“Rule I: Find a place you trust and then try trusting it for a while.”
— Corita Kent’s Rules & Hints for Students and Teachers.
Summer School, by American artists Erin Jane Nelson and Ming Lin, explores personal economy—particularly as it relates to art institutions and art education—through the operation of a free public art school and a subsequent exhibition and Lesson Book.
“Summer School creates a hub for the production of art works and ideas. Let us be itinerant, moving from city to city and site to site, bringing the baggage of our cultural realities and subjectivities. Let us open the “artists’ space” to all and turn our processes inside out. Let us focus on the materials and moments within the experience of the everyday. Let us reveal the underpinnings. Let us forget about authorship. Let us imagine that we can make solely on the basis of experience. Let us imagine that artistic production is simple (it is).”
— Nelson and Lin
TEACHER TALKS | FRIDAY, JULY 20 AT 7PM
Artists Nelson and Lin, accompanied by fellow teachers Alex Grunenfelder, Jordan Abel, David Semeniuk and Heather Martin, will speak about their personal practices and the classes they will be teaching as part of Summer School.
CLASSES | JULY 21 TO JULY 25
Summer School will operate as a free public art school that offers single- and multi-session classes on such topics as backstrap weaving, local flora, mushroom spore printing, indigo kites, air tasting, solar photograms, chapbooks, rainbow pasta and plastic crafts. Pre-register here.
OPENING RECEPTION, ARTIST TALK & PUBLICATION LAUNCH | JULY 27
Nelson and Lin will curate artworks produced by students and teachers during the school into an exhibition that will open July 27 and run until August 24. The evening will also act as the launch of Lesson Book, which will feature the artists’ reflections on the project as well as step-by-step instructions for each of the projects undertaken at the school.
July 21, 10:00am to 1:00pm | Plastic Crafts with Ming Lin
Plastic Crafts with Ming Lin transforms the refuse of everyday transactions into a medium for creating new vehicles of expression. Students will turn plastic shopping bags into colorful pom poms that can be used as tokens of friendship or for other sentiments. Through this upcycling, plastic bags, which are traditionally used to carry purchased goods, become bearers of messages that cannot be commodified. They also serve as small and intimate reminders of the importance of conserving and re-using resources.
July 21, 2:30pm to 5:30pm | A Field Guide of Local Flora with David Semeniuk
In A Field Guide of Local Flora with David Semeniuk, a field guide of urban flora in Vancouver will be produced. The group will analyze, evaluate and reimagine how vegetation shapes and is shaped by the surrounding human environment. What do the plants we encounter say about the people who live here and how they interact with the natural environment?
July 21 and 22, 7:00pm to 9:00pm | Mushroom-Spore Printing with Erin Jane Nelson
Mushroom-spore printing with Erin Jane Nelson will begin with an introduction to mushroom varieties native to the Vancouver area, focusing on choice edibles such as chanterelles, chicken of the woods, hedgehog (or sweet tooth), and bolete (or porcini). Then, we will use foraged mushrooms (edible and otherwise) to make spore prints. Students will use a variety of papers and mushrooms to create unique and beautiful prints.
July 22 and 24, 10:00am to 1:00pm and 2:30pm to 5:30pm | Indigo Kites with Heather Martin
Indigo Kites with Heather Martin will begin with a practical demonstration of traditional Indigo and Shibori dye techniques. Once the fabrics are prepared, the class will use the cloth to make kites
July 22 and 24, 2:30pm to 5:30pm and 7:00pm to 9:30pm | Air Tasting with Alex Grunenfelder
Air tasting is simply paying close attention to your experience of the air and trying to develop an increased awareness of it. Whether you want to examine the nature of perception or simply improve your sense of smell and enjoy the 400,000 aromas the world has to offer, your nose can serve you well.
July 23, 10:00am to 1:00pm | Solar Photograms with Erin Jane Nelson
In this course, we will harness the “light sensitive” potential of construction paper to create casual photograms. We will discuss the notion of “fading” as it relates to the making of two dimensional works. What does it mean to make a piece that cannot survive time? Why does longevity matter to the production of artworks? Can we reimagine the works from history that have faded in time? Students will be asked to bring small objects which they are willing to watch fade.
July 23, 2:30pm to 5:50pm | Chapbooks with Jordan Abel
In Chapbooks with Jordan Abel, students will learn how to make chapbooks and artists’ books out of everyday found materials. Each student will be able to choose from a variety of different production methods, including (but not limited to) cut-up, whiteout, blackout, drawing, painting, collage, transcription, translation, recontextualization and redistribution.
July 24, 10:00am to 1:00pm | Rainbow Pasta with Ming Lin
In Rainbow Pasta with Ming Lin, participants will learn to make pasta in a wide spectrum of colors and gradients using local ingredients and natural dyes. We will reveal the plethora of “mediums” available to the home chef for creating vibrant works of art that are as pleasing to look at as they are to eat. This course expounds upon the idea that the more colorful the meal the better it is for you, and therefore emphasizes visual skills and color as crucial to creating healthy compositions. Rainbow Pasta will include a brief lesson in the history of color and visuality in nature.
July 25, 2:30pm to 5:30pm | Back-Strap Weaving with Erin Jane Nelson
Back-Strap Weaving with Erin Jane Nelson will use a variety of creatively-sourced fibers and materials to build looms and create weavings, using our bodies as both the agents of action and the structure of the loom. We will experiment with various unravelings of existing textiles as a means of reprocessing and reimagining their aesthetic and functional potential.
Each class can accommodate only twelve students, so pre-registration is recommended.
Saturday, July 21
10:00am to 1:00pm | Plastic Crafts with Ming Lin
2:30pm to 5:30pm | A Field Guide of Local Flora with David Semeniuk
7:00pm to 9:00pm | Mushroom-Spore Printing with Erin Jane Nelson (Session I)
Sunday, July 22
10:00am to 1:00pm | Indigo Kites with Heather Martin (Session I)
2:30pm to 5:30pm | Air Tasting with Alex Grunenfelder (Session I)
7:00pm to 9:00pm |Mushroom-Spore Printing with Erin Jane Nelson (Session II)
Monday, July 23rd
10:00am to 1:00pm | Solar Photograms with Erin Jane Nelson
2:30pm to 5:50pm | Chapbooks with Jordan Abel
Tuesday, July 24th
10:00am to 1:00pm | Rainbow Pasta with Ming Lin
2:30pm to 5:30pm | Indigo Kites with Heather Martin (Session II)
7:00pm to 9:30pm | Air Tasting with Alex Grunenfelder (Session II)
Wednesday, July 25th
10:00am to 1:00pm | Solar Photograms with Erin Jane Nelson
2:30pm to 5:30pm | Back-Strap Weaving with Erin Jane Nelson
222 E Georgia St
V6A 1Z7, Canada