We've been terribly busy lately, but for all the right reasons! Fall is a booming time for art shows and opportunities, and we already had two huge opportunities just in the last few weeks to show off our artwork to the community. We had 18 individuals that entered their artwork into the Utah State Fair this year. That's right, 18! Now comes the part where I list all of the ribbons we got: Tyler got a 1st place ribbon, August and Chris got 2nd place ribbons, Nikki got a 3rd place ribbon, Mike, Jessica D, and Katie F. got a 4th place ribbon, Jon W and Ryan got a 5th place ribbon, Richard got a 6th place ribbon, Darin got a 7th place ribbon, and Walter, Jon E, Nicholas, Katie G, Shane, Earl, and Tim all got honorable mention ribbons. Wowza! So many ribbons! Everyone was very excited to receive their ribbons, and we were all incredibly supportive of each other, applauding as each person got their ribbon.
Our other big thing is... we had a booth at the Urban Arts Festival! This was our second year at the festival, so we were a little less stressed and felt a little more prepared for it. It was a great experience! We made some great connections, met some great people, told people about our program and all that we do, and sold some stuff! We had several people very excited about our program after hearing some more about what we do, and we are grateful for the chance we had to get everyone's art out there for people to see, and to get our program out there for people to learn about. Oh, and although our flasks and coasters were a hit, we do have some left over, so keep an eye out for those at our next few gallery strolls! It was humbling to be included among so many other wonderful artists in this incredible art scene and art community that Salt Lake City has, and we hope to be able to participate next year as well!
Today was a tough day for many of us. The reason why, is that today was the last day of one of our most beloved clients, Bill! Bill has been with our program since the beginning, and has actually been at TCCA longer than I have! He and his wife, Amber, are moving to Indiana, and we will greatly miss him.
Chris made a card for Bill that several of us signed and wrote messages in, and Bill enjoyed reading a few of them before he left for the day. Everyone here will miss our Bill, but we wish him and Amber the best of luck in Indiana and in all they do!
We'll Miss You, Bill!
I hope you guys all had as much fun as we did yesterday with the eclipse! We had a few eclipse themed art activities in the morning that turned out really nicely- eclipse art is stunning! In our music theory class, we tried to tie in the eclipse theme by using all of our music reading skills to read some of the sheet music to the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart." When the eclipse started, we didn't stay out there the whole time, but we made sure that we were out there while the eclipse was at its maximum. Some of us were really digging it and stayed out there for quite awhile, while others saw it, then were ready to go eat their lunch :) We even made a friend who lives across the way who came out to watch the eclipse with us. After lunch, in keeping with the eclipse theme, we watched Little Shop of Horrors while doing some drawing and coloring. For those of you who have never seen it, the man eating plant in Little Shop of Horrors appears suddenly during a total eclipse of the sun. So I hope none of you bought any strange and interesting plants on eclipse day! The show was a big hit, and it made for a great end to a fun day! I hope you all had fun celebrating the eclipse!
Most people who know Nicholas Pawlicki are aware of his knowledge of superheroes and keen artistic ability. But did you know that he is also a passionate martial artist?
Nick had the unique opportunity to test for his black belt in Hapkido today, and we are riveted to say that he passed! Even with family and friends in the audience, a video camera in his face, and an improvised sparring match, Nick maintained impeccable concentration and executed the task at hand with focused determination.
The test began with Nick opening the class, leading his fellow martial artists in a series of warm-ups, blocks, and the dan geon form. Each exercise was accompanied by a count to ten in Korean. I (Natasha) could tell by the demeanor and assertive voices of the other students that they had a lot of conviction in their practice, and were eager for their friend to be successful.
After warming up, the class took their seats, and Nick had the floor to himself (along with Jason, of course). Jason tested him on the fourteen grabs and how to defend against them, target practice, knife defense, grappling, and Nick's self-made (and self-titled) "Wolverine Form." Next, Jason threw some surprise attacks, which he prefaced with the idea that you don't always know what to expect in a real-life situation. Nick was able to harness his training and reflexes to adapt to the unpredictability, sending Jason to the ground several times.
The test ended with a review of the five tenants of Hapkido: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. Jason invited Nick to explain why they are important not only in martial arts, but also in life. A few of our clients were touched by the culmination of Nick's hard work, and of course, the man himself is very happy (and relieved) to be the recipient of such a great honor. Way to go, Nick!
Receiving his black belt from Jason.
All the hard work paid off!
Hey all! We have some exciting things on the horizon! First and foremost, we found out today that we will be participating in the Urban Arts Festival again this year!!! It was a great experience last year, and we are so excited to have a booth again to get our clients' work out there, and to mingle with the arts community. We don't have many firm details yet, but I can tell you that it will be on September 16-17, 12-10 pm both days. Check out this link for more information about this awesome event!
Another exciting thing coming up for us, is that Nicholas Pawlicki, who has been working diligently over the past few years in our Hapkido class, is taking his black belt test next week! This is a big deal, and we are so excited for him to undertake this! We'll post more stuff about his test next week after he takes it :)
Last month, we had a very successful private exhibit for our very own Mr. Pierce. He had put together a great show with fantastic art, and people loved seeing so much of his work. Next month (August), we will be having another private art show! Ryan has been working over the past few months to build up a portfolio of stunning pieces to show in his exhibit next month, entitled "Abstract Expression." It will be shown at our gallery stroll on August 18th, from 6-9 pm.
Lastly, but certainly not least, Jon Westling has a comedy gig coming up! Those of you that know Jon know how hilarious he is! He has done a few bar gigs, and this next one is happening on his birthday! I'm sure he would love anyone who can support him to come check it out!
This past Gallery Stroll, Tyler had his solo exhibition, which he titled "Bumblebee Tuna." The show was a success, and Tyler was able to bring a flock of enthusiasts to see and listen to his work. Yes, I said listen---because as it turns out, Tyler is also quite a talented musician. The show was accompanied by a soundtrack of music by the featured artist, including an original song that he wrote called "Something About Tuna." It's hilarious! Check out the music video on our youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iqvej2h5TYc
To top it all off, he sold two of the pieces from his show that evening. Huzzah!!!
More stuff: I (Natasha) have returned from afar! I returned to the workplace with tales of baguettes, wine, escargot, and photographs of my adventures in France and Spain. I used the photos for the next two photo fusion classes, and the clients had a great time incorporating the vivid imagery and the stories that went with them into their artwork. For example, Ryan made a collage using a photo of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia (a basilica in Barcelona), pictured below. (Fun fact: the basilica has been under construction since 1882, and its projected completion date is in 2026.) The purple scraps are from a photo of a wine cellar in a medieval French village called Saint Emilion.
In my absence, Cesar took on the brave task of teaching some of the visual arts classes. Now that I'm back, I am pleased to say that he has kept them going! His classes are focusing a lot on drawing. Many of the clients are apprehensive about drawing, so Cesar implemented a class that encourages the artists to come out of their shells and put some lines on paper. Here is a piece that Darin made from Cesar's people-drawing class!
To wrap things up, we received a generous donation of twenty some-odd tickets to the Utah Arts Festival at Library Square, so last Friday, we took a little field trip. The sun was blazing in the sky, but that didn't stop our artists from getting out and enjoying the stunning handiwork of local and national creatives. There was lots to appreciate in a very short window of time; the clients darted here and there and everywhere! (Cesar and I spent most of that time doing head counts.) One artist that the clients gravitated towards was Malen Pierson, who made giant metal sculptures of animals and other creatures, and some were even stuffed with sundry items like deflated basketballs. The moose and the R2D2 were pretty stellar!
You guys, you guys, you guys!!!! Exciting things are afoot! We had been contacted by KUED a few months ago about doing a spotlight on one of our artists for their web series, Verve. After meeting some of our folks, they decided to do an episode on Katie Felgar. For the past month they have been coming to film various things and to do interviews with Katie about her artwork, journey, and creative process. The video went up today!!!! I just watched it and it turned out so well- I recommend that you all check it out! Here's the link for her video and her artist bio:
It's only a few minutes long, so really, check it out!
There's one other exciting thing on the horizon: we have a solo art show coming up for one of our artists at this month's gallery stroll! Tyler Pierce, one of our newer clients, is a fantastic, prolific artist, and has been working hard to build up a portfolio of quality pieces to show in our small gallery for June's gallery stroll. The pieces have come together beautifully, and his show, entitled "Bumblebee Tuna," is going to look amazing! Tyler has a very funky style, and it shows through in his artwork. You should all make sure you come check it out this next Friday, June 16th from 6-9 pm. You'll love it!
So string mid week this week, Natasha has been on vacation. The lucky duck is going to France for a few weeks! It's been a busy few days without Natasha, but we hope she's having the trip of her life! Natasha leads most of our visual arts class, and some of our other highly popular classes too, so we have felt her absence not only in spirit, but in our class schedule! On the plus side, we have gotten a chance to work with our new temporary staff, Zac, who is a big hit with many of our clients. In addition to that, Natasha's absence has enabled Cesar to dabble in teaching a visual arts class! Look how much he's rocking it!
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to one of our most outgoing friendly clients this week. Brandi Bixler's last day was on Wednesday, as she's going to start working more days a week. We'll miss her and the great friendship that many of our folks had with her!
Lastly, can I say... today is Friday!!! As much as we all love each other, we're all definitely stoked about getting a long weekend and a day off next week! I hope you all have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!
Can you guys believe how quickly April has flown by?!? A lot has happened, so I'll try to catch you up! First of all, we were able to partner with Molina Healthcare to help them out with an awards reception of theirs. They had some flower pots they wanted us to paint for them to give out to their event attendees, and man did we have a ball with that! It turns out that our clients absolutely love painting flower pots! And to make it even better, Molina was kind enough to give us additional pots so that everyone who painted one could paint another one to take home and keep. In addition to that, Molina wanted to borrow some of our clients' artwork to display at the event. We sent a bunch of pieces over with them, and are excited that some additional people in the community got to see our artwork!
A very exciting thing is on the horizons for one of our individuals! We were contacted by KUED about one of our artists being shown on a digital series of theirs, Verve. Verve focuses on different artists in the community and talks about the creative process- if you haven't heard of it, definitely go to their website and check it out!
Katie Felgar is the artist that they are wanting to focus on, so start getting excited! I believe they are aiming for completion on the project by the end of June, so that's something to keep your eye out for.
Lots of other great stuff happened this month, like a very successful Great Shakeout, a stunning gallery stroll, and another comedy gig at the Wicked Pour House of our very own Jon Westling! Things are going great and we can't believe next week is already May!!!
Also, this is a reminder that tonight is Pastabilities! For those of you that have never been, Pastabilities is TURN's annual fundraiser. It's a fun evening for staff, clients, family, and supporters of TURN to get together and party! There will be food, a silent auction, a photo booth, and tons of other fun stuff to do!
Yesterday was our Performance Showcase! We had a great turnout and cannot thank enough all of you who came out to support us! We had so much fun, and I think the audience did too. We put on a great show that showcased several different areas of the performance arts. It's hard to say what was the highlight- the musical theater songs were a big hit with our performance of some Luck Stiff songs, Run Freedom Run, and Strongest Suit, but then our poppin and Hapkido demonstrations are always a hit too! There were so many performances yesterday to be proud of, from the film that was a collaboration between our film making and skits classes, to the movement dance piece (featuring original music by Tyler!), to the singing and choreography piece. Everyone was very proud of the performance they gave, and most importantly, had lots of fun! We loved being able to show off everything we had been working on in classes, but to be honest, we're ready for a bit of a break now to just enjoy the things we're working on without having to get them performance ready :)
Also, as a reminder, 'tis the time for Love Utah Give Utah! You have just a few more days to donate for this event. If you want to donate to TURN, you can do it here:
The event ends at the end of the day on March 30th, but you can of course, still donate to TURN after that date (it just won't be a part of Love Utah Give Utah)
TURN City Center for the Arts
Helping adults with disabilities to enrich their lives through the arts!