The Workshop – Part 2

Okay, where was I??? Oh, yes, we are in the workshop:

Pretty Straightforward At First Glance...

Pretty Straightforward At First Glance...

Check out the previous post if you haven’t read the description of the form and function of The Workshop yet…

While the activities will be driven by the community of members, and there certainly will be a gearing-up process so that none of us is overwhelmed (myself included!), here’s a run-down of some of the activities envisioned for The Workshop…including, well, lots of workshops (go figure!):

Personal Use of the Workshop

Members will be welcome to use the space at no cost. Guests can pay a fee for the day. A Clutter Credit system is being devised so that whenever someone donates their usable clutter to The Workspace, they will earn credits that can be used toward using any of the donated clutter in their own creations…

I know I haven’t gone into details about memberships yet. Suffice to say that memberships will be a bit like those offered by the Audubon Society, the Museum of Science or the Aquarium…Nonmembers (aka guests) will be welcome. Memberships will have a significant value in terms of benefits provided.

Artist Members will enjoy another tier of benefits that will include use of cubby storage space, personal art-show opportunities and consignment opportunities. This benefit will be particularly worthwhile for the would-be artist who can’t find the space to work at home as well as the dabbling artist who would like to earn an income from his or her work but doesn’t want the headaches that go with owning one’s own space or constantly renting tables at artist and craft events… or to supplement those income streams… Sounding very business-y? Good. An artist’s work is certainly marketable and serves a purpose – bringing joy and beauty into our lives (which I rate right up there with humor!).

Art RePurpose Workshops

To begin with, the workshops will focus on re-using the discarded and ever-growing clutter of beads, buttons, ribbons and more. There will be opportunities to learn about a variety of new art techniques including: Art Assemblage, Altered Book Art, Multi-Media Collages, Trashion, Functional Art, Creative Repurposing of Textiles and More. I am in the process of seeking local craftspeople specializing in these different subjects, willing to share their expertise. Feel free to send such folks my way!

Traditional Art Workshops

While the tried and true art mediums of various forms of painting (from watercolor to oils) will not be our focus, we will be reaching out to area artists, including established art organizations, to come in as guest instructors and provide an introduction to these traditional forms in our familiar setting. While the local artist communities include a wonderful circle of people, their very talent and expertise cause some people to hesitate about getting involved. We’ll bring the experts to our members in a familiar setting to introduce the art concepts at a beginner level. I look forward to partnering with the local organizations (contacting them is on my to-do list!).

Art TherapyWorkshops

I was honored and so grateful to meet with Deborah Moules, Founder and Director of S.A.F.E. Studio, right here in Ipswich… Her work is both humbling and inspirationing to me. Along with several art therapists who work for the non-profit, Deborah serves the North Shore community by providing art therapy to individuals who have experienced physical and/or emotional trauma. I strongly encourage you to visit her site and watch the video clip of a CNN spot that aired featuring S.A.F.E. Studio. During our visit, Deborah shared some advice about leading a mission-driven organization. She also agreed with me that, while many of us are fortunate not to suffer the trauma of those clients served by S.A.F.E. Studio, we certainly do all have emotional baggage from life’s experiences and challenges we have faced. I would love to offer some opportunities for members to experience the benefits of art therapy in a group setting at my place. Spreading the word of S.A.F.E. Studio’s work would be icing on the cake.

Environmentally-Inspired Presentations and Workshops

In addition to art-based workshops, as our community of members grows, we’ll be responding to areas of interest by inviting local experts to visit as guest speakers. Some topics that have already caught my attention include composting, grey water reuse, organic gardening, xeriscaping, hydrozoning, and what it means to be a locavore… If you don’t know what half of these terms mean, good! I haven’t been doing all this research for nothing…There is a world of opportunity and hope out there supporting the fact that we can make a difference for the future of the environment and for our children if we more actively embrace these accessible new concepts (besides which, life-long learning is what keeps our minds sharp…if not a bit overloaded, in my case!). I’ll go into more detail when I create the description of the “ReCycle Wall” part of the space layout. Again, there will be opportunities for learning from and partnering with local experts, in this case, in all things “green.”

Speaking of green, by maximizing the use of the space for multiple purposes, The Workshop further illustrates and exemplifies environmentally-conscious life choices. We’ll be walking the talk, talking the walk, walking the walk and talking the talk…

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough – causing me to divide the post in two! Blame the dreaded Lyme Disease (I know, what’s my excuse for rambling the rest of the year? Blame that on raw enthusiasm!). All joking aside, Lyme Disease is really a very serious concern to those of us on the North Shore and in Ipswich in particular… Hmmm… Wouldn’t it be great to have a convenient, welcoming and caring place to get together with other folks who share the common challenge of dealing with Lyme Disease and, perhaps even more importantly, the common cause to do something about it… Alas, a post for another day…

Until next time, hope you are spending your time well, Nancy


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