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Center for Creative Exploration building partnership with Garden Spot Village

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Wednesday, February 9th, 2022

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design’s Center for Creative Exploration (CCE) has a new partner in its mission to bring opportunities to creatives of all ages:

Beginning this winter, CCE is collaborating with Garden Spot Village to operate several workshops at the retirement community’s eastern Lancaster County campus. 

In some cases, the class will be open just to residents of Garden Spot Village. In others, members of the public also are eligible to join in. 

Either way, says Colleen Musselman, Garden Spot Village’s Director of Life Enrichment, “Bringing ages and abilities together to encourage and grow, this partnership is a win-win.”

To kick off this collaboration, CCE staff and instructors spent a late-January afternoon at Garden Spot Village’s annual Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, sponsored by the community’s Art Guild. Instructors Matthew Lester, Justin Phillips, and Leah Limpert Walt offered a series of brief artist talks in the community’s theater, and residents were encouraged to stop by the Village Park for informal instruction in watercolors; the opportunity to try out simple printmaking with instructors Lisa Wilson and Abby Saurbaugh; and to review what goes into an artist’s sketchbook. “Engagement and enthusiasm,” Musselman says, “were the two prominent takeaways.”

Natalie Lascek, Director of the Center for Creative Exploration, says it’s been “exciting to explore the growth of our partnership” with Garden Spot Village. 

“Not only does this allow us to continue to engage in creative learning with audiences where they are located, but it also opens up CCE programming to more of our community that lives and works in the Northeastern part of Lancaster County and even Southern portions of Berks County and Northwestern parts of Chester County,” Lascek says. “Many of us want to build our creative skills and knowledge, but we’re not always able to physically access Lancaster City. Our online workshops and classes are a great option for many, but sometimes physically gathering with others to learn and expand our skills is exactly what we need. “

The slate of classes offered by CCE instructors at Garden Spot Village extends through late spring:

 

Instructor Leah Limpert Walt discusses her sketchbook with residents of Garden Spot Village.

Instructor Leah Limpert Walt discusses her sketchbook with residents of Garden Spot Village.

Drawing From Life Workshop

Thursday, Feb. 10, 2-4 pm, open to Garden Spot Village residents 

Explore drawing techniques and materials through the lens of observational drawing. 

Instructor Leah Limpert Walt is a painter and sculptor from York. She studied at the University of Delaware and Moore College of Art and Design, and graduated summa cum laude with her BFA from PCA&D. Her artistic explorations through imagery almost always begin with reflections on both external and internal landscapes. They’re honest evaluations of trauma, mental health, and philosophical ponderings on purpose, meaning, and mysticism tied to those facets. They are the results of a constant effort toward healing, understanding self, and placement of self in the physical world. She has exhibited in New York City; Philadelphia; Bethlehem, Pa.; and throughout the lower Susquehanna Valley. 

Residents of Garden Spot Village and CCE instructor Matthew Lester compare smartphone photographs.

Residents of Garden Spot Village and CCE instructor Matthew Lester compare smartphone photographs.

 

Smartphone Photography

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2-4 pm, open to Garden Spot Village residents

Saturday, March 12, 2-4 pm, open to Garden Spot Village residents and the general public

Learn to take better pictures with your phone. Focus is on composition, color, light, and post-production apps, and on taking better portraits. 

Instructor Matthew Lester is a visual storyteller who loves education. He creates images that capture a sense of place and the spirit and energy of the students. Lester’s photography work focuses on education in addition to freelance work for Mennonite Central Committee. He’s traveled to more than 30 countries to places like Afghanistan to document girls’ education and to Eastern Congo to tell the story of refugees from the country’s decades-long conflict. 

 

Two Garden Spot Village residents work together during a CCE watercolor demonstration at the retirement community.

Two Garden Spot Village residents work together during a CCE watercolor demonstration at the retirement community.

 

Watercolor Explorations

Saturday, March 19, 10 am to noon, open to Garden Spot Village residents

Saturday, May 14, 7-9 pm, open to Garden Spot Village residents and the general public 

Review the basics of watercolor materials, techniques, composition, and color theory. Focus is on creation of two watercolor paintings from photo references using wet into dry and wet into wet watercolor techniques: a good refresher, introduction to the medium or a way to “try it” if you’ve not taken an art studio class before.

Instructor Justin Phillips’ work explores meanings and nuances that are embedded in his formalist mixed media works, where he incorporates elements of drawing, painting, and collage. He employs a range of creative methodologies such as chance elements, intuitive mark-making, conjuring rhythms, erasure, as well as personally established rules and systems. Phillips’ work ranges from drawings created in one sitting to deeply layered works where he explores sustained and deep efforts to form complex and contemplative works. 

 

Top photo: Garden Spot Village residents work on printmaking with CCE’s Abby Saurbaugh and Lisa Wilson. 

 

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