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SLOMA's Second Saturdays provides free, all-ages arts activities once a month

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Famed American novelist Gore Vidal (1925-2012) once opined, "The unfed mind devours itself." Well, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) doesn't want that to happen to your mind, which is why Second Saturdays was created: a monthly arts activity that anyone—regardless of age or skill—can do for free.

ARTIST TO ARTIST Well known local artist and SLO Museum of Art Visitor Services Manager Lena Rushing facilitates Second Saturdays. - PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • Photo By Glen Starkey
  • ARTIST TO ARTIST Well known local artist and SLO Museum of Art Visitor Services Manager Lena Rushing facilitates Second Saturdays.

SLOMA Visitor Services Manager Lena Rushing facilitates the monthly event.

"Some months ago, SLOMA launched Second Saturdays, a completely free art activity every second Saturday of each month, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the lawn near the Mamma Mobius sculpture in front of the museum," Rushing explained. "These activities compliment the museum's current exhibitions, and visitors are welcome to create art here or take the activity home to be creative at their leisure."

Last month, to coincide with the holiday activities in Mission Plaza, Rushing set up on the mission steps, where she handed out boxes for an activity called "Altered Photographs," which was inspired by Exposure/Composure, a collection of abstract photography by members of The Photo Society hanging through Jan. 30 in SLOMA.

The kit—packaged in a cute red box—included four black and white photos of Downtown SLO landmarks, along with tools to manipulate them: markers, sandpaper, ink, and more.

"You don't have to tell us your name, you don't have to do it here, you can just take it and run," Rushing quipped, "and if you want to take extras for the neighborhood kids, no problem. It's totally free and funded thanks to sponsors and donations."

SUPPLIES PROVIDED You bring the creativity, they provide the activity and supplies for free. On Dec. 11, to coincide with the Exposure/Composure photography exhibition, SLOMA provided this kit with four black and white photographs and the tools to manipulate them. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF LENA RUSHING THE SAN LUIS OBISPO MUSEUM OF ART
  • Photos Courtesy Of Lena Rushing The San Luis Obispo Museum Of Art
  • SUPPLIES PROVIDED You bring the creativity, they provide the activity and supplies for free. On Dec. 11, to coincide with the Exposure/Composure photography exhibition, SLOMA provided this kit with four black and white photographs and the tools to manipulate them.

Rushing, a talented fine artist whose paintings and shadow boxes are well-collected, even created some whimsical examples of what you can do with the photos. In a photo of the SLO Mission, she filled the fountain with circling shark fins. In a photo of the historic Fremont Theater, she created a friendly monster crawling over the building.

Each activity allows for total freedom of expression—no rules, no judgment, no competition, just a chance to exercise your creativity in whatever form it emerges via the materials provided.

This month's activity, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 8, is connected to Touchy Touchy, a collection of kinetic fabric sculptures meant to be touched, which will remain in the museum through Feb. 28.

ART ATTACK! As an example, Lena Rushing turned this black and white photo of the iconic Fremont Theater into a monster attack for last month's Second Saturdays activity, called "Altered Photographs." - PHOTOS COURTESY OF LENA RUSHING THE SAN LUIS OBISPO MUSEUM OF ART
  • Photos Courtesy Of Lena Rushing The San Luis Obispo Museum Of Art
  • ART ATTACK! As an example, Lena Rushing turned this black and white photo of the iconic Fremont Theater into a monster attack for last month's Second Saturdays activity, called "Altered Photographs."

Created by multidisciplinary artist Marrin Lee Martinez, the works are meant to invoke the complicated relationship between mother and child, and more specifically, "a mother's physical sensitivity to their child's constant touch," according to her artist's statement.

Martinez designed the reclaimed textile-based activity, which you can work on at the museum lawn or take home. During the 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. event, teachers and students from dance studio The SLO Movement Arts Center will offer a movement workshop.

"The take-home activity is a mixed-media mobile inspired by the workshop/performances by SLO Movements Arts Center dancers using materials seen in my SLO Museum of Art solo show Touchy Touchy," Martinez explained. "Some of the materials in each kit will be scrap textiles from the actual exhibit! The colorful activity is engaging for children of all ages, and we encourage families to visit and interact with the kinetic exhibition together during their visit."

RECLAIMED TEXTILES On Jan. 8, Second Saturdays will provide a textiles-based activity created by multidisciplinary artist Marrin Lee Martinez, whose SLOMA exhibition, Touchy Touchy, encourages people to interact with the work, like this piece called "Poke." - PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • Photo By Glen Starkey
  • RECLAIMED TEXTILES On Jan. 8, Second Saturdays will provide a textiles-based activity created by multidisciplinary artist Marrin Lee Martinez, whose SLOMA exhibition, Touchy Touchy, encourages people to interact with the work, like this piece called "Poke."

As American painter Robert Henri (1865-1929) noted, "The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable."

Come on out to SLOMA this Saturday and get your "art state" on. Δ

Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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