June 2014 – Ice Cream Social & Awards

June 2nd, 2014 was the last meeting of the year. With the cusp of summer upon us, the Ice Cream Social, a year-end tradition, was a quintessential cool treat that brought a close not only to another SOAA year, but to a sunny, warm day as well.

This year our Awards Chair, Sue Massucci. organized the evening with some entertaining ‘art games’. Tables were covered with tablecloths of varying colors and the centers were filled with a wide assortment of art materials to work with: pencils, pens, Sharpie markers, colored pencils, watercolor paints and even ink.

Before the activities began, one member nervously commented: “I don’t do art in public.”
“Don’t worry,” replied Sue “I promise this will be fun and relaxing. Hopefully you will be laughing before the night is over.”

SOAA members quickly learned that art can be fun…and funny! The evening began with a warm up exercise called Blind Contour Drawing. For those that have never done it before, it is drawing the outline of an object, without looking at your paper. Your pencil never lifts off the paper. Many members chose to draw still life objects on the table, while others drew each other. Everyone was amused and laughing at the silly results. Members discovered that this technique is a great way to get your hand, eyes, and brain working as one. If you can achieve satisfactory results without lookling at your paper (blind) – imagine how beautiful your artwork can become when you are truly focused!

Next members created Doodle Art. They had free reign of any and all art materials on the table. Members had a lovely time experimenting with color, patterns and designs and creating openly.

Our last art challenge was called Ink Blot Zoo. Members were provided with Ink (Black, Brown, Teal, or Red). After adding a few drops to their paper, they used a soda straw to blow the ink interesting designs. The beauty of blown ink is that you can direct it, but cannot control it. It has a tendency to go and do what it wants to do. After the ink was blown, unique creations were made with pens, markers and watercolors.

All of the artwork was hung on a clothesline and informally judged. Everyone had some laughs about their work and enjoyed the results. They realized that art does not have to be always be “picture perfect” and sometimes trying new thing can be entertaining. After the fun and games, the Awards for Artist of the Month/Year were presented.

Susan Massucci began by pointing out a few facts about the Artist of the Month program this year:
1. 42 individual artists submitted artwork
2. 122 pieces of artwork were judged
3. The SOAA “year” was actually 7 months, because art was not shown during December and we cancelled in January due to snow
4. SOAA implemented a new voting method for Artist of the Year in September and it has been highly effective. Members will have the opportunity to review the results for themselves and understand where they stand.

Several members were not in attendance to receive their awards, but they were mailed to the recipients. A complete list of award winners can be found under the “Artist of the Month” tab of the website.

Joanie Ugelow was presented with the honor of Life Member, for her 25 years of continued membership. Upon presentation of her certificate and flowers, she announced that it was also her birthday. Members sang Happy Birthday and it was a perfect ending to a wonderful evening and SOAA year.

If members have any comments, suggestions, ideas for shows or guest speakers/presenters, please feel free to contact one of the SOAA Board Members, including:

Jacqueline Drake: SOAA President
Mike Byrne: SOAA Vice President
Susan Massucci: Webmaster and Awards Chair

If we don’t see you at Art in the Park in July, have a fun, safe, and creative summer,  The SOAA Board looks forward to seeing and serving you again in the fall.

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May 2014 – Guest Speaker: Maria Oliva Tyra

Maria Oliva Tyra will be our presenter for the May meeting. She is a pen and ink artist and her work depicts… well, you decide. Nature is her inspiration, but some other elements get in there and make her work eclectic, playful and just plain fun! Come and see her in action at our May meeting.Maria Olivia Tyla - pen & ink #1

Maria was born and raised in Clawson, Michigan. At four, Maria told her parents that she was going to be an artist when she grew up. She spent most of her youth creating and drawing. When she packed up and headed off to college she fully intended to realize that four-year-old’s dream. Life, however, happens while you are making plans and the line from there to here is not a direct path.

Maria received and AA in illustration and an AA in advertising design from Oakland Community College but plans to move on to art school were derailed by marriage and motherhood. Divorce ushered in a whole new era. Maria earned a BS in Elementary Education at Oakland University and, timing being everything, found herself promptly unemployed. So after a 13-year hiatus from art of any kind, she turned back to her first love…art. She finally feels like she’s come home.

Maria Olivia Tyla - pen & ink #2

Maria creates unique pen and ink drawing. Her subjects include florals, insects, birds, as well as other natural and some all to unnatural subjects that have a surreal, steampunk-esque flavor. Maria draws purely fro the subconscious. Guided by the muse, the art comes from “I’m too afraid to go poking around in there with a sharp stick, er…pencil…so it seems safer to let it spill out onto paper as it seems fit.” Currently what;s spilling out is circles. All manner of circles.. gears, wheels, buttons, rings and springs… metal things sometimes get wrapped in living biology. A juxtaposition of nature’s creations with humanity’s creations. The artwork that results are surreal still lifes with a steapunk influence which have been occasionally aptly described as “elegantly demented.”

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April 2014 – Guest Speaker: Mardi Chapman

April - black classic meadowbrook_bakGoing “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 April - Clone of Lauradigital 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 April - collage both dogstransition 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 April - The Forgotten IIImagazines, 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.

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March 2014: Guest Speaker – Common Ground

Common Ground Logo

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

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February 2014: Guest Speaker – Laith Karmo

Laith - 01Our 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 - 03

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.

Laith - 02  Laith - 04

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