Are you an artist but don’t have your own space to work on your creations? The Guided Open Art Studio, a pilot project implemented by the Roundhouse in the fall of 2013, could suit your needs. The space is basic—large tables, chairs, some easels and two sinks—but there you can refine your skills and explore new ideas while you work in a supportive setting.
“There are lots of people in the community who have taken art classes at the Roundhouse and don’t have anywhere to continue making art on their own,” says the art instructor of the community centre, Ian Forbes, who holds an MFA in Painting from the University of Alberta and is there to facilitate, advise and demonstrate. The initiative—not an art class, but an art space—encourages artists to drop-in. The main benefit is to have people inspired to make art and interact with each other.
The studio provides basic drawing and painting materials, but Forbes says the participants can use their own. Besides drawing and painting, the artists have also created some collages, mixed media and Christmas cards. Other bonuses of the project are weekly demonstrations of new techniques and constructive feedback—from the instructor and the peers.
According to Forbes, the most important aspect of the Guided Open Art Studio is the flexibility. In this pilot project, the artists have the opportunity to work on what’s important to them and make a mess. “The secondary function is to give people who are working on their art at home a place and time to get support and feedback,” says the instructor, who also teaches drawing and painting courses at Emily Carr University.
Forbes says that the number of participants in the project is increasing as more and more people become aware of the space. “Also, people taking the art class on Monday evening have started using the drop-in studio as extra class time,” he says. Right now, the Roundhouse has no plans for public display of the work that’s been produced, but you can follow the community centre Twitter page to see pictures that get posted.
Visit the Arts section on the Roundhouse’s Adult Programs page for details about the Drop-in Art Studio or call the front desk.
By Glauce Fleury, Roundhouse Blog Team. Glauce has a degree in journalism. She has worked as a reporter, editor, press officer, and communications coordinator in Brazil. She has just won the Student Communicator of the Year 2013—Award of Excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC/BC). She is particularly interested in the history of the Roundhouse.