‘Inflatable Sculpture’ integrates science, technology and art | News

“(When designing the workshop), we talked about how one can offer young people the opportunity to express themselves,” she said. “I hope this will be a very empowering process for students.”

Throughout her career, Judge has been involved in a number of educational art and collaborative projects. Judge said what she finds most touching about these programs is how the students can express themselves through the given medium and share cathartic experiences together.

An inflatable sculpture from a previous workshop done by Catherine Judge is shown. Judge is now set to be the newest artist-in-residence at the Bothwell Arts Center in Livermore. (Photo courtesy Catherine Judge)

“There’s something about teaching the creative process and opening students up to that, whether I’m working with young children, teens, adults or the elderly,” Judge explained. “They’re opening their hearts and intellects up by creating something that’s important to them. There’s a tremendous opportunity for all of us to learn from them.”

In the Inflatable Sculpture Workshop, Judge hopes students will find their own creative voice and see the power in broadcasting that. The specific theme will be the natural environment and concerns for the climate.

“Students are charged with the mission of creating meaningful works of art for their community,” Judge said. “I think it’s really important for students to make work that’s about their experience and about them, to make art that reflects what they want to express.”

Judge explained how her graduate experience at MIT inspired her curiosity about inflatable works of art. During her time there, she was involved in an art and technology program known as ACT in which she studied under well-known German artist Otto Piene.

“I always found that there was something engaging when you’re offering these beautiful objects for the community to interact with,” she reflected. “I began to piece together that it would be possible to do this with groups of teenagers.”

Anne Giancola, visual arts and education manager with Livermore Valley Arts, spoke about the workshop’s significance to the local community and what she hopes the community will gain from it.

“LVA is interested in bringing national talent through artist-in-residence programming and this was a great opportunity to bring this workshop to the Tri-Valley area,” Giancola said. “Having Catherine run a teen workshop to influence youth to appreciate the power of creativity is an ideal way to share ideas and foster collaboration with youth participation.”

Giancola said the workshop gets at the core meaning behind art creation, “it’s people working individually and together to comment on their environment and emotions and to share this with those around us.”

The LVA manager echoes Judge’s feelings about artistic expression, she too hopes students will learn the power and freedom in creating works of art and then sharing with the public.

Visual artist Catherine Judge will serve as the Bothwell Arts Center’s newest artist-in-residence. Judge plans to facilitate the Inflatable Sculpture Workshop for teens from April 5-7. (Photo courtesy Catherine Judge)

“The workshop is creating something large and impactful that is completely from the voice of the students involved and that it is beyond art that is constricted by time in a classroom or to not make a mess,” Giancola said. “The end result will be an amazing large-format, group project that can be shared with the community.”

In addition to creating works of art, participants will learn about the history of making public art statements and the power they have to make a difference.

To find out more information about the Bothwell Arts Center or to register for the Inflatable Sculpture Workshop, visit the LVA website Livermorearts.org or call (925) 373-6800.

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