CCE Instructor Profile: Exploring our ‘intuitive artistic language’ with Nichole Madonna

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Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Do you love painting, drawing, and collage and want to experiment with new tools and materials? This fall, PCA&D is offering a variety of classes taught by our very own Nichole Madonna. Books as Art Objects: Erasure, Collage, and Altered Pages Workshop at Garden Spot Village on September 16; Intergenerational Studio: Ages 11-Adult – Drawing With Movement on Wednesdays starting October 5; and Painting & Collage: Grades 7-9 on Saturdays starting October 8. Madonna is a graduate of PCA&D and we’re so excited to have her back on campus. 

Madonna is from Lancaster and stayed in the city to attend PCA&D, where she pursued her BFA degree with a focus in abstract painting. After graduation, she spent some time in Greenville, SC, making art before coming back to Lancaster to start a family. We asked Madonna to share a bit more about herself and her various courses this fall.

Can you tell us a little about your interest in drawing/painting and your classes this fall?
Nichole Madonna: I think drawing is really accessible to all ages and skill levels, and it gives our hands something to do when we have anxious energy to get out. It can be very mindful and therapeutic. Experimenting with different types of paints (acrylic, inks, watercolor) and tools can be a great way to develop a personal artistic language.

What are you most excited about for these classes?
NM: I’m very excited to guide others through developing their own intuitive artistic language. 

What are some of the most important takeaways that prospective students should know about your class?
NM: Everyone is an artist and art is for everyone!

What is your creative process and what will be your approach to teaching these courses?
NM: My creative process is very intuitive and hands-on. I like manipulating the materials and seeing how far I can blend them. Sketchbooks and color studies feed into image making with a gel plate, which then feeds into my collage work, and back into my altered books. When teaching, I perform demos and show or explain intended projects, but ultimately want the students to use their creative freedom to make personal choices in their work.

What do you think the benefit of having an Intergenerational class is?
NM: Intergenerational classes seem less threatening to someone who may not consider themselves an “artist.” Having different age groups lets participants learn from one another while coming from differing backgrounds and life experiences. Often, the younger group’s willingness to make mistakes and be free in their creativity will inspire the more experienced group to take more risks. 

What do you do for fun when you’re not teaching/working?
NM: I get inspiration from nature, so I like to spend time outdoors near streams and rivers with my kids.