concentrating.” An estimated 20 percent of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon dropout of school.

After the 22 students file in, Chedid breaks them into three groups of seven or eight, and each group crowds around a canvas roughly three feet by four feet. For the next hour, the students paint brightly colored landscapes full of sailboats, cars, and trees. “We are not teaching art here, and we are not doing full therapy. It is a psychosocial support with art, therapeutic art, we can say, because we are not addressing the problem of each child,” says Toutikian. “We are offering them the opportunity to express themselves freely, without judgment, without evaluation of their work.”

“In this work, we are not exploring the trauma,” she adds. “We are working in a group setting, and in a group setting it is not easy to address individual traumatic experience. We are giving them the opportunity to release the trauma.” One can’t help but wonder what some of the young adults who have fled the war might paint given a darker palette, but that answer isn’t for today. “When they’re happy, they all become children,” says Toutikian.

Observing the group, which is assembled from several different classes, there’s no question they are enjoying themselves. How well does it work to combat bullying? “Usually when someone from outside the school comes to the school, the students are commenting, ridiculing them, etc,” says Hader, the school employee, through a translator. “We didn’t see this today.”
Art Therapy Helps Syrian Children Recover from Trauma of War

“We are offering them the opportunity to express themselves freely, without judgment, without evaluation of their work, says Toutikian. (Image credit: John Knefel)

I take out my camera to take close ups of the paintings, which initially doesn’t elicit much of a response. “It’s good, right?” says one girl. But when I take out my phone to snap a few more, the kids immediately strike poses. “Selfie!” yells one of the boys. Many of the students speak English very well, but even those who don’t know the word “selfie.” I pose with several of the students for a shot, not realizing that I’ve now opened the door for a new distraction – a picture with a native English-speaking interloper – that virtually every one of their classmates finds irresistible. By the end of the hour I’ve snapped over a dozen selfies with a rotating cast of characters, and, inexplicably, signed the tops of several students’ outstretched hands.

One of the students, who I’ll give the pseudonym Ali because he’s a minor, is excited to practice his English on me. “My favorite subject is electricity,” he says, and explains that he works at his father’s shop repairing washing machines. Does he like painting? “I like it, but this is kid stuff for my friend,” he jokes, bopping a boy lightly on the back of the head.

As the students file out, and return to their regular schedule, several complain and plead for Toutikian not to leave. After a few more requests for selfies all but a few students have cleared the room. One boy extends his hand to me, like many of the others, excited to practice his English. “I love you,” he says, as we shake hands goodbye. Then adds: “Nice to meet you,” and walks out the door.