In one of his most famous speeches, Robert Kennedy spoke for innovators when he said, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why…I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
Like Mr. Kennedy, there have always been humans discontent with things “the way they are.” They have been called different names—inventor, scientist, artist, daydreamer—but they are all united under the burning question of “why not?”
Today, many people asking that question have found a home in the Maker Movement. Makers imagine new things, experiment, and bring their ideas to life. They often complete this process in the company of others, as Makers recognize the value of sharing ideas and resources. An intentionally broad and inclusive label, anyone, from amateur to professional, is welcome to call themselves a Maker. According to makerfaire.com, Makers are a “growing community of creative and curious people,” and a “wellspring of innovation.” They are immersed in their desire to solve problems, to add beauty to everyday life, and to fashion a better future.
Parkland’s Fine and Applied Arts Department offers opportunities to participate in the Maker Movement. In this blog post, we highlight our Art Program, where faculty members—all working artists and definitely Makers—lead classes in which students paint, draw, compose photographs, solder metal, mold clay and otherwise transform lifeless materials. Students get hands-on, experiential learning in fully equipped workshops. They receive the space and time to think creatively and communicate visually. Like the Maker Movement, all students are welcome and encouraged to join.
Giertz Gallery Director and Metals instructor Lisa Costello offers her take on the popularity of the Maker Movement, and its connection to Art courses.
“As human beings, we are not only built to be consumers, but we have a strong desire to be sensitive makers,” she said. “A huge part of our brains are geared toward small motor skills, attention to detail and the need for thoughtful creativity and problem solving. We offer classes that meet these needs.
“Some of our students are interested in eventually setting up their own studio, perhaps selling on Etsy or in galleries; some already have a degree and are looking to expand how they understand the world; and some take the classes as an elective to enrich their educational experience. It is a great time to take an art class and feed that creative desire, no matter where it stems from.”
If you’re intrigued and ready to discover how you fit in to the Maker Movement, or if you’re already a proud Maker, you’ll find the materials and support you seek in Parkland’s Art classes. Register at parkland.edu/admissions, or by calling 217/351-2482. The payment deadline is August 18 for classes beginning August 24.
Classes are available in the following subjects:
Metals, Drawing, 3-Dimensional Design, 2-Dimensional Design, Photography, Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics
[Kate Ross is the promotions assistant for Fine and Applied Arts.]