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Virtual Art with Diamond: Basic Pet Portraits

This video features my sweet kitty, Lady Gray, for two reasons: 1) this week I decided we should talk about pet portraits and 2) I wanted to raise awareness for Great River Rescue’s upcoming art contest.

Great River Rescue holds an art contest every year around this time to remind us humans about the importance of keeping our animal companions healthy. This years theme is SAVE THE DAY – NEUTER AND SPAY! The contest is for two dimensional art in any media done by children in K-12th grade. You can read more about this contest and find out how to take part here.

I figured now was as good a time as any to show you the basics of what a dog and a cat look like. In this video I show how to create a line drawing of a cat and a dog face and then also show how to draw eyeballs and noses. This lesson is for all ages and artistic abilities. It can be adapted and modified for young children as well as expanded upon for adults.

You will need:

• Paper
• Pencil
• Possibly a pencil sharpener
• And possibly your own sweet furry friend to help you out

Portraits are a wonderful way to preserve a likeness of a loved one for the rest of time. They have a personal touch that goes beyond a photograph. Practicing portraits is also a great way to get better at looking and really capturing what the world looks like. Seeing and recreating what you see is the first big step in becoming a skilled artist so encourage your young child to give it a try. It doesn’t have to be perfect or even “good.” It is all about practicing. I hope that after you watch this video you use the techniques to draw your own pet. Lady Gray and I would love to see what your furry friend looks like! Get creative with us! And then if you you feel comfortable please share your creation in the comments or email to diamond.knispel@headwatersmusicandarts.org.

P.s. Please create a piece for the art contest! I am one of the judges and looking at all of the submitted art is one of the highlights of my spring 🙂

Diamond Knispel
Art Teacher | Marketing & Arts Program Coordinator
Headwaters Music & Arts

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Virtual Art with Diamond: Paper Quilling

Paper Quilling is one of the more simple forms of sculpture. It only involves paper and adhesive and then the rest is up to your imagination. I love paper quilling because it is so low pressure, and I feel like even without much practice or know-how it tends to look awesome – unlike some other types of sculpture and fine art 🙂

You will need (I didn’t get this list exactly right in the video):

• Paper
• GLUE – liquid glue is preferably
• Possibly a pencil
• And possibly a ruler
• You might want a pen, toothpick, popsicle stick, or a sharp fingernail – whichever tool you like for bending.

Quilling is pretty old art form that started back when folks made a point of using EVERYTHING. Many old quilling pieces are made with scraps of paper leftover from bookmaking. I think this means you don't have to worry about getting fancy at all. During our collage video I told you about my years old box of paper scraps – that is what I dug into for this piece. Being that Earth Day was this past Wednesday it only seems fitting to challenge yourself to use some (if not all) paper scraps for this project. And also, if you don’t yet have your own paper scrap box you should start one. I call my box of paper/ribbon/cardboard scraps my treasure box because when it comes to creating scraps and found bits are truly like gold 🙂 Please – get creative with us! And then if you you feel comfortable please share your creation in the comments or email to diamond.knispel@headwatersmusicandarts.org.

Diamond Knispel
Art Teacher | Marketing & Arts Program Coordinator
Headwaters Music & Arts

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Virtual Art: Ball Point Pens & Zentangles

Right now is a lovely time to send some snail-mail to someone you love. The United States Postal service is still running and everyone loves receiving mail from loved ones - especially pretty mail. This week I invite you to make some pretty mail for a loved one using a ball point pen. There are some easy ways to use a ball point pen to make something beautiful, all it takes is time and patience.

You will need:

• Ball point pen
• Pencil
• Paper
• Any other fun tools you may want to use

I practiced a lot of my drawing skills by doodling in class and as a teen I got really good with a ball point pen. I found out I could do almost as much with the right pen as I could a pencil - except erase 🙂 With a few shading pointers you don't ever have to use a pencil sharpener again! As always - this activity is for all ages and artistic abilities. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how nice zentangle art turns out even if you don't consider yourself an artist. If there is any part you don't like just black it out with the pen or cut it out with scissors🙂 Get creative with us and then please share your creation in the comments or email to diamond.knispel@headwatersmusicandarts.org.

Diamond Knispel
Art Teacher | Marketing & Arts Program Coordinator
Headwaters Music & Arts

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Virtual Art with Diamond: How to Draw Plants

Drawing plants is a fun way to learn observational drawing skills. This weeks Virtual Art Session touches on observation, shadow vs. light, pencil technique, shading, and still life through the no-pressure form of a plant. The natural form of plants makes them perfect for a budding artist because there isn’t just one way to draw the shape – every angle make the shape appear different. Drawing a plant starts with drawing the leaves.

You will need:

• Pencil (or charcoal)
• Pencil sharpener
• Eraser
• Paper
• A plant or a photo of a plant

Drawing leaves is for everyone! Whether it be with a pencil, crayon, marker, or paintbrush you can join in by observing and drawing your own plant. As always, the goal of our Virtual Art sessions is to introduce a fun project for all ages and artistic abilities. You don’t have to be able to draw a straight line – a curve will do just fine 🙂 Get creative with us and then please share your creation in the comments or email to diamond.knispel@headwatersmusicandarts.org.

Diamond Knispel
Art Teacher | Marketing & Arts Program Coordinator
Headwaters Music & Arts

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Virtual Art with Diamond: Collage

Collage is a form of fine art which means to glue items together. It is a perfect art for when a person is stuck at home and doesn’t have a whole lot of art supplies laying around. The scraps the limit when it comes to making an awesome collage.

You will need:

• Glue or tape
• Scissors (or you can rip the paper)
• Scraps of paper/ cardboard/ ribbon/ string

The collage landscape shown in the video is an easy, no pressure project for all ages and artistic abilities. This is the first video of our weekly virtual art sessions. I hope families and folks hanging at home join in no matter their age or affiliation with Headwaters. The goal is to have fun and practice creativity. We want to see what YOU create! Please share in the comments or email to diamond.knispel@headwatersmusicandarts.org.

Diamond Knispel
Art Teacher | Marketing & Arts Program Coordinator
Headwaters Music & Arts

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Letter from the Director

Greetings,

These past weeks have been a time of uncertainty, adaptation, and change. Despite our best efforts, each day situations and questions arise that catch us off guard. Despite our worst fears, we see glimmers of light and possibility that give us hope and encouragement. Here is an update from this past few weeks: The First City Singers and First City Bell Choir are Headwaters programs. The volunteer organizers suspended their rehearsals and performances until further notice.

We cancelled our events and workshops, including the April 18 Monroe Crossing concert, the Dave Cofell concert, and the April CoffeeHouse Open-Mic night. At the same time, we initiated the option of holding one-on-one music lessons via online platforms such as Skype, Google Duo, or Facetime.

After Monday’s executive order, we closed the building to the public and moved to holding all music instruction through E-lessons. It has been a high learning curve for our instructors and for students and their families, requiring extra communication and cooperation to figure it all out. So far, about 20 of our 255 music students have withdrawn because they had to relocate due to the emergency, because they lack technology, or because they do not want to do lessons remotely. Our music program coordinator Jessica Westlund has worked super hard on this whole process. When my next note reports that we weathered this difficult time and are stronger and better for it, please remember that it will be largely due to Jessica’s attention to detail, her kindness, and her grit.

Until Monday evenings’ order, we thought we could still hold our after-school art clubs, pottery programs and chess program because each group was fairly small. However, on Tuesday we announced that these classes will not be held during the temporary closure.  Depending upon the length of the closure, Headwaters will either extend the programs into the spring or provide refunds. We will stay in regular contact with participants as the situation develops. Art instructors have been offered the option to tackle building or admin projects these next couple of weeks rather than lose the income they would have gotten through delivering these classes.

We are adjusting our projected cash flow to reflect these changes, recognizing that there are certainly more changes ahead of us. The biggest financial pinch is the cancellation of the Monroe Crossing concert, which we expected would our biggest fundraising event this year. There may be a way to conduct an online fundraising event this year, or perhaps do an online auction of the great raffle prizes we have collected. This is just one of the issues to figure out, very soon. For right now, I am in communication with the band and with Paul Bunyan Playhouse to come up with a date for spring 2021.

While we are still in reaction/survival/compliance mode, offering music lesson online has presented some intriguing questions: Will our students make big leaps forward with all the additional practice time at their disposal? In the future, can we deliver all make-up lessons electronically? Can we regularly offer E-lessons in addition to in person lessons? Can we hire instructors who live in other parts of the state or country to teach E-lessons? Once we are on firmer ground with our technology options, can we reach out to youth and adults who live in other parts of the region or the state? Or the country? Rather than simply accept that we will have a drop in student involvement, can we attract new students in the Bemidji area who are hungry for music enrichment in their lives? Will families, seeking creative outlets, be eager to purchase keyboards, guitars, ukuleles, or violins from us? Again, while much is uncertain, it feels good to even imagine there is an upside to all this, and to take action when we can.

In addition to responding to the Covid-19 concerns, our ongoing work continues. We had a very full house for our February 22 music and art instructor showcase. Such talented people around here! Many of our students came to support their instructors. I especially like the picture below of Carolyn receiving a flowers from her student Hannah. It reminds me that we are a community, and that we all have something to offer. Not just instruction and guidance, but also encouragement, kindness, and a generous spirit.

We are working on policy updates, establishing online data storage and better communication processes. Our board is tackling a long range planning process this spring. We have Region 2 Arts, Minnesota State Art Board, and Bemidji Area Arts Endowment, United Way and other grants to submit, report upon, or both. We are seeking additional board members. We have made some building improvements, including new carpeting in several music studios, and are taking bids for a sewer line replacement project for this spring. With the hope that we are still able to offer summer camps, we are working on securing funding and getting the word out about some really fun summer programs. We now have a gumball machine in the lobby, with a portion of the proceeds going to our scholarship programs. Plus, gumballs are just plain fun.

Thank you for your support and investment in Headwaters Music & Arts. We are especially grateful that right now we are on solid enough footing to be able to support our staff and our Headwaters family, address infrastructure needs, continue to keep our doors open, and imagine brighter days ahead.
If there is any way we can be there for you, please let me know.  I feel the need to close with the same message I’ve been using in my updates: Be safe.  Be brave. And let’s continue be there for each other.

With appreciation,

Tricia Andrews, Executive Director

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Headwaters Jam Band For ages 13 -18 | Experience Required

Headwaters Jam Band is a 4 week program dedicated to exploring instrumental improv and composition in a group setting. This monthly program is for participants aged 13-18 with prior experience with their instrument. The group meets on Tuesday’s in the Headwaters East Studio (519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji). The group jams from 6-8pm each evening. Participants are encouraged to show up at 5:30 for setup. Particpants are required to provide their own instruments and amps (if applicable) with the exception of the drum kit. The program is not genre specific. Each month the different groups will work together to create their own unique sound – all musical aspirations are welcome. Advance registration is required – limited spots available. Those who are interested in learning more or taking part in Headwaters Jam Band are asked to fill out the interest form below.

Registration:

Advance registration is required – limited spots available. Those who are interested in learning more or taking part in Headwaters Jam Band are asked to fill out the interest form and will be contacted by the instructor to evaluate skill level, speak about instrument logistics, and discuss availability.

Cost:

$75 / month (scholarships available)

Headwaters Music Program Policies

Those who attend and Headwaters Music program must read, sign, and abide by the Headwaters Music Program Policies. If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of Headwaters Jam Band or Headwaters Music & Arts, please contact the Arts Program Coordinator or Headwaters Executive Director at 218.444.5606.