by Cristina Zinnia Galliher
When we share our story with you about Artful Gathering and the wonderful instructors and attendees who join us each year, we have to first start this story at the beginning in order for it to truly make sense.
People create art for many different reasons and to accomplish different goals. We know that what makes art matter is that it lets us be who we are. We know that no matter how much we learn we want to fly with both wings outstretched and let loose our creative self. That self is usually the most playful, the most childlike, and the most natural part of who we are. But when we create, we instantly want to censor that inner child inside of us and redirect our attention to things like organizing our closets, or cleaning out the garage or something more responsible sounding than wielding a messy paint brush. If we are lucky, we get a grip on this notion that chores are a better use of our time, and we let the clothes sit on the floor a little longer and we let the garage get a little dustier, and we get ourselves doing what really feels good and fills us with natural energy-creating art!
Now if you are like me, you might need a while to get yourself centered, to get the juices flowing and shake off those serious thoughts rattling around your head. For me, once I sit down and start creating, well it’s all playtime and all work at making playtime work for me. That is the story of the yearbook, in a round about way. Our yearbook reminds me that we marched to our own tune and created a whole lot of beautiful art at Artful Gathering, and it is nothing short of awe inspiring.
Last year, our 2014 photo gallery was bulging with photos of your workshop projects. One photo after the next was displayed by classmates highlighting just how creative each of you are. We love seeing your work and we decided it was time we published our own Artful Gathering Yearbook. Marching, as we do, towards making Artful Gathering enriching and fun, we did it. We created our first yearbook!
(left: created by Francesca, from Lyn Belisle’s workshop, Artful Faces)
That is not all we did. Our 2014 instructors worked right along side you to get those lessons shared in detail and they are so proud to see how you followed along on parts of the lessons, and how you went your own way with other parts. Artful Gathering staff wanted to capture this and so we decided to choose our very first “Cover Artist” for our very first yearbook. This wasn’t easy to do because every photo in our gallery shouted out to us in some unique way, but we could only choose one and we decided on Sherry Matthews’ art doll from The Imaginarium class with Mary Jane Chadbourne.
Sherry designed her art doll with a wonderful saying that reads, “March to Your Own Beat.” We love that saying because we want our event to inspire you to do just that. It is why Artful Gathering staff works round the clock all year preparing and planning our schedules and classrooms and our private event website. We get you, because you get us, and we love marching to our own beat too! Kudos to Sherry for inspiring us to strut our own stuff. (right: created by Marilyn Adams, from Diane Cook’s workshop, Romantic Wrapped Necklace)
We hope you will enjoy browsing through the pages of our 2014 yearbook. We are still adding more and more artwork to it weekly. And, if you plan on joining us for our 2015 presentation, be sure to post your finished classwork because you might just be our 2015 Cover Artist!
To turn the pages, just hover and click the arrows, or click your mouse or stylus over the corners.