2 min read

The Benefits of Learning and Making Art in a Community

05/17/2019


Dating back centuries, artists have traveled from their home studios to rural artist communities in search of the time, space, and exchange needed to incubate new ideas and nurture their creative practice. PenArt is no stranger to this tradition. For over 50 years, beginning each June, hundreds of artists from across the country pack up their materials, travel to Door County, and join a group of similarly-minded creatives in one of our workshops. While many may cite building new technical or conceptual skills with the help of one of our established faculty members as their primary goal, there are many other benefits to joining and working in such a setting.

Draw on the Group's Collective Knowledge
When you work independently, you're limited to your own set of ideas and experiences. In a workshop environment, you encounter people from a range of backgrounds with unique perspectives. Grow your collective knowledge base exponentially and approach the artistic challenges in your practice from angles you may not have before.

Build Momentum and Motivation
There's no doubt about it - workshops generate a palpable energy. The sounds of pottery wheels spinning, flex shafts running, and paint brushes being rinsed in glass jars create a contagious buzz that encourages focus and experimentation. The limited timeframe of a two- or four-day workshop doesn't hurt motivation either!

Gather Feedback
For those who have read about our monthly Critique Group, you know we believe feedback and critique are indispensable to any artist's practice. Take advantage of hearing out not only the unique perspective of your workshop instructor, but your peers as well. Both will provide you with practical information and encouragement.

Discover a New Community and New Opportunities
It's incredibly easy for artists to make work in isolation. It's much harder to find a network of artists and creative professional and share that work. Luckily, in a workshop everyone is in a similar boat. Over lunch, share your resources for staying connected to the art world and ask others how they participate; new opportunities are sure to follow.

Have Fun!
Most importantly, enjoy your time. Enrolling in a workshop is a gift to yourself. Whether you're walking into the studio for the first time, adding a new skill to your toolbox, or working your way out of a creative rut, the learning process should be enjoyed! There will be challenges along the way, of course, but our goal is for everyone to leave their workshop feeling re-energized and eager to tackle what's next.

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