Blog

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.

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“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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Studio 23 Craft Bar Grand Opening Happening Soon!
Posted 28 February 2020

Studio 23 Craft Bar Grand Opening Happening Soon!

Studio 23 is opening a bar!! Okay, before you go throwing your beer mugs in the freezer, it’s not THAT kind of bar- it’s a craft bar! The Studio 23 craft bar is a walk-in, self-service art experience. You can come in at your convenience and choose a project off of our menu and we give you a packet with your instructions and supplies. It seems to me that there are a lot of art enthusiasts in our Great Lakes Bay region who want to come to the studio and create but, the times/days of our classes never seemed to fit their busy schedules. I truly believe this could be the answer to try and fill the niche here in our Great Lakes Bay region.

To start with we will have a handful of projects you can order off the menu and we will also be offering an “ala carte” menu if you want to grab some supplies and really just dive in without instructions. We’ve got everything from painting to felt projects to diamond art to jewelry making. So it really runs the gamut. There is a cost; as little as $2 and as much as $25 per project. We really tried to offer something for everyone both project-wise and price-wise.

 Here is Randy making the Craft Bar!

This is not a one-time event. We plan on making the craft bar a permanent part of our classroom. The grand opening is March 5, 6,7th. We plan on having balloons and light refreshments to celebrate. And will be giving away free passes next week in anticipation of our grand opening.

Part of our mission here at Studio 23 is to make the arts accessible to everyone. We think the craft bar is a benefit to the GLB region by offering a creative experience that works around our increasingly busy schedules.

 

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns you can reach out to me directly by giving me a call at the studio or via email studio23.education@gmail.com.

 

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you all at our Studio 23 Craft Bar grand opening!

 

Autumn Reyes, Education Coordinator

 

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Posted 26 February 2020

Meet our member, Jean & Nancy

Welcome to our next #meetourmember duo.

Jean and Nancy have been friends since they met on the golf course. They both were drawn to pottery when they visited art fairs and first got connected with Space Studios in Midland. Residing in Bay City, they wanted to find a studio close to home and found Studio 23 online. Now they have been creating with us since for ten years!

Inspiration for their functional art is found all around.

First you start with a brick of clay and then create something functional that people can use. This is a reason why they love participating in local art fairs and sharing the story of Studio 23.

Nature in the different seasons, wallpaper, placemats, and craft stores, they can find texture in many places. Just look around and you could find items that they can use for their artwork. Both combine different textures to make their pieces and multiple.

My favorite question is, What advice would you give to someone wanting to get involved with art?

Jean says “Go for it!”. You do not need experience to start a class, just experience the process and learn. She says it is very relaxing and you meet so many people from all walks of life.

Nancy spoke about how eager everyone is to share. Classmates share different techniques and glaze combinations and help inspire you to keep creating. “There is so much talent here”, Nancy says, even after ten years she is still learning.

We have great instructors here at Studio 23 that are happy to help you create.

I added an extra question about what their favorite thing is to make?

Nancy has recently started making succulent planters. They make really great gifts and she states that succulents are kinda hard to kill. I had to disagree and tell her about my bad luck with plants… Although I agree that succulents are wonderful to have in your home! I just need to work on my green thumb.

Jean enjoys making bowls and vases. She does love trying new things with glazing and textures. Her preference is hand building. Jean is always coming up with a new glaze to try and it is so fun to see her new pieces!

There are so many opportunities to create here at Studio 23. If you are interested in joining Jean & Nancy, the next clay session begins in a few weeks. Check out our education tab on our website for all of our offerings.

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Posted 21 February 2020

Curator’s Clipboard: Artists as collaborators!

 #Collaboration

Hi! It’s Val, curator of Studio 23! The artist Robert Rauschenberg has been a major influence in my life since art school. He lived between 1925–2008 and was very prolific in mixed media artwork involving printmaking, painting, photography, and performance art. He led the charge for many collaborations between visual artists, scientists, musicians, dancers and social activists and he strived to promote world peace and understanding. “There is no reason not to think of the world as one gigantic painting,” stated Rauschenberg in 1971. Not only does that quote speak to me of all the possible materials we can use in our artwork but also the big picture of defining collaboration as a complete creative process. Here are just a few of the collaborations we initiated at Studio 23 so far in 2020.

On January 25, Studio 23 collaborated with City Market Bay City for “A Taste of Art” held during the market’s Sample Saturday. Faculty members from our education department demonstrated drawing, painting, printmaking and offered a station for market-goers to do their own mini paintings. I’m happy to announce that this community event was successful and our collaboration will now be scheduled four times a year with the next “A Taste of Art” being on Saturday, April 25, 2020. Below you will see artists from left to right,  Amy Gibas, Julie Tyslicky, Ruth Howell, Deb LaRocque, Misty Coss, all instructors at Studio 23.

              

Studio 23 is collaborating with Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy to present Land to River, an exhibit that features artists in the role of communicators, explorers and environmentalists. Artists include: Mark Bleshenski, Zachary Branigan, Frits Hoendervanger, Erwin Lewandowski, Alan Maciag, and John Sabraw. This exhibit will open on May 14, 2020 at 5:00pm. The topics of conservation, restoration, education, utilization and activation as it relates to over 6000 acres of land in our region will be addressed through the message of visual art with the opportunity for our community members to participate in workshops and environmental events. This exhibit is sponsored by Waste Management.

The Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra and Studio 23 presented Where Art and Music Unite, a collaboration that featured artist Valerie Allen painting to the music of Haydn, Torke, and Copland performed by the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra and led by Conductor Fouad FakhouriThe painting was then auctioned at the afterglow for the evening. The collaboration also included a food drive for Hidden Harvest, a regional organization that strives to alleviate hunger and food waste in the counties of Bay, Midland and Saginaw. 

       

Kind regards,

Valerie Allen

Curator

Current Exhibit:

Teenworks & Kids’ Kreations continues until March 7, 2020

Don’t miss this popular exhibit featuring the young artists of Bay County. The exhibit features over 375 creations by elementary, middle school and high school art students. We have a family-fun scavenger hunt for this exhibit and if you correctly answer the questions you will receive a label. Collect a label from each exhibit in 2020 and you will receive a prize in December. Gallery hours are Tuesday and Wednesday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. We are closed Sunday and Monday.

Upcoming Exhibit:

Understory: Bonnie Lalley, artist and illustrator

March 19 – May 2, 2020

Bonnie Lalley is a full-time artist/illustrator and art professor at Delta College. She lives in the countryside by choice, as flora and fauna are the motifs she loves best. Her 100-year-old home and studio in the Thumb reflect her aesthetic with vintage colors and patinas. There will be large scale collages as well as mixed media works custom framed by artisan Timothy Lalley. 

Artist’s reception: Friday, March 20, 2020, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm 

A Conversation with Artist Bonnie Lalley: Saturday, April 11, 2020, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted 18 February 2020

Meet our member, Leeds & Margaret Bird

Our newest addition of #meetourmembers of Studio 23.

Leeds & Margaret Bird have been a part of Studio 23 since the Little Red Schoolhouse. It all started with a lighting suggestion and then Leeds involved Margaret with the Studio with an exhibit opportunity.

I always have great conversations with both of them and enjoy their company when they attend receptions or events here at the Studio. The first question I asked was about their favorite exhibits that we have hosted throughout the years. One of Margaret’s favorites was when we hosted buddhist monks for a few days at the Studio. She said it “felt like you were in a sacred space while you watched them do their sand art.” It was a great interactive exhibit that you could watch for a few days that changed and evolved. Leeds mentioned our Dali exhibit that we hosted and how people were traveling from all over to see it at Studio 23. They both agreed that they enjoy our photography exhibits and how the community members show their personal artwork at Studio 23.

Close to 52 years of marriage, they have purchased many pieces at Studio 23. The first piece they purchased was before they got married at the Little Red Schoolhouse location. It only cost them $20 and it is a ceramic bowl that they still use today. It is really special that they have created years of memories with their collection of art from Studio 23.

One of Margaret’s favorite aspects of Studio 23 is the focus to collaborate with local art organizations. The more recent collaboration has been with Bay City Players. Both organizations have shown a couple art films to show how fine art and acting connect. During the Vincent film, we set up a photo booth that looked like Van Gogh’s bedroom. Attendees enjoyed being inside a scene from Vincent’s painting. For The Woman in Gold, Margaret hosted a book talk combing literature with art. Attendees were able to discuss the book and the journey of the art piece before they viewed the film at Bay City Players.

(Pictured two film attendees)

Leeds brought up the collaboration with Bay City Players and Studio 23’s art students. Our students helped design and paint the backdrops for the Jungle Book performance. Young students got to experience art with theatre design and see their pieces during the performance. A memorable experience for all.

Their advice for people wanting to getting involve with art organizations?

Just walk through the door. Ask if there is anything to do? Does it cost money? 

It turns our that there is always something to do and it doesn’t cost a lot of money! 

Bay City is full of arts and events. We, here at Studio 23, collaborate with all of the art nonprofits to create a community calendar that shows you the full calendar of events. Copies are available in the gallery for you to pick up today! To sign up to become a member, visit our membership dues on our website or give us a call at 989-894-2323.

 

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Meet our member, Alan Maciag
Posted 11 February 2020

Meet our member, Alan Maciag

Our newest “meet our member” features Alan Maciag, an artist who has been involved with Studio 23 since he was 19 years old. I’m really enjoying these opportunities to get to know our members better and to show the community how you can be involved with your local arts organizations.

We started our chat by asking how his education career related to his art career. Al taught for the Frankenmuth school district, teaching art. During his education he learned many mediums to teach the kids, but as he was teaching he was also getting ideas for his own techniques. As a teacher it was his job to give his students the basics so they could have the skills to succeed.

Reminiscing on how Alan got involved with Studio 23 we ventured down memory lane. The Little Red School house was a memorable experience for Alan. He met local artists that he bonded with and learned from. Artists like, Dr Culver Jones and Don Coates, two original founders of Studio 23. Alan has great memories of working with them and attending receptions with them. The place to be was Studio 23 on a Friday night to celebrate the newest exhibit!

Alan is well known in our region for his style of plein air painting. He originally started painting houses in Frankenmuth, Petoskey and Charlevoix.  He started selling prints to get his name out there. He knew that if people saw his name, they would remember it because it is unique. Now he is well known for his farm scenes and animals. Although he said he doesn’t paint horses, we know him for his cows and pigs! Currently Alan has over 300 paintings in different galleries around the state.

Networking with communities and galleries has really helped Alan’s art career. Social media is one of the most important ways for him to network. Check out his friends list, over 4,000! Social media is a great way to share the newest pieces you are working on and to celebrate when a piece sells. I know many of us love watching Alan’s newsfeed to see what he is working on next.

The advice Alan will give to artists is to find what you want to do. Think about what you know and maybe that will be what you create. For example, Alan started painting the farm scenes with memories of being at his grandparents home in the thumb. Artists should also start looking for groups that do the same medium. A lot of these groups, like us at Studio 23 have collectives and exhibit opportunities that you can be connected with.

When asked about his exhibit that he had at Studio 23 back in the early 2000s he has a very fond memory of shoes. Alan had his first solo show with us and wanted to pay homage to the people that influenced his life. For this series he asked each of those people to send him their shoes and he painted each pair. I wish I had a picture to show you, but I can imagine this scene in my mind. What a powerful statement to see their shoes and know that they made an influence on someone that was memorable. He spoke about how the families still own the paintings that he did, and one family even passes it around the siblings so they all can share the sentimental piece.

#meetourmember sessions are so fun to me. I love learning about why they feel Studio 23 is an important place to be. I encourage you to go out and create! Come to us when you are ready to find your tribe of artists and be a member of our great space.

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