Monday, September 28, 2015

Art Is You Minneapolis 2015 with Andrea Matus de Meng

Let me just say this right off:  I am not a fan of art conventions with one day classes.  I find the information comes fast and furious.  I find myself battling the urge to learn something vs. making a really cool project.  Because of this, I made a decision to attend Art is You in Minneapolis this year but to skip classes with my Master, O My Master Michael de Meng.  I cannot make anything that is Michael de Meng-like in one day anymore.

Instead, the concept of this con was to learn how to collage.  The cool thing was it afforded me the opportunity to take classes from Andrea Matus de Meng.  I took on class with Andrea at Valley Ridge and made a fantastic poster collage.  The goal in Minneapolis was to re-visit this skills and try to get ready for my workshop that I will be taking with Andrea and Michael in Italy in 2016.

And...I learned that collage is just as sophisticated as assemblage and I pretty much can't make a collage in one day either.  But that was OK because I had a great teacher for the whole week.

Andrea Matus de Meng

Andrea's art and class samples

The de Meng posse with Andrea and Michael in the front row.
The back row is Lynn, Me, Kelley, Cris and Marilyn.

Art is You was held at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis which connects to the Nicollet Mall.  When I arrived on Wednesday the 16th of September, I quickly recognized the hotel as the local of the Minneapolis Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention.  This hotel proved to be the perfect spot for this con.  The sleeping room was great, the art rooms were great (although a little dark unless you brought a table lamp), the food was great at both our lunches and in the hotel restaurant and it is within walking distance of many fine things (not that we would know because we rarely left the hotel on this trip).

On Thursday the 17th, Andrea's workshop was called Power Play.  Using a birch plywood cradled panel we are using the image of a woman and collage elements to create a work of art.

Andrea calls the process of getting the collage ready "auditioning."

The bare stage.

The first layer.

The next step. 

The final products by the class.

Here is my collage.  It is not done yet but Andrea gave me some great suggestions for the final touches and I will get to them soon (yeah...right).  

Thursday night we were able to take a special event class with Michael de Meng called Dirty Rotten Eggs.  The idea was to use the provided plastic Easter egg and Aves Epoxy Clay to make a figure.  I did get my figure put together that night but the painting came later.  My effort is called Maynard the Dirty Rotten Egg.

Everyone had a great time that night as most of the attendees seemed to be in the room having a ton of fun.  

Friday morn I had time to take a walkabout the area around the hotel.  It never ceases to amaze me that practically every place I go with my camera I can find art if I just keep my eyes open.

Marilyn Werst led us to this place for breakfast one day and it is a great Twin Cities restaurant.

On Friday the 18th September Andre's class was called In Your Face.  We used stencils in a workbook to create multi-layered works of art.  Although this class was fun, I am not sure stencils are a thing I want to work with except on a very limited basis.  The work was so fast and furious that I did not take any process photos.

Friday night was a shopping event called Art Trunk. I managed to buy some assemblage goodies.  Perhaps the coolest thing was I made a connection to Lorraine Reynolds who is an artist, teacher and on the board at Shake Rag Alley in Wisconsin.  She appears to be just what Shake Rag needs to get a more national level to their education offerings.

On Saturday 19, Andrea's class was called If Eye Only Had a Heart.  Here we used a kit that Andrea provided to make a necklace pendant.  This class was as close to my heart as possible and I was really in my groove learning this technique.  I decided that instead of my jewelry I would make an assemblage and I am very very very happy with the final product.

Here are the projects from my classmates. 

On the last day, Sunday the 20th, Andrea's class was called Mental Blocks.  We used small blocks of wood to create collage very much in the spirit of free association.  Some of the techniques from Thursday also applied and I was comfortable today after having the Thursday class.

Two of my Mental Block both of which need some work yet.

Art is You is planning on returning to Minneapolis in 2016.  I plan on attending if the right workshops make themselves available.  The organization and presentation of Art is You makes it well worth the money.