Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tanzanian Artists Workshop

Well, it's been some time since I was able to write on the ole' blog. There's tons of things to talk about, but will first address an awesome teaching experience.

On October 15, 2009, it was my pleasure to teach a workshop on "Fabric and Words" at the Ohio Craft Museum here in town. This was a special class held exclusively for 14 women artists delegates from Tanzania, visiting the U.S. More on this later. It was exciting when ten minutes into the class the room became filled with these pure in sound voices as the women broke into spontaneous song in order to "get in the mood to create". We ended up painting on carpentry aprons from Lowes hardware(they were inexpensive and provided a good surface for the acrylics we used). I'm always looking for my tools and pencils while working in the studio and often wear a full apron with pockets. When I saw these gems I immediately knew that their 78 cents price tag was perfect.
The room was filled with an "artists hum" as the women exchanged ideas and kept up with the ususal chatter we're good for.

An awesome exchange it was indeed, for several reasons. One how many opportunities do you get to sit and make art with women from another country/culture, right in your own backyard? Secondly,the women taught me the importance of addressing issues of concern through their created pieces, which led to the third point. The important issues that had been swirling in my mind and heart for some time needed to be released and allowed to take form through my art. Here I stood again, thinking it was about me pouring into them but I truly received just as much from my sisters from Tanzania...and I was glad to be able to share that with them!