Kentuck artists in residence to host classes in respective methods

Kentuck artists in residence to host classes in respective methods

By Olivia Stover | Contributing Writer

Kentuck Art Center's Artists in Residence will teach classes incorporating elements such as paint and paper; golden, dewy honey shining through a honey bear bottle; and the smell of Yucca flowers floating through the room.

The Artists in Residence classes will take place from Monday Oct. 23 through Friday Oct. 27 at Camp McDowell. Several Kentuck artists will be teaching classes specific to their form of art to adults of all ages throughout the week.

One artist, Jayne Morgan, will focus on oil paintings. Morgan’s class will paint reflective objects such as dishes and trailers. Prospective students are encouraged to bring their own items so everyone can paint different things. 

The main painting class will focus on one of Morgan’s favorite things: honey bears. 

“Honey bears remind me of my dad and eating dinner as a family since we always had a honey bear bottle on the table for dessert,” Morgan said. “Honey bears represent a big, happy family for me, and seven years later I still love to paint them.”

Morgan first discovered her passion for art when her mom took her to a Kentuck Art Festival when she was in sixth grade. Morgan immediately became excited and continued to go every year. 

“I remember thinking, ‘I want to do this,’” Morgan said. “I thought it was the coolest thing ever to be an artist.”

Now, Morgan works on up to 40 paintings at one time. All these paintings are in different stages with different layers. 

“I can only work on a painting for an hour at a time before my brain goes to the next thing,” Morgan said. “So I let it sit and move onto another painting.”

Morgan and her students will bring honey bears to life with oil paintings, while Will MacGavin teaches his students how to build and play their own didgeridoos.

MacGavin will be teaching the course “Didgeridoo from Scratch” where students will build their own didgeridoos from Yucca flowers. Yucca flowers grow in the deserts of MacGavin’s home state, California. 

“I’m excited to teach the students about the history of the didgeridoo and the different ways didgeridoos are involved with environmentalism, culturalism and scientific analysis,” MacGavin said. “I usually teach about environmentalism and different cultures to kids, so now it will be fun to teach the same material to adults.”

MacGavin began building and playing didgeridoos nearly a decade ago when his sister was gifted one from Australia. He could not afford to buy one, so MacGavin made his own from fallen tree branches and plywood. 

“By building my own didgeridoos I understood how to play them better and it just came very naturally to me,” said MacGavin. “I’ve probably made around 200 to 300 now.” 

A third artist, Theresa Disney, will teach a class about art therapy and how to use it to relax.

“This class is all about being loose,” Disney said. “Nothing can let you release like playing with color can.”

Disney has been with Kentuck for around a decade but has been an artist for 35 years. She sold her first painting in high school and has been able to support herself as an artist ever since. 

“I feel so blessed and I hope people can see that in my art,” Disney said. “I try to show people that there isn’t a right or wrong way to create art and that it’s all about freedom.” 

Students in the class will participate in paint-dancing. This is a group project where each person will have a color and dance around a large piece of wood or paper. The students can freely paint wherever and however they choose, and when it’s over, they will find a way to make sense of it. 

Disney’s class will also be working on small and large paintings. No canvases will be used – only wood and felt paper. The felt paper is used so students can take home a painting and have the experience. 

“I can’t wait to see what they create,” Disney said. “Everyone is so different and it’s just so fun to see what they come up with.”

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