This article is by Moshe Mikanovsky, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. An emerging artist searching his way in the art world, he loves to share what he learns. With over 20 years of technology experience, Moshe combines his technological background and his passion for the arts with the goal of "working his dream". You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
Are you familiar with the flash mob phenomena? If not, you are probably not using YouTube too often or haven't seen it on Facebook.
In the past few years, flash mobs were used to move us, sell us products, surprise some super-host-show divas, and lots of other things in between. It is quite cool to see how tens or hundreds of people start singing and dancing out of nowhere, in public parks, street corners or train stations. If you really don’t know what I am talking about, check out few of these links:
Why did I start telling you about this? Because of a great idea I wanted to share with you.
My friend and mentor, artist Gary Smith, who is constantly looking for ways to not only enrich his own art practice, but also to connect with his students and give them opportunities to create, has come up with this brilliant idea! In addition to his regular Sunday figure drawing classes, summer art escapes and plein air painting sessions at the Toronto Islands, Gary started recently his “Flash Painting sessions”.
Here is how it works – a day or two before Gary plans to have such a session, he sends an email to his newsletter list, the one dedicated for his students and artists he is associated with. In this email he will detail where he will be painting, when, and how to get there.
There is no cost, no materials provided, and no teaching involved. Only the togetherness and spirit of creation. And it works.
So far Gary has had four or five sessions. Since I have a day job, I didn’t have a chance to join him on most of them, but the last one was made just for me, after I “complained” that I can’t join during the day. This last one was after work, at the Eaton Centre mall, which is one of the largest malls in Toronto, situated in the heart of downtown.
It was an amazing experience. Although there was not a mob of artists there (in fact, this one drew the least people, only Gary and I. Maybe after hours is not such a good idea, after all, for other artists), it was great getting people's reaction to what we were up to.
Especially the kids, but also the adults, liked to peek behind our shoulders, look at what we are drawing or painting, and stop by to ask some questions. You can see some pictures from that session on my blog.
In previous sessions, Gary took his followers to several street corners in the city for urban paintings and also to an Indian and yoga festival on the Toronto Islands’ parks. As a follow up, he always sends out emails to the group with comments from the previous flash session, photos of some of the paintings he made, ideas for future work, and some stories from the session.
I love the way that Gary publishes this to his contact list and the fact that he took a current hype concept, the Flash Mob videos, and used it in his own context, creating something new and exciting for us artists and students. I hope that he will continue this initiative and will grow it with many followers, so it will be a real mob of artists, “attacking” a location, painting and drawing it to our heart's content. Who knows, maybe there is a show coming up from that...
Do you have a similar experience or brilliant idea you would like to share? Write in the comments, or let me know and I will be more than happy to chat with you and write about your story/experience/idea.