It’s mid October at the Arts Council, and naturally, every person that comes in is raving about ArtPrize and asking if I made it to see this painting or that sculpture at UICA or the GRAM or that restaurant on the corner of those two streets. And the answer is no.
No, I didn’t make it to Grand Rapids once during ArtPrize this year. I work at an arts organization in West Michigan, and I didn’t go to ArtPrize. Isn’t that a crime? I should probably be arrested.
I have reaons though — I promise! This is only my second summer in Michigan, and I’m just now getting used to the craze that is ArtPrize. I’m also in my first year of full-time work, and life is busy. Between work, friends and family I haven’t had a free weekend in months.
I know I’m not the only one — I’m sure there are other Hollanders and West Michiganders (those are the technical terms, right?) who didn’t make it to ArtPrize this year. Kids sports every weekend? Family in and out of town still? Last minute walks on the beach with the fall colors? I’m sure some of you have missed ArtPrize for one reason or another.
Or maybe you went to Grand Rapids, but did you see all the artwork? Or saw it, but it was only through a sea of heads, weaving in and out of people, getting shoved and stepped on? That’s what I thought.
I have one word for all of us: RePrize. You’re welcome.
RePrize will open in December — watch our website and the blog for more details about the artwork and Lakeshore artists that are being represented.
“To not feel like you don’t have to be limited to just one way of doing things. That’s the beauty of being an artist — you can reinvent yourself.”
Remember that food or drink you always thought you didn’t like? Maybe it was quiche, kiwi or wine. But one day someone encouraged you to try it again… You loved it. It opened up a whole new world of taste and flavor! How could you have been missing this?
That’s how coffee was for me — but more importantly, that’s how printmaking was for me. When I first took a class I hated it. The instructor, prompts and work I produced left a bad taste in my mouth. Two years later I had to take it again to finish my degree; this time, however, I had a new professor, new inspiration and a new series of editions that left me begging for more.
For me and countless others, printmaking is the medium that clicks. The vision, the process, the plate and the ink all come together to perfectly convey the idea.
That printmaking class re-formed me as an artist — I was reinvented.
Now, to my elation, the Arts Council is offering a series of workshops on different forms of printmaking — the perfect opportunity for you to reinvent yourself as an artist.
Maybe you’ve been working with the same medium for years, and the idea of stepping out at this point is intimidating. But the truth is that learning something new will expand the skills you have in your own medium and expand your creativity. One printmaker in Seattle encourages artists to “learn every process you can and learn how to combine those processes.”
Or maybe you’re like me. You’ve tried watercolor, oil, charcoal and pastel, but none of them have worked to express the idea or image or story you’re trying to convey. Bring your skills in painting, drawing and photography to this new medium. Experimenting with it will give you new layer of expression, and it just might click for you too.
Art is about exploration and experimentation. Printmaking is one way to explore. It is a hands-on craft that values the creative process — a real way to sink your fingers into art. You’ll find surprises happen — call them happy accidents. The contrast of the clean finished print and the messiness it took to make it will reward and satisfy.
The beauty of art is the endless possibilities. The beauty of being an artist is that you can change, adapt and grow your whole life. So why are you waiting? Reinvent yourself.
Holland Area Arts Council, Communications and Operations Manager
When the Holland Area Arts Council was just beginning, -- before we even had a building -- the organization leaders started a newsletter called Artline. In the spirit of our rich history, the Arts Council's new blog is titled Artline.