The Americana Song Academy has added visual arts to its curriculum and hired some phenomenal instructors for its inaugural year. The Americana Song & Arts Academy, held at Caldera, perched on Blue Lake high in the Cascade mountains, will be much the same as it always was, but participants will now have additional choices – music and songwriting, visual arts, or a bit of everything.
Sisters Folk Festival hired songwriter and illustrator Dennis McGregor to be the visual arts director. “Dennis has been to the camp every year since the beginning, and understands deeply the vibe and energy we are going for … he has contributed keen insight into how to integrate the visual arts into the songwriting and music camp, as he has great experience in both worlds,” says Brad Tisdel, executive director and founder of the academy.
After many years of support from the visual arts community for My Own Two Hands, the annual benefit art auction in April, this is a tangible way for the organization to bring those artists into the fold and offer something that is inspiring, and widen the circle of engagement.
Artists teaching this year include Rick Bartow, drawing, painting and sculpture; Pat Horsley, ceramics; Lillian Pitt, ceramics, Natalia Zukerman, painting; Philip Krohn, recycled materials in installation art; Danae Miller, sculpture; Ingrid Lustig, painting; Paul Alan Bennett, drawing; Adam Haynes, drawing and design; and Pat Clark, printmaking.
“There’s something in the air at that camp,” says McGregor. “When folks come to Caldera and surround themselves with like-minded people, a remarkable thing happens – they become part of a community that exists nowhere else. In this ideal world, love and respect inspire trust and confidence, and that brings creativity. It’s transformative – not as much about learning technique as it is about finding inspiration – a year’s worth in just four days!”
The focus will include music and songwriting, with 14 performing artists teaching everything from writing lyrics to guitar playing and performing; and combining the visual arts provides an opportunity to expand the “conversation” to include the seeds of inspiration and creativity, no matter what medium participants choose to express themselves.
This inspirational experience concludes with the Sisters Folk Festival, September 6-8, where the town is filled with intimate, compelling performances by over 40 artists on nine stages for three days. To continue the thread of visual arts, Sisters Folk Festival will be hosting a fine-art gallery at FivePine Lodge and Conference Center on Saturday, September 7, noon-6pm. Rick Bartow and the Backseat Drivers will be one of the acts performing on the new stage at FivePine.
Art and music lovers at all levels will benefit from this experience. The $425 ($450 after July 31) tuition fee includes all food, camping, classes and instruction. Space is limited, register now for The Americana Song & Arts Academy, Sept. 3-6, 2013.