Among the many exciting activities that have taken place with the start of the new year, artist Ann Luthy’s visit was one of the best. During the week of February 10-14, Ann worked with all ages on a variety of projects: preschool students learned to mix colors and paint; elementary students created cut-out action art focused on shapes; and community members learned how to draw charcoal self-portraits. There was great participation in all the classes, especially the self-portrait class.
The first step of the process was taking a high-contrast picture and printing it out. After that, the charcoal came out and things got messy. Each participant covered the back of their photo with a thick layer of charcoal. Then, carefully laying the charcoaled picture on top of textured art paper, everyone began tracing the details from their photo. After all the essentials were drawn, we lifted up our photos to reveal an outline of our self-portraits. Then we started the fun part: shading. Ann made sure to tell us that charcoal drawings are made up of light and dark and getting them right is all about seeing the contrast. Each evening, we sat together shading, blending, and definitely erasing! The whole process took about six hours. At the end of the week, everyone’s hard work was displayed in the gym for community members to enjoy over a cup of
coffee and dessert.
Overall the art classes were a success; everyone enjoyed themselves and learned something new. No matter how daunting
the task seemed, community members stepped up to the challenge. Ann commended us for being the “bravest village” she’s ever been to. Ann grew up in Alaska and was the art teacher at Bethel High School for several years. She now resides and paints in northern Utah.