Yamming and Jamming…

February 25, 2009

 

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Sunday after church we had a YAM session.  YAM stands for Youth Art Ministry, and when we have a day we call it a YAM Jam!  My friend Karen and I started the group several years ago.  We wanted to use our own unique gifts to contribute to the Youth Ministry.  It has gone really well, and the teens really seem to enjoy it. 

The kids themselves are like blank canvases.  So many of them have never really done art projects before.  Karen and I like to break rules and shake things up, so I think that surprises them.  We stress that many rules in art are meant to be broken, that there really aren’t any mistakes.  We want them to have fun,  express themselves and get a chance to laugh, gab and learn something new.

We have done altered books, acrylic painting, collage, wire work, creating with corrugated cardboard, duct tape celebration, tattooed clothing, and more.  We like to play lively music and really listen to the kids.  They have a lot to share, and they have ended up teaching us a lot, too. 

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The above shirt was made by Tim, our Youth Pastor, who encourages us and makes it all possible.

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Creativity unleashed!

January 29, 2009

Yesterday my friend Karen and I took a day off because we had to go pick up some artwork from Peninsula Art School in Fish Creek, WI.  What a great day we had!  A short ways into the ride over, which takes about 2 hours from home, Karen suggested I start writing things down because the inspirations were flowing fast and furious.  It’s like that with “kindred spirits,” and Karen and I have always been that.

As we drove up the Door County Peninsula, we started brainstorming some ideas of things we’d like to do, and on the way back home we ended up dreaming about that gallery we’d like to have someday – a place for artists to work and show their work.  Neither of us is anywhere near a place in our lives where that could happen, but we can dream.  And yesterday was a day for dreaming.

Even with sub-zero temperatures, the drive up the Door Peninsula is exhilarating and stimulating.  I love to see all the unique shops and galleries.  It is an artists dream!  Even though most shops are closed for the season, the promise and potential for inspiration are still there.

The kind of day we had yesterday don’t happen very often, unfortunately.  Jobs, families and responsibilities prevail.  That’s what made yesterday special for Karen and I both.  It was a chance to let our inner artists come out to play.

Karen's lighthouse mosaic
Karen’s Lighthouse Mosaic

My friend Karen and I are a riot together.  I posted about an Artists in Residence day that we both participated in, and I realized she would make a great post herself.  Karen’s business is named Re-Creations Mosaics.  She used to be a successful decorative painter and very much in demand, but the stresses on her body were getting to be too much, so she sold that business. Now she channels her artistic urges into her mosaics, and they are something.  At first she was timid about showing them to people (she still gives away more than she gets to galleries!), but I talked her into doing a show at the Peninsula Art School in Door County, Wisconsin (specifically in Fish Creek) and they both sold, which blew her away!  I wasn’t surprised because I know how great her work is.  She has started to show them more, and I keep encouraging her to do more, because they are wonderful.

She and I have been friends since the fifth grade.  We were both crazy artist types, and we were the bane of Mr. Jones’ art classes.  I know he loved us, but we couldn’t have been easy to have in class.  We have always been able to inspire each other, and we sure have fun while we do it.  We try to get together regularly to do art projects, sometimes it’s jewelry for me and glasswork for her, but most of the time we try to paint, or collage, or some other medium.  She and I also are the leaders of our church Youth Art Ministry (YAM).  We get a group of the junior and senior high kids together and go crazy.  We call these YAM jams. 

Karen does her mosaics in much smaller pieces than I’ve ever seen – they are literally paintings done with glass pieces.  The detail and color is fantastic!  She typically does them on old salvaged windows (some from my old house), but sometimes she finds cool old frames and uses those, too.  Her creativity is contagious.I am working on her to get a website and Etsy account, etc.  For now I will just brag about her on mine.  The pictures don’t do her work justice, but I hope you can get the idea.

Sunflower Mosaic by Karen

Sunflower Mosaic by Karen

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