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Artistic expressions

Canaan's Hardesty-Gray
to hold art camps

She plans to instruct local students
on the art of sculpture

By Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(July 2009) – Oftentimes, perfection in art hinges on finding the right mix. Artists strive to achieve the right blend of colors, textures and shapes in their works.
Art teacher Stacy Hardesty-Gray has hit on just such a winning combination this summer. Incorporating her love of outdoor art with her enthusiasm for teaching the Canaan, Ind., artist and educator will present “Summer Art for Kids – Pig Out!”
This art camp will allow children to create their own pig sculptures, which will be on display to the public in August during the Madison Ribberfest. The younger children will create smaller sculptures, while the older students will create life-size models.
Animal lover Hardesty-Gray explains the choice of pigs as a subject for art with a laugh, saying, “Pigs are pretty easy, pretty basic in their shape!”

Stacy Hardest-Gray

Photo by Lela Bradshaw

Stacy Hardest-Gray
received a Lilly grant
to take art classes
on the West Coast.

“Summer Art for Kids – Pig Out!” will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on July 6-10 at the Madison Art Gallery. The camp is geared for children ages 10 and up. A $49 registration fee will cover the cost of materials and a T-shirt. Sign-ups are due by July 3, although late registrations may also be accepted. The camp is ideal for children interested in art and who are looking to learn about sculpting in a fun environment.
Hardesty-Gray explains her interest in outdoor art saying, “I like to do things outside because it’s more accessible – not everyone will take the time to go to a museum.”
Hardesty-Gray has previously been involved in painting murals at the Madison Dog Park. She tells the story of how she had heard about the dog park and became interested in visiting, but had difficulty locating the site. That difficulty inspired the mural in hopes of increasing visibility. She has also done paintings at the animal shelter and fairgrounds. However, she found herself wanting to do more sculpture work and has begun to look at ways of bringing her talents to that area of public art.
Now an $8,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment will allow Hardesty-Gray to study outdoor sculpture in California. The Lilly Endowment offers annual creativity grants to teachers and administrators. Hardesty-Gray describes the projects undertaken through the Lilly grants as “whatever will renew yourself – whatever is a personal thing.”
She will be traveling West three times this summer to attend workshops presented by Brent Sumner on garden sculpture, architectural sculpture and sculpture installation. These seminars will show the potential and impact of outdoor art in a variety of settings and allow participants to engage with artists from across the country and around the world.
Hardesty-Gray highlights the value of the different workshops noting that “you get different perspectives.” She said she is excited about learning more from New Zealand artist Sumner. Sumner is noted for developing the sculpting medium known as Darjit, which is made from recycled materials. Darjit can be sculpted like clay or applied over an armature. Hardesty-Gray has already attended one workshop and is looking forward to the next two over the coming months.
During the school year, Hardesty-Gray teaches art to kinder
garten through sixth-grade students at Jac-Cen-Del Elementary in Osgood, Ind. Her fifth and sixth grade classes work on sculpture projects similar to the type offered in the art camp. Normally, a class would spend three to four months on sculpture, but Hardesty-Gray is eager to see the results of a week of intensive work and instruction.
And in just a few weeks, the community members should start to keep their eyes peeled for the results of the children’s hard work and imagination as the clever pig sculptures begin to show up around town.

• To register for “Summer Art for Kids – Pig Out!,” contact Stacy Hardesty-Gray at shardestygray@yahoo.com or call (812) 839-3588.

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