Sunday, November 27, 2011

ASiF'S Sculptors' Collaborative & Atelier Style Mentoring Program...

The Artists' Studio in the Foothills (ASiF) is thrilled to announce some very exciting news about the center's ever-expanding program offerings!

The new ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative and Atelier Style Mentoring Program offers a whole new take on fine art instruction at ASiF. Resident Artists Simona Bellini, Deborah Bridges, Jennifer Iams-McGuire and Amanda Paoletti are spear-heading this new direction for programs at the center, taking the student-teacher relationship to a whole new level. The four instructors have been teaching classes at at ASiF and elsewhere for many years... though the intimacy of this program and the ways in which they will be working collaboratively with each other in the space, breaks new ground for all of them.

The new ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative & Atelier Style Mentoring Program invites a small group of two to three intermediate to advanced level students, or "mentees" into their sculpture studio for weekly sculpting sessions, ongoing mentoring and group critiques. "The teachers are as excited to learn from each other as the students are", says Amanda Paoletti, one of the four studio instructors, "The diversity and varied focuses of each of the teachers means that we'll be trading hats from mentor to "mentee" quite regularly... I'm already clearing my calendar in hopes that there'll be room for me to attend the other instructors' weekly sessions!" This new program promises to be an exciting studio environment where teachers and students share new inspiration, techniques and methods for creating sculpture.

In addition to weekly mentoring and critiques the four instructors will share the sculpture studio with their students during the centers open studio hours, working side by side in a tradition of instruction that most resembles the atelier studio methods practiced historically in western European countries.

"What", you ask, "does 'Atelier' mean?" ... Atelier is the French word for "workshop", in English it's used principally for the workshop of an artist in the fine or decorative arts, where a principal master and a number of assistants, students and apprentices worked together producing pieces that went out in the master's name. This was the standard way of working for European artists from the Middle Ages to the 18th or 19th century, and common elsewhere in the world.

The current "Atelier method" is a form of fine art instruction modeled after the historic private art studios of Europe. An atelier consists of an artist, usually a professional painter or sculptor, working with a small number of students to train them in art. Atelier schools can be found around the world, particularly in North America and Western Europe.

ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative students will receive: 3 hrs weekly mentoring with one of the four instructors, and studio space in ASiF's sculpture studio. The studio will be made available to students during open studio hours, Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm and Saturdays from 11am - 4pm.

The cost for students is $200 per month... this includes studio space. Students are asked to make an initial commitment of three months with one of the four instructors. Student dues may be paid on a monthly basis at the beginning of each month. Mentor-ships with specific teachers may continue beyond the initial three month period... this too will be established based on the needs of participating students.

This atelier style mentoring thing is really catching on...
Inspiration about this style of teaching is catching the attention of many studio residents. Kathryn Wronski, oil painter and vetran resident at ASiF has recently taken on two students or "mentorships". "People have been asking me about teaching for years," says Kathryn. "The one on one format is comfortable for me... I never knew how inspiring teaching could be... it's a mutually supportive relationship that's turning out to be super creative for me!"

This exciting new program is getting so much attention, the word at the studio is that other residents may be taking students under their wings in the near future as well!

Instructor Biographies and "Mentor-ship" offerings...

Simona Bellini...
Simona moved to the United States this year from Switzerland where she is an active member of the Association of Swiss Ceramists. Simona's works, strongly linked and inspired by organic elements found in nature, are mainly developed in clay using various firing techniques. She utilizes armored structures covered in acrylic resin for her larger forms of expression and has a particular interest in creating mural relief forms and modular structures.

The initial focus with Simona's students at the ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative will be in creating ceramic relief forms, organic abstract objects... spheres, cocoons, and other forms... and utilization of pure oxides.

International Students Welcome... Mentoring with Simona is available to students in English, Italian, Spanish, French or German!

Mentoring with Simona is scheduled for 3 hours on Mondays... she is now taking student requests to determine the times that will work best for her students.

Deborah Bridges...
Deborah is an award winning sculptor of stone, clay and bronze. With twenty five years of experience sculpting professionally and teaching the art of figurative sculpture, she keeps her attention on the inner depths of being, keeping her work fresh, honest and authentic.

For the ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative Deborah will teach figurative sculpture using techniques she's developed over her many years of working with the figure in various media. Using ceramic clay, Deborah will demonstrate techniques that express the evocative nature of the face and natural movement of the body.

Three hour mentoring sessions with Deborah Bridges are scheduled for Wednesdays. She is currently taking student requests to determine the times that work best for her students.

Jennifer Iams-McGuire...
Jennifer is an award winning member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists. She sculpts using mosaic surface treatment over sculptural forms made of cement and recycled materials as armatures. Her large scale 3-D Mosaic sculptures are known for their humor and playful use of scale... for example a tea-bag scaled up 250 times life size!

While the sculptural aspects of her work will be the focus of her offerings and expertise at the ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative, the art of mosaic surface treatment will be an exciting additional option for her students! Mentoring sessions with Jennifer are scheduled for Tuesdays from 10am - 1pm.

Amanda Paoletti...
Amanda is a ceramic sculptor with a great appreciation for the expressive nature of the human form. With twenty five years experience working with clay, her teachings at the ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative will focus, not on the figure, but rather on technique and methods for building large scale sculptural vessel forms without the use of armatures. Combining age old methods of coil pot making and slab form building, she works closely with students guiding them through the process of discovering their own styles and personal paths as artists. Mentoring sessions with Amanda are scheduled for Thursdays from 11am - 2pm.

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