20 ways to art up your life in 2020: Tips and tricks from local arts leaders
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — ‘Tis the season of New Year’s resolutions — of setting them, and often breaking them. We collected helpful thoughts, advice, tips and tricks from local arts leaders to keep your creating strong, all year long.
- Don’t put pressure on the idea of art: “Seek out more stories. Read poems and essays, listen to music, visit museums, look at art and give yourself two gifts when you do: pause and focus on the artistic expression, just for a minute; do it unapologetically, without pressuring yourself to get it. You’ll find art everyday.”
— Strings Music Festival director of artistic administration and education Katie Carroll.
- Start a new chapter of creativity: “Stop by Off the Beaten Path bookstore and buy a new journal or adult coloring book, which is very meditative and relaxing. Write down your own story and memories, even as short as one sentence per memory, then flesh out the sentences.”
— Steamboat Creates Development Coordinator Dagny McKinley
- Break it down: Art-themed, day-by-day calendars can provide a quick, convenient zap of arts-related wisdom or inspiration, already built into your schedule, 365 days a year.
- Subscribe to what inspires you: Subscribe to creativity-based TED Talks or podcasts; creativity is contagious.
Making art at home and with kids
- 5. Keep your art materials of choice easy to access: “I try to make art opportunities as easy and accessible and interesting and affordable as possible. We keep two art supply drawers at our kids’ level in our kitchen that they know they can get into whenever they want.”
— Parent, art teacher and artist Laura Tamucci
- 6. Don’t stress about the mess: “Our kitchen table always has a few projects on it. It’s a constant mess but when my kids are interested, it’s there for them and ready.”
- 7. Low-cost art supplies means more art supplies: “LiftUp is my favorite place for art supplies. I find something new to create with almost every time we stop in, and it’s the most affordable place to find supplies. I’ve stocked our art room at school mostly with things from Lift-Up.”
- 8. Focus on the process, not the product: “We experimented with ice dying at home this week. We didn’t have fabric dye so we used Kool-Aid packets and we used paper instead of fabric. My kids piled snow and ice on their papers and then poured Kool-Aid all over it. As the snow and ice melted the colors swirled all over their papers. The results were just so-so, but for an hour, my kids were fully engaged little artist/scientists.”
9. Keep a growth mindset in mind: “At school, I focus on a growth mindset for art. I want every single student to leave the art room feeling successful. The best way to do that is to make projects fun.”
Making art in new places
- 10. Turn your outdoor adventures into art: “Gather some treasures from the natural world — leaves, twigs, stones — and make a collage or piece of art out of that.”
- 11. Bring your art outside: Bring your fiddle or sketchbook or dance moves along on your next outdoor adventure and set up somewhere with a view to see how your art changes outdoors.
- 12. Add art to your next date night: “Take a date night ceramics class with Julie Anderson (at Warehome Studios).”
Experiencing art around town
13. Volunteer with art: “Steamboat Art Museum can use your help and knowledge in many ways. Surround yourself with exception art and artists while helping with special events, education, outreach, workshops, exhibits, daily gallery duties, and in the museum store — learn and enjoy.”
— Steamboat Art Museum Executive Director Betse Grassby
14. Make art into a fun challenge: “Enjoy a scavenger hunt in the paintings. It’s a delightful family activity with your kids, or just to challenge yourself to look a little deeper. Pick up a copy at (Steamboat Art Museum’s) reception desk.”
15. Check out new local gallery exhibits: “In January, we are changing our (Chief Theater) gallery space a bit. Julia Dordoni is moving in as our featured artist. We are wiring the place for sound and video and treating the gallery as a mix between art and a lounge space. Julia has some great ideas and we are excited to have her.”
— Executive Director of the Chief Theater Scott Parker
16. Expose yourself to types of art you don’t know much about: Keep an eye out for shows or workshops representing art forms you’re less familiar with, whether that’s a music genre or a cooking class.
Sharing art with fellow creatives
17. Share your writing: “Share your writing at the Steamboat Springs Writers Group.”
18. Share your sketches: Every October since 2009, artists all over the world participate in Inktober, the monthlong drawing challenge of making one drawing per day throughout the month and posting their work to Instagram marked #inktober. Inktober creators provide lists of prompts participants may use if they choose, but drawings of any content are welcome.
19. Share your moves: Try out for Steamboat Dance Theatre or take a dance or yoga class through Goodhart’s Dancin’ Steamboat, Colorado Mountain College or a local studio.
20. Share your tunes or jokes: If you’ve been putting off your bucket-list item of participating in an open mic night or stand-up comedy forever, make 2020 your year.
Or, as always, checkout Happenings at SteamboatPilot.com.
Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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