My first experience teaching clay hand-building to adults with special needs (blindness, early stages of dementia, hemiplegia, and MS) was so rewarding that it helped me see the direction I wanted to go as an art instructor. The students' drivers were also allowed to participate in the class. In other words, people from different age groups and abilities jumbled in the class and had fun together, dirtying hands in mud. At the completion reception, the class participants' pieces were showcased. Better yet, they had fun, using them drinking and eating out of the functional-ware they had created.
The students' positive reactions to this first endeavor are now encouraging me to further my teaching skills to guide people like them. Immense thanks to the SD Arts Council and the Rapid City Arts Council for their generous support.
I just completed a 10-day teaching residency at the Suzie Cappa Art Center, where adults with all abilities come to create art. Teaching there has been my dream ever since I joined the Artists in Schools and Communities Program in 2019. As expected, it was extremly fun to work with the special artists. We had no slab roller or fancy glazes, but the outcome of their first attempt in ceramic hand-building amazed me. There are still more than 10 pieces that need to finish coloring, but I shall show you photos of their work I took this afternoon. These pieces will be placed for sale at the art center soon.
This slideshow gives you a quick tour of my side of the joint exhibit called "Life Dimensions / Life Lines." It looks simple, but the curator and I spent 2 days laying out this show. Our efforts paid off. Correct heights of the pedestals, spaciousness around each piece, and lighting seem to have transformed my work. You will be able to see this show at the Dahl Arts Center until August 18.
I was thrilled to see that the gallery was packed with people at the opening reception of my joint exhibit with Darrel Nelson last night. This show was my first steppingstone. I will have to clear numerous more before reaching my goal as an artist, but I felt as if the direction I should go had been revealed to me. Thank you, my friends, for your support.
It has not been easy for me to learn to photograph sculptures. There aren't many tutorials online. This post shows you how I made my living room into a photography studio with very little expenses. Hope this will give emerging sculptors a glimpse of how it could be done.
These are my students' pieces. Thank you, Iva, Dottie, BJ, and Asia, for your enthusiasm. It was a pure delight to share not only creativity, but also laughter and good food in this class. I plan to teach another class like this at Dahl Arts Center next Fall. It will be advertised on EVENTS page of this website and also on Facebook. Please look forward to it.
I've been adding eco-friendly features to my house little by little. This year, I made a laundry pulley over my washer. It not only saves space, but also humidifies the air. As warm air rises, the laundry seems to dry quicker. It is working better than I thought it would be. I'm with a big smile!
Most of my home renovation projects have been completed. I am excited to return to sculpting.
Artworks sometimes manage to find right homes. The sculpture "I Care" certainly did. A couple, bird watchers whose house is located in a bird sanctuary, came to the last American Craft Council show with the intention to find a piece to put in a decorative bird cage (photo). With the lid open, the whole thing signifies more meaning now. "Martha and Co," the wife calls it, is releasing the birds into freedom. I was delighted that a couple, who knew about Martha the last passenger pigeon, acquired this piece. I feel like a mother, whose grown child has just left the nest. Despite my initial worry, I feel reassured that the child will do well in the new home.
Sorry for the dark image, but my booth was well lit. My first American Craft Council Show was utterly exhausting. By the time the show was over, I was speaking in Japanese to an American. My brain seemed to have stopped functioning after being exposed to too many stimuli. It has been a week since the show, and I reflected on the experience. What was the most rewarding to me was the fact that my works managed to provoke profound emotions in people of all ages. For example, when a woman saw SOAR (on the front right of the photo), tears welled up in her eyes. She had never seen a thalidomide survivor portrayed with confidence and hope. An artist, who had liked my works and had asked me intriguing questions, returned to my booth two days later with his wife and a daughter.
I want to reach people's heart with my art. That is my ultimate goal. Business part of the show should not be in the way of my creativity. Deep-breathe, close my eyes, and open the eyes of my heart. People will notice art that has come from the heart. With this lesson in my mind, I will compose new works.
Thank you all for your support.
This is my third year gardening with permaculture method. As my land is small, I try to be creative with its usage, and polyculture (simultaneous cultivation of several crops) is perfect for it. Despite the cool summer we've been having here in South Dakota, most of my crops are thriving. I just love the sense of ethical living that gardening gives me. The best reward of the time-consuming work is, of course, to live mostly off my garden with no worry over consuming pesticides. Today's lunch will be Indian dal served with freshly harvested potatoes. Yummy!!!
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