I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the parking lot of the Oak Creek Factory Outlet mall, exhibiting my fused glass art at the Oak Creek Arts & Crafts Show, and wound up having an interesting conversation with a budding artist. It was also good to get the booth setup down well enough that, with the exception of a small glitch with the canopy poles, it was a smooth and easy process this time. The picture on the left was taken by my studio assistant Terry on Friday morning after we got finished with setup, while I was taking a break.
An interesting series of events happened during the arts & crafts show that I’d like to share. Around 11:00 Friday morning, a young musician started sawing away on a violin, collecting tips in her open violin case. She popped by my booth in the early afternoon because I had some candy in a dish on the sales desk and she wanted a piece. She commented that the chocolate was a little melted and sprinted off to play her violin elsewhere for a while.
She came back on Saturday afternoon, not looking for candy, rather to talk about my fused glass art. It seemed that this budding artist had made a small piece of stained glass during a kid’s art event and thought it was a lot of fun, and was interested in working more in glass. Apparently, there aren’t any kid’s glass programs available in the area, so she wanted to satisfy her curiosity about how I used the kiln to fuse glass and shape it. There were several special pieces that she was really intrigued by, and those pieces required many more questions and answers before she would let them go. She had a really quick mind and the ability to see and understand how the parts fit together, as well as the time and effort it took to create the final results.
This budding artist lamented the fact that there weren’t any arts classes being taught in school anymore and there were no kid’s art classes available that she could get to, except for an on-again, off-again short (two weeks) summer arts program at the Sedona Arts Center. I asked her whether if there were fused glass classes available for her to take, would she’d be interested? Her answer was a quick and enthusiastic “Yes!” It seems worthwhile exploring whether that might be a niche I could fill after I build the new house and studio…
It’s a shame that school funding is still so depressed in many areas that there aren’t any arts classes available for young budding artists to have a way within the school system to explore and/or develop their talent. Add to that shame the notion that even a well funded place like the Sedona Arts Center can’t keep a kids program going regularly – either during the school year or during the summer – to fill this need. It really would be lovely if SAC and the school system could develop at least some sort of minimalist partnership whereby local artists could talk about art at the schools and encourage attendance at SAC classes by budding artists within the local schools.
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