Saturday, April 25, 2015

Artiscape 2015 - the Weekend (Part I)

My Weekend at Artiscape Artist's Gathering

During the fun and entertaining opening Kick-Off-Party, Lisa Ohmer, the organizer of Artiscape Artist's Gathering, and I mused about how long we had actually known each other. Lisa reminded me that we had met about twelve years ago at an altered art event sponsored by Stamp Art Jubilee in Atlanta, Georgia. It's funny how that event seemed a lifetime ago. I was there promoting the then-named Altered Book Club (now The Mailbox Muse, under new ownership) that I had just begun. I don't even think that the magazine had been born yet! As a matter-of-fact, I believe that the club had not even sent out its first kit yet. Anyway, that invitation by Lisa has led to many years of participation in the amazing event that she sponsors.

During the twelve-or-so years that I have known of Artiscape, I think I failed to participate on just a couple of occasions. Most of the years I attended I simply had a booth in the marketplace. During the first few years, the event was held in a very quaint Ohio canal town called Roscoe Village. At one of those first events I was able to squeeze out some time to take a workshop by the original altered book Diva, Beth Cote. It was a wonderful workshop on color theory and collage.

Fast forward a few years, and I finally decided that, being a teacher by trade and passion, I wanted to submit classes. That was about four years ago. My first classes were very well-received, and so I was invited back for more. This year I taught two workshops: A three-hour class on book folding and a five-hour techniques class. I'm thrilled to say that both of them sold out.

In the years that I have been associated with this wonderful event, the class with Beth Cote had been the only class I was ever able to take myself. I was either too busy with the magazine/club or vending in the marketplace. That changed this year! Because the magazine is on hiatus, I did not have a vendor booth this year which allowed me free time...time I could use for MYSELF!  As soon as the classes were announced, I eagerly signed up for three amazing workshops.

To help you get a better feel for how the weekend feels and progresses, let me lay it out for you chronologically. I will skip the time I used for class prep and present it to you as an attendee.

I signed up for three workshops, as I mentioned before. One was an encaustic class by Serena Barton, another was a metal jewelry class by Jen Crossley, and the final was a metal soldering class by Shari Replogle. While I am an artist that dabbles in a multitude of mediums, I tend to work mainly in paper arts...and more recently, beading. The jewelry and soldering classes were definitely outside my normal sphere, so I knew I needed to pay particular attention to the supply lists there. Jen Crossley's class required several tools and materials that I did not already have. A friend of mine, also attending Artiscape, offered to let me borrow a couple on the list, but I had to go and purchase the remaining items. This process was kind of fun, in that it got me more excited about my upcoming classes, as I perused the supplies on the internet. I started this process about three weeks before the event.

At about the same time that I began shopping for supplies, my wonderful packet from Artiscape arrived. It contained this lovely name tag and pass for the weekend, along with other important information.

Having attended so many of these wonderful events, I knew that a good portion of the enjoyment was to be found in participating in the artist trades and collaborative auction. So, I set about creating my trades about two weeks before the event. On Sunday of the event there is a Mad Hatter Tea at which the ladies wear hats...many of which they have hand-made. Wanting to add even more fun to the weekend, I also created my own fun little fascinator-type hat, as well. 

Bead Embroidered charms.  Art trades for Artiscape 2015 made by Cyndi Duncan.

Fascinator hat by Cyndi Duncan for the 2015 Artiscape Artist's Retreat.

This was the first year that I stayed in the host hotel, the Embassy Suites-Dublin. I shared a room with a woman from my art group. I have to say, staying at the host hotel is another added bonus to the weekend. As a hotel guest, we were treated to daily happy hours with snacks such as chips with several dips, hard cheeses, and other snack foods. This wine lover absolutely adores that fact that the happy hour included one free beverage - wine, and cocktails included! Additionally, each morning the hotel guests enjoyed an amazing hot breakfast bar which also included an omelet station. Of course, being right in the thick of things also had its obvious advantage. It was nice being able to go back to the room to rest, change, or grab a supply that I forgot or someone else needed.

Attendees who stayed in the host hotel received this lovely gift upon check-in.

Thursday night were the preconference workshops. I arrived a couple of hours before they began, and as I was actually teaching one, spent part of that time setting up and settling in to my room. My class went wonderfully. I am always treated to wonderful students; this class was no exception.

The wonderful students in my Folded Book Sculptures Class at Artiscape 2015.
Tired, but energized for the weekend ahead, I drug myself to bed.

I hope you enjoyed Part I of my series on Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015.  Stay tuned for Part II.  (Pssst.....If you subscribe to my blog by email, you won't miss it!)


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