Author Archive

“Through My Eyes” – Another Successful Common Ground Pop Up Event

Written by Arts on the Block on . Posted in Common Ground, Events

Common Ground: “Through My Eyes”

July 26th, AOB’s fifth annual pop-up event showcased another successful season of art making and civic engagement in the Carroll Avenue/Quebec Terrace (CAQT) community. In partnership with the Gandhi Brigade, the YMCA and the Trawick Foundation, Arts on the Block strives to achieve positive community change through the arts in this underserved Silver Spring neighborhood.

This year, in addition to spoken word performances and an expansive display of mosaic pavers and glazed window paintings, local teens shared their experience in helping to design a working rain and reading garden for the YMCA Community Center, featuring illuminated stepping stones they are creating for the final installation next year.

Learn more about  the “Through My Eyes” event and Common Ground, here.

How to Find Inspiration for Art in Your Surroundings

Written by Arts on the Block on . Posted in Pour Your ART Out, Uncategorized, Youth Apprentices

By: Apprentice Laura

Taking advantage of what’s around you is the best way to find inspiration.  Whether you have a piece of art you want to complete or a project that needs to get done, sitting staring at a blank sheet of paper isn’t always the right decision.  I have spent so much more time trying to think about what to draw, than actually drawing, and I have spent a lot of time looking for artistic inspiration.

Composition VIII by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923.  Picture courtesy of www.ibiblio.org/

Composition VIII by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923. Picture courtesy of www.ibiblio.org.

The easiest thing to do is to look at what’s around you.  Even if that means just looking around the room, this especially helps me when designing something. Find an object, or look at a poster or painting and think about why that artist chose to make it look the way it looks, and what you personally would have done differently (color, shape, size, etc).  This could help you come up with your own ideas and designs. You could go even further and go somewhere.   Traveling and the places I have been make such a difference in my artwork.  Going to a museum and seeing collections by different artists, like seeing Kandinsky’s work at the Guggenheim, or seeing Monet’s paintings at the Louvre, can give you that boost and even help you decide what kind of artist style you have by comparing work by other artists.

Park Güell in Barecelona, Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.  Picture courtesy of budapestmarkethall.com/

Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Picture courtesy of budapestmarkethall.com/

Personally, I find inspiration in architecture.  It might sound strange, but one of my favorite things to do is stare at buildings; everything is so thought out and precise. It has a function but can also be beautiful, such as homes designed by Victor Horta or Frank Lloyd Wright, or a whole park created by Gaudí.  They all have the same task at hand, but each person manages to create something unique.  Either way, it always manages to give me some kind of idea.

Another way to use your surroundings is to find people.  Find someone to talk to and ask them about their artwork and what they think of your artwork.  Everyone sees art differently and getting a different perspective or opinion will always help.  I think young artists should go out, see as much as they can, talk to people, and continue to build an inner archive of impressions.  Ultimately, we are a reflection of this around us, but artists hopefully can reflect that vision to create art.

photo (2)Laura is a Winter/Spring 2014 Pour Your ART Out apprentice.  Laura has been surrounded by art and architecture ever since her parents forced her on endless family vacations to see historic buildings.  As she grew older, she started to resent them less for taking her to these places and actually started enjoying these trips to castles and fortresses. While not busy, she likes to read and mindlessly watch TV.  She also has a bad habit of drawing all over everything.  Laura is originally from Glasgow, Scotland, but currently lives in Maryland.