Oak Street Art members brightened up a winter day with second-graders at the General John A. Logan Attendance Center in Murphysboro on January 22. Led by Oak Street Art stained glass artist Stephanie Dillard, students in six different classrooms learned about stained glass and used colorful tissue paper to make their own colorful window images.
Along with lesson assistant, Oak Street Art metalsmith Sue Gindlesparger, Dillard showed the children illustrations in the book Draw Me a Star by famed paper artist Eric Carle (author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar). Based on the story in the book, the artists asked the children, "Where does art come from? Where does it begin?". Students enthusiastically shared their thoughts about how making art begins with their own ideas and feelings.
Beginning with cardboard-framed waxed paper "windows," students used bits of torn tissue paper to create their own paper collages by using glue-water to attach the paper and also to glaze over the top of the paper bits. Using this technique, the collages, when held up to the light, look like stained glass. Some children chose to make representations of animals, landscapes, planets, people, and other objects, while others created abstract designs.
Dillard and Gindlesparger were also assisted in the classrooms by Oak Street Art members Cathy Schmidt (leather) and Ann Fischer (photography).
Please see photos of creative students below.
Oak Street Art metalsmith Sue Gindlesparger will exhibit her piece, Don't Invade My Garden, Don't Steal My Soul, as part of the Women's Voices: The Need to Create exhibit at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale University Museum.
Below, see an image of Sue's work, along with her statement about the piece in the show, which highlights the work of 23 women artists working in a variety of mediums. Sue made the new piece specifically for this exhibit.
Running from February 3 through March 21, 2020, the exhibit is open to the public during regular museum hours (see poster below). Everyone is welcome for an opening reception on Friday, February 7, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Statement from artist:
“Don’t invade my garden, don’t steal my soul” evokes the feeling of vulnerability and strength. A woman looks out from the window of her soul, and raises a fist in her garden. This breastplate/necklace is a protection piece fashioned in a quilt pattern.
This artwork is about rape and abuse, pain and self-healing. Abuse is a cancer in our
society. The pain that occurs because of it, traps a person’s soul. The breastplate is a
personal defense and a cry for decency. No one has the right to assault another
person’s body or mind.
I created this piece out of brass to simulate gold. Gold is a precious material, just like your soul. I cut the design in each piece, and joined the pieces together with jump rings to resemble chainmail, which is a type of armour.
Led by leather artist Cathy Schmidt, Oak Street Art members worked with local 4-H club students to help them create their own stamped-leather key rings. See photos below.
The children and teens learned about the origins and characteristics of leather as a material, learned how to dampen the leather before stamping, got to select stamps for their own designs, and got to strike the stamps (hard!) with a mallet to emboss the leather. Finally, Cathy assisted them in attaching the final rivet and metal ring for their finished product.
Thanks to Rebecca Needham, Jackson County 4-H Program Coordinator, for hosting us at the University of Illinois Extension office in Murphysboro. Cathy's assistants for the night were Oak Street Art members Sue Gindlesparger (metalsmith) and Ann R. Fischer (photographer).
Work by Oak Street Art member/ceramic artist Darby Ortolano will be on display in the Time and Place exhibit at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. The two-person exhibit also features paintings by Jan Kappes.
The exhibit begins January 12, 2020 in the Regenhardt Gallery at Cedarhurst, with an opening reception Saturday, January 11, at 6:30 p.m. Just before the reception, the two artists will be giving a gallery talk at 6:00 p.m. [Post-script from Oak Street Art: The gallery talk was wonderful. Below is a shot from visitors mingling at the reception afterward.]
According to Darby, her imagery comes from her memories and experiences with nature in the different places she has lived: The tropics of Trinidad, the lush woods of New York State, the beaches of Florida, the tree lined streets of New York City, and the beautiful hills of southern Illinois. Darby says the resulting sculptures are a mixture of these associations along with her intuitive process of working with clay.
For a preview of some of Darby's new work for the exhibit, see photos below and also the online gallery here.
Darby is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, is a former faculty member at John A. Logan College, is a member of the Shawnee Hills Pottery Trail, and has a studio in the Logan Historic Arts Neighborhood of Murphysboro, Illinois.
Oak Street Art