Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Recommended: Make an Effort to Visit the Great Lakes Academy of Fine Art This Weekend

Consider yourself invited to the 2nd Annual Student/Instructor Exhibition at the GLAFA. You'll not only get a chance to see the progress this batch of young artists has made, you'll also get a chance to see the progress the Larsons, Jeffrey and son Brock, have made in renovating the former St. Peter's Church, transforming it into an stellar representation of a classical school for the arts.

I managed to steal a few moments of founder Jeffrey Larson's time to gain a better understanding of where things are at and his vision for the future. The past month has been a whirlwind of activity getting ready for opening doors to the public again.

Jeffrey Larson explains Atelier teaching method.
When you talk with the man, you can tell the senior Larson has a teacher's heart. "It's fun to see the light bulbs go on in these kids' minds," he said. Though he's experienced the "starving artist" syndrome at one time, he's also known what success and achievement feel like. Whereas outsider might believe he's already at the top of his game, he acknowledged that teaching has helped him re-think his own approach to painting, thereby bringing his own work to a higher level.

Before settling on Duluth, Jeffrey Larson envisioned what his ideal space would look like for a school. "Forty by one hundred, two stories, light flowing in from large windows." When he and Brock selected Duluth, it was a serendipitous to discover this former Catholic church building waiting for them. 40 x 100 feet, two stories, large wall of windows facing sunlight.

The school practices the Atelier Method of training. Just as in chemistry one must understand the basics as a foundation, so the Larsons teach foundations, meticulously. It is a fine arts tradition which begins with learning how to see honestly. "One thing you can't teach is passing on how the eye sees. You need someone to be there. You can't get it from books."

True art involves keen observation.
Larson notes that "talent and creativity is abundant. At issue is the question of how committed one is to develop it."

When you attend this second Student/Instructor Exhibition this weekend, you'll see some jaw-dropping good stuff. Here are the hours:
Opening Reception
Friday, May 18 -- 5-9 pm
Saturday, May 19 -- 1-7 pm
Sunday, May 20 -- 12-3 pm
810 West 3rd Street, Duluth
Before you can achieve this...
...you must master this.
The work you see this weekend will be by both first and second year students. Congrats to all of you for the privilege of being part of this program. 
2nd year students: Kelly Schamberger, Patrick Glander,  Eric Rauvola, Jessie Kane, Cameron Conlon, Nick Fettig 
1st year students: Archie Page, Ben McGaffey, Isabel Drake, Brenna Kelly

Meantime, ,art goes on all around you. Engage it.

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