BROCTON – For Brocton’s Art Discovery program this year, director Lucy Andrus decided to focus on what she felt her participants needed, rather than the world at large. In the past, she has taught different cultures, but this year she decided to focus on relieving stress for her students.
“We have just been through hell for the past few years,” Andrus said. “In our world, our country and our community. Everyone is stressed and there is so much going on. I didn’t want to do anything too stressful for people, and instead opted for a stress-free therapeutic healing experience to give people a break from it all.
Andrus said she focused on the fact that every human being has creativity within them and set out to unleash that creativity in the 14 students who took her course this semester. While many people wouldn’t admit their own creativity, Andrus said it still comes through in everyday life.
“Think about everyday activities where we express things artistically,” Andrus said. “How you set your table, do your makeup, how you dress, it’s all artistic behavior. It’s been in us since humans first walked the Earth.
Andrus said that in today’s life this creativity often has to be stretched, which is why she likes to provide the materials and the means for people to discover it within themselves. Times of stress are often the times when it is most important to use these skills.
And when people let go, they are often entitled to spectacular achievements. Andrus said it was amazing to see his students letting go of all inhibitions, letting themselves be created.
“It’s amazing to see it, but when people let go of their inner critic, open up and allow that creative urge to come out, they do a really great job.” Andrus said. “It’s a chance to give control back to the person, not so that they control what comes out, but so that they master materials that will allow them to express their intuition and spontaneity.”
Andrus’ class name this year was “In an upside down world, permission to play, explore, experiment, discover and grow through art” fully embrace allowing people to function as stress-free as possible. The fall semester course focused on how the circle looks in human experience, trying to help people understand it from the basic shape to the solar system, and much more. The spring course focused on “make marks” both from early humans making art to the way people still do it in modern culture.
“We started with a PowerPoint on the making of marks in the human experience from prehistory to modern times, exploring why we humans engage in this kind of visual self-expression,” Andrus said. “From the urge to ‘make one’s mark’ by running a finger through a steamy window or a dusty car fender, to doodle, to mark oneself for different social/cultural purposes, to make marks at the beginning of a drawing, etc.”
The Brocton Art Discovery program, held outside the Tri-Parish Church, continues to run each year, with class sizes still limited to maintain social distancing. For the first time, there will be a gallery vernissage, allowing participants to show their works to the public. The ceremony will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday at 41 E. Main St. Refreshments will be available and the artists will be on hand to discuss their work.