by Rosalie Eck & Sheba Sheikhai
In partnership with Baltimore City’s Recreation and Parks Division, Make Studio leads weekly art classes for adults at Farring-Baybrook Therapeutic Recreation Center.
Offering four classes weekly to 7 to 25 participants, instructors invite these artists to try new materials and methods, be self-expressive, and connect with each other and their communities through art. Informed by the ideas and creativity of our amazing participants, we facilitate projects and discussions around topics of nature and self-awareness, creative solutions, culture, and society.
This past month, Farring Baybrook artists had a special opportunity to participate in an off-site art workshop at Cylburn Arboretum, a local city park that unites nature and the urban environment. As part of the workshop, the artists had achance to tour the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, Food Systems Lab to learn about their unique aquaponics garden and greenhouse. Participants were introduced to key concepts of sustainable fish farming, seeding and planting, worm compost and harvesting. Participants and staff were both encouraged to explore and interact with the greenhouse environment.
Of course, as artists, the group couldn’t help but roll up their sleeves and get hands-on by feeding fish, tasting freshly grown vegetables, and even discovering worms with their bare hands!
After the greenhouse tour, the participants entered the workshop room where they were invited to create artwork in response to their experience in the natural environment. Working with watercolor and colored pencils, the artists took inspiration from aquaculture and plant life to create diversely wild and whimsical paintings.
The artists’ paintings from the workshop, and colorful branch wrappings from the classroom were then curated along with other nature-inspired works from Make Studio artists, and were altogether featured at Cylbrun’s Vollmer Center in a collaborative exhibition called Wild and Green. The show comes down today, but in addition to photos here, you can check out anything you missed on Make Studio’s Facebook page.
Stay tuned for future news from our work with BCRP artists!