Going “digital” was how we were supposed to start off the new year, for our January meeting. As some of you may recall, mother nature had other plans and, that meeting was cancelled. So, SOAA Member Mardi Chapman did not present her program highlighting her digital methods of creating art. Well, we are going to correct that programming deletion by having her do her thing in April. There will be ample opportunity for you to see how she works and examine several of her pieces of digital art. Some of her work is strictly digital and some of it is enhanced – making it more along the lines of mixed media.
She has painted this way for nearly seven years now, and says that as she explores this combination of methods, she has more fun with each new painting. Because she has had about 40 years of experience painting portraits, still life, and landscapes, with oils, the transition to digital painting was relatively simple, even though the program she uses, Corel Painter, has quite an interesting learning curve.
Her first exposure to digital painting was from a magazine article about the work of a photographer/artist named Bruce Dorn with pictures that resembled the pastel work of Degas. It included pictures of bridesmaids dressed as ballerinas. That image has been licensed as a design illustration for Canon’s Fine Art Photo Rag inkjet papers. As they say, the rest is history. She secured the hardware and software she needed to pursue a digital path, took a one-day class, bought a collection of digital painting books and magazines, and was off to the races. She’s been painting this way ever since. She has a decent camera and thousands of photos. Each image she shoots for her paintings has already been mentally placed in one of her series of paintings, be that of her old falling down buildings, portraits of friends or relatives, or Native Americans at Pow Wows.
Join us April 7th and see some of her work and learn how she achieves her digital/mixed media output.
Our Guest Speaker program for the month of March will be a presentation by our wonderful friends from Common Ground. They will be here giving us an overview of the services they provide and how ART fits into their programs. They will present a virtual tour of their mission and help us understand just how critical Common Ground and the services they provide are to the community.
Common Ground is a crisis intervention organization that is dedicated to helping people move from Crisis to Hope.
The presentation consists of inspirational stories that get to the heart of Common Ground’s key impact areas: Responding to Crisis, Providing Safety & Advocacy and Building Communities of Support. The stories are delivered through the personal experiences of the agency’s CEO, board, program managers and clients.They promise it will be the best one hour of your day!
The SOAA has established a partnership with Common Ground and over the last several years we do what we can to support their efforts. For members that attend meetings regularly, I’m sure you have probably noticed the box marked ‘Common Ground’ at our monthly meetings. Mike Byrne brings it each month and our members are encouraged to place new or gently used art supplies in the box. Mike then takes any donations to their facility. Since he is a frequent volunteer at Common Ground, it is an easy task.
Common Ground is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people in Southeastern Michigan move from crisis to hope. For more than 40 years, Common Ground has been providing service in three areas: responding to crisis, providing safety and advocacy and building communities of support. Through our many programs, staff and volunteers deliver services in a respectful, responsive and culturally sensitive way to empower people with the tools they need to develop their own path to recovery. Most programs are free of charge and 91% of funding received goes to direct service. The gateway to help is through Common Ground’s 24 hour crisis and resource Helpline (800-231-1127) art supplies in the box, which Mike then takes to their facilities. We also donated $600 to their program in the form of two $300 gift certificates, one each from Michael’s and Utrecht/Dick Blick in Royal Oak. This money came from the door contributions at our Royal Oak Historical Museum show in October.
Common Ground extends an invitation to learn more by attending a free one-hour Crisis To Hope presentation. Find out more by visiting: www.commongroundhelps.org.
Visit Common Ground on Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/commongroundhelps
Our speaker for February, and due to inclement weather, the first one of the year, will be Laith Karmo. Born in Detroit and locally educated, Laith has a BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit (2004) and an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills (2006).
After garnering his degrees, Laith has exhibited in Detroit and New York including his expansive installation, Cultivating Civility, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. In 2011, he was awarded a Kresge Artist Fellowship. He lives and works in metro-Detroit.
Laith has great interest and investment in cultural production. He is observant of the vastly diverse and changing landscape of metro-Detroit in which histories are physically deconstructed and revealed while others are assembled often in faux mimicry. He is also, like his family, involved in food distribution and recognizes the needs of communities through the commonality of edibles and sustainability. His early work explored the re-creation of tools used at grocery stores, the relationship between ancient cities and suburban environments, and the possibility of nomadic existence. In his recent work, Cultivating Civility, Karmo forms an extended ‘cosmos’ of ceramic forms, converging multiple histories and cultures just as Ceramics has over its ten thousand-plus-year history.