Art Studio Completes Student Summer Camps, Hosts Downtown Art Festival |  Local news

Art Studio Completes Student Summer Camps, Hosts Downtown Art Festival | Local news

Jason Koon Staff Writer

The Old School Studio (TOSS) will cap off a summer of art activities and summer camps with an art festival in downtown Morganton on Saturday.

The festival, which will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on the green Wednesday farmers market at the intersection of North Green Street and Avery Avenue, will feature food, activities, make-up games and art for sale. TOSS founder Kathryn Ervin said she hopes scheduling the festival to coincide with the State of Origin Craft Brew Festival will make it part of a larger gathering downtown on Saturday.

“State of Origin is just around the corner so hopefully people will be going back and forth between Fonta and the court’s lawn,” he said.

The centerpiece of the event will be an exhibit created by Artist in Residence Zak Foster, who worked with TOSS campers over the summer.

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“The campers had so much fun this year,” Ervin said. “We explored very complex topics through art… art is a powerful conduit for self-discovery and I’m so proud of the work that was completed this summer.”

During the four weeks of the summer camp, 90 local students explored career paths through art, creating more than 450 total works according to Ervin.

“Kids are so amazingly absorbent. They will take an idea and internalize it and then the result is something really special and unique,” ​​he said. “It was really interesting to see how they brought the concepts to life.”

Foster agreed, saying he was inspired by his experience working with children at TOSS.

“Kids know what they like in a way that adults don’t,” Foster said. “There was no hesitation, no hesitation, they just did it and jumped right in. That was really encouraging to me.”

For Foster, the TOSS camps were his first experience teaching children to sew.

“I didn’t know how much they could really sew,” he said. “I enlisted the help of some friends who had worked with children before with sewing and they gave me some good advice and some good projects.”

Foster is a quilter who makes memorial quilts for people who have lost loved ones.

“When someone dies, the family will send me clothes and I’ll make a quilt out of them,” she said.

At the TOSS Art Party, Foster will present a piece called “Afterlife,” which is a series of quilts created to give new life to old discarded fabrics.

“[They]capture his interpretation of circularity,” Erwin said. “It’s the fundamental principle of material performance, a social enterprise that gives new life to discarded textiles.”

Foster said one of his guiding principles in life and art is to “live as lightly on the earth as possible.”

“For me that means not buying a lot of new things to create my work, trying to work with the resources that are already around me to make these quilts,” she said. “In that sense, my values ​​align with TOSS’s quite a bit.”

Foster said he visited Opportunity Threads in Morganton on his first day in residency. It was inspired by the process they use and the leftovers that were not used in the process.

“Their system is that people will send them T-shirts, they’ll cut a giant square off the front, and whatever’s left over will be recycled,” he said. “It was those remains that I found really interesting. It was like a frame. they were like windows you could look into.’

Foster turned these “frames” along with some repurposed base fabrics to TOSS into his project.

“I tried to arrange them in such a way that they felt somewhat alive,” he said. “Everything in the project has been reclaimed or reused.”

Ervin said having an artist in residency is a rare opportunity for a rural community, but she believes it can allow her organization to advance community conversations around important topics such as, in this case, reuse and recycling. sustainability.

“An artist-in-residence is an incredible opportunity for a creator to develop a creative body of work based on a specific theme,” he said. “In a small, rural community we need forums for citizen dialogue like this, where we can all come together.”

In addition to the art shows, TOSS students will also be selling work they created over the summer.

Food will be provided by Timberwoods, Mom’s Egg Rolls and Super Ice Cream. Camp families will receive four free meal tickets. Anyone is welcome to purchase food and all other activities at the TOSS Summer Art Party are free.

Jason Koon is a staff writer and can be reached at [email protected]

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