Blog

Posted 22 May 2020

We’re Going Virtual!

With everything pandemic-related going on right now, Studio 23 has made the jump to virtual class… and we’re jumping right in! Besides the free virtual lessons we’ve been providing through our Facebook Live art lessons, we’ve also been busy planning away with our instructors to bring you classes through Zoom. We have some great classes already posted and we’re adding more every day. A great example of our virtual programming is our Still Life Colored Pencil Project with artist Julie Tyslicky! In this class you will be drawing and rendering in full color a still life of fruit on fabric. You will be instructed on ways to set up your still life. Composition, design and light source is discussed as well as color theory.

This class does not teach you how to draw but rather how to better use the color pencils in your drawing. This class looks to build on your existing drawing skills and done completely through the comfort of your own home using Zoom.

Another great class we’re offering is our Virtual Plein Air Workshop with artist Ruth Howell…
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood to take a Virtual Plein Air Painting Class with Artist/Instructor Ruth Howell.

Through a series of three sessions on Zoom, a virtual meeting site you can access in the comfort of your home or studio, Ruth will guide you through painting outdoor scenes in plein air. The opening virtual class will cover supplies, equipment and tips to paint outside. Ruth will announce the first assignment that each artist will complete during the week. The assignments will be discussed “conversation style” at the beginning of each session and then students will progress to the next topics listed below. Artists are encouraged to work in a painting medium such as watercolor, oil, acrylic or pen and ink.

We also have workshop offerings for children! Our teen instructor, Spencer Scharf is offering two workshop… A Dragon Trophy Workshop and a Tiki Mask Workshop…. In the dragon workshop, join Spencer as he takes you through his paper mache dragon trophy step-by-step. Spencer will be able to interact with you through zoom so you will be able to follow along AND ask any questions you need to create your masterpiece! With his Tiki Mask Workshop, Spencer will takes you through his cardboard Tiki Mask step-by-step. Spencer will be able to interact with you through zoom during this workshop, as well.

There is plenty more where that came from so I encourage you to check out our class listings on our website and Facebook and sign up for a class today- don’t let this pandemic stop you from getting creative. Studio 23 has got you covered- we’ll help you get creative while you’re being safe!

 

I hope you all enjoy your holiday weekend and I hope to see you (virtually) very soon!

Autumn Reyes

Education Coordinator

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Posted 15 May 2020

Curator’s Clipboard: Art in the World of Zoom and Beyond

 

This past month has been filled with new types of art happenings being produced in virtual formats. Facebook live, Instagram stories, Zoom meetings, fill up the days working from home and keep us connected to artists and art lovers. We are all getting very familiar with the protocol of talking to a group of mini boxes filled with friends. We stop and start, mute and unmute, schedule and show up to all sorts of art-related viewings during our days. The content branded with the #studio23onthego and #makeartvirtual grows daily and if you viewed each offering, I feel you become an artist through osmosis.

I have been blessed to know many artists in my life and I find them extremely generous to open their hearts, homes and studios to the art audience. Our virtual studio tours have proved to be very popular Facebook live events. This past month we have had two tours in our Great Lakes Bay Region. Open studio tours have always been a popular road trip happening but in this day and age we adapted with the next best thing-Facebook live tours. Productions such as this can be filmed using an iPhone or iPad, a password clearance to go directly to a page and just a bit of rehearsal to set the timing and sound.

Our tour with Misty Grumbley started with her and her cat on the beautiful landing of her Victorian home in Saginaw. Misty is one of our 50 Artists of the Great Lakes Bay Region. As if we were there in person, she graciously toured us through the home, taking time to point out cherished artwork from artist friends she has studied with or been taught by. Her warmth and poise made me feel as if we would sit down for tea at any moment and when we entered her dark room and studio I wanted to hear all the details of her creative process. Many viewers were privileged to view live that afternoon and now you can access that same video on our Facebook page and leave comments.

  

Our second tour takes us to an historic farm near Bridgeport, Michigan. This farm and studio tour was hosted by Doug Barron and Brian Goff. They are both part of our 50 Artists of the Great Lakes Bay Region and they work in oils on plein air and studio paintings. We start in their elegant parlor/studio filled with wonderful paintings and they both shared their painting process and concepts. The organization of the studio space was very impressive to me as it seemed every canvas, brush and tube of paint was positioned for easy access. In other words every item had it’s place of honor near the easels. Once outside, Doug and Brian took turns filming the tour so we had the sense of walking across the farmland and we could enjoy the gardens and outbuildings. What a wonderful way to escape while still being tucked away in our homes. The wind was blowing, the sky was blue and it was a refreshing way to spend time together. Many flowers and plants were identified along the way. The big trick up their sleeves at the end was a surprise visit with their chickens from the coop.  Delightful! You can check out their video on our Facebook page and even leave comments with questions.

We look forward to bringing you more virtual events in the future as well as anticipate the day we can gather at Studio 23 again. Some items on the horizon include artwork displayed in our large gallery windows as part of our “Walk-a-bout Gallery for sidewalk shoppers walking the neighborhood and our Painters and Potters artwork inside starting July 9, 2020.

We are part of the Smile program with Amazon. Please think about this as you are shopping this spring and summer. All you have to do is go to smile.amazon.com and select Studio 23 as your nonprofit charity organization. Thank you for all you do for our art center!

Kind regards and Stay Safe,

Valerie Allen, curator

 

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Posted 8 May 2020

Have a marvelous May with Studio 23!

Hello Everyone!

Can you believe its May?! Since the #stayhome order it almost felt like time was inching by, but now I sit here and type wondering how it is May already? A lot has changed in our world, but I believe that the importance of art remains relevant. We have seen authors read their famous books, actors perform on zoom and art lessons through video chat. Our art world has adapted to make sure we can still serve our community. To us, we need art just like we need fresh air! I hope that you have had time to enjoy our videos on Facebook. Now all of these videos are available on the home page of our website! No more worrying about not have a social media account, you can enjoy them anytime on our website.

Studio 23 is lucky to have the great staff we do. We knew to adapt quickly and now we are excited to announce virtual classes and a Craft Bar pick up.

Right before the order was put into effect we opened our Craft Bar. A place that you can pick up an art project and have the steps written out for you. It is the perfect thing to take home! Our directions all have step by step pictures, making your art experience stress free and fun. Visit our link to reserve your art packet from the Craft Bar! We are offering a pickup day and we will bring the items out to your car.

We have two virtual class opportunities that you will enjoy. Our first is an online critique session with artist, Armin Mersmann and our Curator, Valerie Allen.

Join Armin and Valerie for a relaxing conversation about your art.

This virtual conversation and critique on your work of art will be Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Armin and Valerie will discuss the possibilities and “what if” solutions for each selected piece. At the end of this two-hour program, you will learn about overcoming specific challenges and discover new perspectives on your creative process.

Space is limited for this paid event. Each artist may submit one selection.

$10 per Studio 23 member and $15 for nonmembers.

 

Paint Your Neighborhood with artist Ruth Howell. 

Ruth Howell is known for her plein air paintings and now she is offering a three week session for you! This will be a virtual class, where you will meet online with Ruth to receive the assignment and demo. After each session you will have a week to go out into your neighborhood safely and create your painting.

There will be an information session held for this class on May 14th at 6pm. Information on this will be posted very soon! After the information session the dates will be posted on our website for easy sign up.

A HUGE thank you to everyone who supported us on Give Local Bay!

We raised $3,014 dollars for our Art Advocate Campaign and operational funding. Didn’t have the chance to donate? Visit our donation tab on our website and make a difference today!

 

As the new #Stayhome order is until May 28th, we are hopeful we can open for you soon. Plans are being made to open in June and we will keep you updated.

For now, we hope you will join us virtually and please keep creating. 

Sincerely,

Tara Welch, Executive Director

Studio23.Executive.Director@gmail.com

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Posted 4 May 2020

Supporting local artists and art education.

#GiveLocalBay is tomorrow!

Studio 23 has continued to make the arts accessible to all during this #stayhome order. Our members and donors like YOU, help us continue our mission. You can make a difference tomorrow and donate to help us reach our goals. The funds raised will support visual art education, local artists and daily operations.

In 2019 we:
– Offered visual arts education to three elementary schools
– Created with over 2,100 children
– Hosted over 5,900 people in our galleries
– Hosted 50 Artists of the GLBR and awarded over $3,000 in cash prizes

We need your help! Please join our campaign and help us reach our goal of $5,000! We need you to tell your friends and family members about the important work we do and ask them to join us in helping to make a difference. Read below to hear from a local artist!

Get ready to give! On May 5th, starting at 12AM on May 5, visit https://www.givelocalbay.org and make a donation to us and/or to any of the great participating nonprofit organizations in Bay and Arenac counties. You will have 24 hours to make your donation, and all giving will end at 11:59PM on May 5.

Questions? If you have any questions or would like more information, let us know. Thank you in advance for your generosity to our organization!

My name is Katrina Rae, I’m a pastel artist. I reside in Frankenmuth, MI. I’m honored and humbled to have been one of the artist chosen for the 50 Artist of the Great Lakes Bay Region. I’m tremendously honored to have received the Award of Merit Peoples Choice Award, in the company of so many talented and gifted artist, for my piece, Thailand Tree Frog.

What this award has given me is encouragement to continue with my current artistic direction, to evolve and grow. Receiving a peoples choice award is exciting, due to being chosen by the people. The monetary addition to the award is aways a pleasant financial boost. Winning a monetary award helps aid in the purchase of supplies and entry fees needed for the next project or exhibition. The project I was able to fund with my prize money, is a series called Street Stings, this is my entry for ArtPrize 2020, held in Grand Rapids, MI. This was a large piece requiring additional pastels, wood, and insulation board, which is my painting surface. Additionally, I was also able to purchase materials needed to build a crate used for transporting my paintings.

I’m proud to be a member of Studio 23/The Arts Center, with Curator Valerie Allen. Studio 23 gives artists visibility and education, through their various events, classes and exhibitions. I’m also grateful for those who continue to support and sponsor the arts, and local art centers like Studio 23. The arts are such an important and vital part of our community.

Being a part of this exhibition has been a wonderful experience, and I look forward to more events and exhibitions in the future.

– Katrina Rae, Local Artist

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Posted 30 April 2020

Making art accessible to all!

Studio 23/The Arts Center has been closed since March 16th. Since that time we have been focusing on online content for all of our members and community. Have you seen our live videos on FaceBook and Instagram? Make sure to visit our pages for FREE family art projects, artist tours and demos. A special thank you to all of the artists who are supporting us during this time.
Every Tuesday we release our weekly schedule. Check it out below to follow along with us! 

Give Local Bay!

The annual Give Local Bay campaign is May 5th! Just a few days away. We participate with the Bay Area Community Foundation every year to help build our endowment fund. This endowment fund helps ensure the longevity of Studio 23.

Did you know that we celebrated our 60th Anniversary last year? We made a commitment to make it another 60+ years and you can help us do that!

On May 5th you can make a difference and support Studio 23 financially. Why support us on May 5th? With every donation there is a $25,000 matching pool that we have the opportunity to earn from. That means your $100 donation could potentially be a $110 (or more!) donation to Studio 23.

Help us win a contest! 
Social Media Mavens: The organization with the most votes by 3 p.m. on Monday, May 4 wins. One vote per person. The poll is live, and you can start sharing the link with your followers, friends, and family: https://form.jotform.com/201123450911036

Calling all coffee lovers!

Populace Coffee is supporting local businesses. Purchase your Studio 23 bag of coffee and a portion of the sale will be donated directly to us! This will help support our mission of making the arts accessible to all.
https://populace.coffee/products/studio23

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Posted 24 April 2020

Art Education During a Global Pandemic!

What a crazy few weeks it’s been! As we all try and deal with the trials and tribulations this pandemic brings us, art studios and galleries across the country try to figure out their next steps. The first thing we’ve come to figure out at Studio 23 is there is a new “normal” for the foreseeable future. To keep with social distancing guidelines and to help keep everyone safe, we’re moving to virtual classes. It’s a bit of a change, but we’ve been testing the process enough now to know it’s very conducive to teaching and learning art. So, in the next few weeks you will start to see virtual classes and workshops listed on our website. There’s still a few kinks to work out, some classes may require you to pick up supplies from the studio. But, we’re confident it will work out. We are really excited to figure out this new version of art classes and we think you will be, too!

We’ve also decided we’re going to start loaning out pottery wheels to students. The cost will be $100 and you’re responsible for your own pick up. From there we will have a schedule of drop-off dates for green ware that needs to be fired. If you’re itching to get back on a wheel, this is a great way to do that.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns please reach out to me! Or maybe you have a great idea for a virtual class or workshop? Just shoot me an email at studio23.education@gmail.com I would love to chat with you!

Autumn Reyes

Education Coordinator

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Posted 16 April 2020

Curator’s Clipboard: There is so much talent here!

    

Hi! It’s Val, curator of Studio 23!

Hello from my home! I didn’t expect that we would be working from home but here we are. Actually, we are accomplishing quite a bit keeping the arts relevant and accessible to all via the internet. Within a week of the shelter at home order, our team rallied and began a creative stream of social media content that is serving as a source for visual art to bring encouragement, escape and education to the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The hashtags #Studio23OnTheGo and #MakeArtVirtual will now retrieve many informative videos, posts and events. I’m proud that we were in the forefront of joining forces with the Make Art Virtual movement and became part of a coalition with Midland Center for the Arts. This type of connection leads to a strong, robust art community and can only further prove that Mid-Michigan is full of talent!

We have had a few weeks now to refine our Facebook Live event titled, “Live Art Talk and Art Project. This 45-minute segment on the Arts Around the City Rail Trail highlights an art image by one of our 50 Artists of the Great Lakes Bay Region. To date we have featured artists Rosemary Kavanagh, Sally Rose, Sheri Moore, Sylvia Coon, Bonnie Lalley and this week we will feature Josh Roupe.

Here is a sampling of their artwork and we thank them for sharing their talent!

Rosemary Kavanagh

Bonnie Lalley

Sylvia Coon

       Sally Rose

 Sheri Moore

               Josh Roupe

As the curator of Studio 23 and a professional artist, I have been creating artist demonstrations focusing on art materials and techniques. These presentations are inspired by the aesthetic of our featured artists. Since all of this is done live via Facebook, we sometimes have surprises while filming, often many comments from viewers and we are always learning new ways to connect regional artists with our audience.

Another exciting development that came about because of our increased awareness into virtual connections is the formation of our Studio 23 Books on Art Club. We are reading the book “The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith and will be having a virtual Zoom meeting next week. All of these online applications will serve us well into the future and allow us to expand our mission beyond our brick and mortar space! However, we hope that soon our community will begin to return to a new normal and we will see our friends again in the gallery. Until then, please enjoy these images created by Studio 23 member artists during our time of shelter.

a

“Wishing all love and happiness today!” Mark Piotrowski
“Walking through my woods during this time of seclusion, I made a great early morning discovery to paint.” Alan Maciag

Stay safe and keep well, Studio 23 family!

Kind regards,

Valerie Allen, curator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted 27 March 2020

Education at Studio 23

Hello everyone!

Autumn here, your education coordinator.

I just wanted to take a minute to talk to you about all the crazy things that have happened since the shutdown. Like many other places, Studio 23 has had to very abruptly (temporarily) shut down. This made it necessary to press pause on all classes and workshops. In order to keep making arts accessible in our region, we’ve had to shift all education to an online format. We will continue to offer online art projects until we are allowed back into the studio and can continue our programming in person! And you can look forward to even more online content in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns please reach out to me! Just know that we have a ton more content planned and we will continue to bring you art lessons and culture through all of this.

Thank you for standing by us through these trying times. And if you can, please help us continue to bring you art by making a donation through our website. We can’t wait to see you all on the other side of this! Stay strong and keep creating… we will be with you every step of the way!

 

Autumn Reyes, Education Coordinator

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Posted 26 March 2020

A message to our Studio 23 Family…

I hope you are aware that the State of Michigan is under a Stay Safe and Stay Home order. We here at Studio 23 have been taking the mandates very seriously, protecting the health and safety of our patrons.  

A normal day at Studio 23 is bustling with chatter in the classrooms, patrons viewing the artwork, meetings with other organizations, and the excitement of new artists coming in. For now, the galleries are quiet and waiting for us to return with excitement. 

Your continued support of Studio 23 helps make sure that we can teach youth the visual arts in our public schools, host regular programming for all ages, and expose our entire region to the visual arts, making art accessible to all. 

For now, our staff will be working from home until April 14th, when we hope to reopen our doors to the community. We are creating online content for you to view daily on Facebook,  Instagram, and our blog, located on our website. If you would like to create art with your family, join Autumn, our education coordinator, and see what you can create together. If you are interested in learning different techniques inspired by our local artists, join Val, our curator. Then if you want to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, join me, Tara, the director, and learn about Art Around the City. 

We all know how important the arts are. Partnering with Midland Center for the Arts, we are all using the hashtag: #MakeArtVirtual. When you search the hashtag you will see all of the projects, lessons, and talks that both of our organizations are posting.  #Studio23OnTheGo

I hope that during this time at home you will be safe and take care of your loved ones. Create a new painting, create a new memory, take a walk or a run, and, most importantly, take time to reflect. Art can help you with all of these things and more. 

Studio 23 is our family, and we can’t wait to see you on April 14th. 

 

Yours in creativity,

Tara Welch, Executive Director

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Posted 20 March 2020

Curator’s Clipboard: Interview with Bonnie Lalley, Artist/Illustrator

 #Understory #BonnieLalley #MichiganArtist

Hi! It’s Val, curator of Studio 23! It is a true pleasure to introduce artist Bonnie Lalley and her exhibit titled Understory. Bonnie has created 47 artworks for this exhibit. The mixed media pieces range in size from approximately 12″x18″ framed to well over 8 feet. Some are exquisitely framed in custom and handmade hardwood frames by Timothy Lalley, a known artisan in the Thumb area and Bonnie’s husband. Others are installed as if they are vintage tapestries, without a glazing treatment and inviting the atmosphere to age them naturally over time. Such a great concept! I had a chance to ask Bonnie questions regarding her life, her creative process and philosophies and here is the content. I hope you enjoy reading!

Interview with Artist Bonnie Lalley

  1. Please describe the logistics of your exhibit.

Understory is comprised of 47 pieces of paintings on paper. The title describes the vegetative layer that lies beneath the canopy of trees. This title was chosen by Elizabeth Lalley, who, as well as being my daughter, is a curator of contemporary art in Chicago. This title is apt and poetically describes the source of much of my imagery. It is used loosely, as Elizabeth describes it, for I am “under water as much as under bushes looking at things…”

  1. Which is the most autobiographical artwork?

I would have to say Beasts and a Ladyis the most autobiographical piece for reasons only I would know. The “lady” is not me, but, the imagery, the colors—everything—are redolent of childhood imaginings for me.

  1. How do you describe your process? Is it collage? Is it mixed media? Is it painting?

My process is difficult to describe because I feel I have found my voice. I don’t follow any system. The way I work—by painting and drawing images and then cutting and arranging them on a larger paper ground—is very free and unplanned. I am able to move things, change background colors, layer, stencil, etc., in a manner that is fluid, like music. If I call them “collages” it suggests that I use appropriated imagery, which I don’t. I draw and paint everything. So not being able to give them a tidy category has kept me out of a lot of juried shows! (Ha ha!)

  1. You talk about your art being inspired by flora and fauna. Can you tell us more about that and also about your gardens?

My family culture was always centered around nature, whether we were living in Detroit or on my grandfather’s farm. Botany and beauty were important topics of discussion: “Did you see the sunset? Did you hear that bird? Someone saw a patch of Blue Fringed Gentian…” My mother had beautiful flower gardens, and I try to emulate that, but I find it much harder than she made it look! I have English roses that I cherish, but my gardening skills are not so great. I find I would rather be in my studio painting flowers than digging in the dirt. However, hope springs eternal, and I make new promises every year to have the best garden ever! This year is no different (a double ha ha!).

   

  1. I’ve seen your studio space—small, intimate, and, in my mind, an artist’s hideaway. Why does that setting work so well for you?

Because it is near a teapot and toaster. Actually, somedays I kind of long for a few more square feet for really large pieces.  Having said that, I make it work. I love my little studio…

  1. You and your husband are both artist and artisan. Do you often talk about the creative process? Do you inspire each other with ideas and, if so, can you be specific about your collaborations?

Regarding his cabinetmaking and my art, we tend to both be internal. Regarding our house and garden restoration, though, we collaborate on all levels. This we both enjoy, and we recognize each other’s talents and have equal input. The other important collaboration that happens is the framing of my work with his spectacular handmade frames.

  1. If you were to invite an artist to your beautiful home for dinner, who would you invite and what would you serve?

Can I invite three? Or a combination of the three and two of them dead? If I could do that, it would be Mary Delaney, who was an 18th-century English aristocrat who in her 70s developed the style of painting, cutting, and assembling pieces into beautiful botanical compositions. Her work inspired the first piece I did, which was the beginning of this body of work. Next, I would have Maria Sibylla Merian. Born 350 years ago, she left her husband and Holland and with two young daughters travelled by ship to distant tropical countries. She painted some of the most beautiful and best-regarded botanical and reptile/animal illustrations. She was one of the first to understand and illustrate the life cycle of moths and butterflies. I would love to talk to her about her travels and the natural world she witnessed. Finally, I would invite Cornelia O’Donovan, who is a young contemporary British artist whose work I admire. We both have a love of early textiles, so we could talk about that. Her imagery is so freely composed—I really love that.

Oh, and I would serve shrimp and grits with a side of greens cooked in a little bacon fat, a garlicky salad, and gingerbread with orange curd and whipped cream. This is because I just made this for friends and the cooking gods were with me.

  1. What is your art teaching philosophy in a nutshell?

To teach skills and philosophy; i.e., “methods and materials” and “art is important.”

  1. If you were not a visual artist, what would you be?

Hmmmmmmmmmmm—a grower of cardoons in France.

Thank you, Bonnie for sharing your thoughts with us during this time of sheltering! You gave us much food for thought on living your best life as an artist. This exhibit will unfold virtually over the next few days on our website and Facebook page.

The exhibit is generously sponsored by Chemical Bank. 

Thank you for your support of the visual arts in the Great Lake Bay Region.

Stay safe and keep well, Studio 23 family!

Kind regards,

Valerie Allen

Curator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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