Friday, January 20, 2012


The Place to Start Art
In my dining room recently, a Think Tank gathered to consider the mission of the Lexington Art Academy. Cindy is the founder of the art school (please see A Certain Gift, June 9, 2011) and so she was the ultimate expert present. Mary-Louise brought her splendid gift for extracting the essence of an organization and through a wondrous alchemy produced the golden nugget. The question was: what are the goals of the Lexington Art Academy and how does the school fit in with the art scene in Central Kentucky. After some discussion, Cindy stated simply that she views the school as a place to start art. There it was: the essential calling of LAA.

        This rang true for me. Thinking back on classes I have taught so far, a common theme I hear from students is that they are surprised that they were able to successfully create a painting in a medium that they had not tried before. You have to start somewhere! For me, it is very rewarding to help someone feel confident enough to go for it; or in some cases, it is more of a matter that the painter feel free enough to head in their preferred direction. But this is not confined to artistic beginners.  I preach to my students that essentially, every artist is a beginner every time they start a new project. When I paint a tree, I don't think: "I know how to paint a tree."  I am seeing the tree for the first time--or at least that is my goal. I want to see the world afresh and paint from that perspective.  At the academy, there are classes for absolute beginners, but also classes geared for artists of more advanced skill.

       The goal of the Lexington Art Academy is to be a comfortable place to try something new; to start art.  Thanks to Mary-Louise, we got to the heart of the matter. And thanks to Cindy for coming up with the idea and creating the place. Visit and jump right in!

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