To continue with the theme of music, which seems to have graced our blog lately, I shall quote Nietzsche, who once said, “Without music, life would be a serious mistake.” Yes Nietzsche, and without music, artists would be stale. Stale like a crouton.
Acknowledging the profound impact that music has on art making, we have transformed an old ghetto blaster into a magical-music-box which carries tunes across our outdoor studio. Andrew painted would-be-knobs and controls onto our custom NCM stereo’s control free plywood façade. A radio tuner has a red line permanently parked somewhere around 89.5. As a professed music lover, I assert that this whimsical stereo is a key part of what goes on in the studios. Whether Johnny Cash or Joni Mitchell, our music in the studios allows everybody present to transcend into the same state of mind and bob their heads to the same car-painting beat. It’s beautiful.
When the winds are blowing just right, you may find Lauren and I cutting a rug to a little James Brown in the afternoon. On one such occasion, we were dancing around and making fools of ourselves, which by the way the kids seem to love, and we proclaimed a new rule: “If you want a second piece of clay, you’ve gotta show us a dance move.” Oh boy, did we have fun with that one. Now, as you may know, in the studios we give kids as much clay as they so desire. Upon realizing this, some kids that walk away with fifteen dinosaur sculptures at the end of the day; or even a whole zoo.
But, on this fine afternoon, we wanted some moves. As kids got down to their last dry ball of clay, they would start to squirm around in their chair a little bit and send backwards glances between their unfinished animal sculptures and the crazy dancing studio facilitators. Then they would suddenly jump up, do the funky chicken, receive their next supply of clay, and sit back down. Easy as pumpkin pie. One little girl got up to come dance with us. Oh boy did she dance. She twirled and spun, and demonstrated all of the angelic arm motions she had learned in ballet. She continued to dance while other children preformed single dance moves and went back to their seats with new clay. After about twenty minutes of twirling, her mom smiled and called out from her seat at a table, “I think she wants some clay.”
Ah! To my chagrin our petit ballerina’s twenty minutes of twirls had an objective besides just twirling for twirling’s sake! I apologetically handed her some clay, and she too went back to her seat to finish her sculpture.
As an artist, I love bringing narrative into what I make. Music allows action, which allows narrative, which allows for an interesting product. So please, join us in our outdoor studio for art making to music, and discover the inevitable impact that our tunes will have on your experience of art making.
—Lindsay Preston, Studio Facilitator