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Adopt an Artist

I have always been fascinated by the process of creating art.  In college, I had the opportunity to have a studio for my clothing design in downtown San Diego in the second floor of a very old building on 5th.  The studio was in what had been office spaces at the turn of the century, all with windows facing out to the center.  Each space was occupied by an artist, and I could walk by and see them paint with various mediums, sculpt, and do ceramics. I think that’s when I got hooked on watching the creative process.

Years later, when I founded the Spotlight Theatre and School of Arts in Bakersfield, we created a non-profit foundation to provide scholarships so that any student who wanted to study there could.  Foundations, of course, require funds, so I created a fund raiser called Les Femmes Artists.  This wonderful event featured a reception with women artists selling their art, gourmet goodies to eat, and the opportunity for the crowd to mingle with the artists.  Then, the crowd would enter the theatre to be entertained by a variety of women performing artists with talents ranging from opera to Celtic music, from poetry to Shakespeare, from viola to hip-hop.

At these functions, I loved to make friends with the artists.  Some of those relationships I still treasure and their inspiration led me to create this web site.  I visited the studio of Betty Finch, an incredibly talented gourd artist who grows her own gourds and creates amazing assemblages of them.   I hope to feature her on this site.  And I visited Rose Rabinov who does beautiful work with fused and stained glass.  Rose invited me to her studio where I watched her work.  While I was there, she cut a round circle of plain glass and encouraged me to pile scraps of glass she had left into a pattern that she then fused for me in a kiln, then fired it again in a drop mold to create a bowl.  I was amazed!

I’ve learned to ask artists, “Can I watch you?”  This has led to inspiration and breathtaking experiences.  So, next time you talk to an artist, ask if you can watch them work.  You’ll be amazed!  Then be sure to buy some of their work, too!

fused bowl

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