Field Trip: Meri Cherry Art Studio
Long ago (circa 2009) I was an Elementary Art Teacher and Art Coordinator for summer camps. I have always looked back fondly on those magical years and have recently been wondering how I could incorporate bits of that life back into my everyday. I have 3 small kids and the vision of working on creative projects in tandem has always been my dream. They are at the age where I have been wanting to make art a practice in our house, yet I have felt blocked getting there; time, space, energy. I have wondered how I could make art a priority in my house without it feeling overbearing. Part of that wonder led me to Meri Cherry’s instagram (a reggio inspired atelierista and art studio owener in Los Angeles). Watching from afar I admired the wonderful and engaging classes and camps that she has shared at her bright and playful process art studio studio. How could I create a smidge of that magic for myself in my home?
When Merri Cherry opened enrollment for her Process Art Workshop and Studio Master Class this summer, I immediately signed up! What a delightful way to learn about her studio’s magic!
A little bit about Meri Cherry:
That is her real awesome name. She is a mom and enthusiastic supporter of Process Art and has created a beautiful business, space, and community centered around making and learning. Process art is her passion.
My hopes for the workshop:
I would learn how to best set up my home studio to bring process art into my home as a standard family activity.
I would refresh my teaching methodologies and reinvigorate my passion for teaching process art.
A (scary) bonus, I would meet and connect with like minded people.
The workshop was a full day split into two segments, a Process Art Workshop in the morning and a Master Class in the afternoon. In the Process Art segment we participated in creating projects like “artist trading cards,” “slime,” “potions,” and “watercolor worlds” while we learned about top secret tips working with different materials, guides for engaging discussions about art and art making with kids, and various ways to set up projects, etc. In the Master Class we learned behind the scene details about running an art studio, buying supplies, and ways to set up and manage a studio.
Meri’s studio is a dreamy, light filled, markmaking wonderland. It’s an inviting, open, bright, and creative space that is peaceful and happy and imaginative all at once. Her projects and classes investigate materials and markmaking in experimental ways. Projects are lead by by questions “I wonder what would happen if…” and “how might we…”.
It’s been a few weeks since I attended the workshop and have been able to let the learnings simmer. I still feel so energized by what I learned and grateful for the community that I connected with. I walked away from the workshop with a new found confidence to practice process art with my kids and the realization that I didn't need to over complicate the idea for the project to be engaging. And while I’m not teaching students every day, making art with kids is still natural extension of who I am. The workshop gave me practical methods and tools to incorporate into my home studio and ideas to facilitate projects with my kids. Another great takeaway is knowing that there are other moms/makers/creatives out there equally enthusiastic about process based learning and art.
Since the workshop I have been gleefully making art with my kids almost everyday. I have re-organized my house to promote our creative markmaking adventures, and have continued to have conversations with the other participants in the workshop.
I have also been asking my own “I wonder…” and “how might I…” questions.
I wonder what it would look like if my talents as a print and product designer overlapped with my enthusiasm for process art and teaching? Might it look like a stand alone studio, service or product? What kind of products could I design that would help parents bring process art into their home? What kind of products could I design that would help teachers bring process art into their lessons? Could I design something that would make project preparation and clean up better, more fun, or easier? How might I create a place for teachers to share experiences and resources?
So many fun and exciting questions!