March 9, 2016

Instructor Select 2016: Transmission of Ideas

written by Kady Murzin, Exhibitions and Marketing Intern

Hand Study, Margaret Fransen
Hand Study, Margaret Fransen

As the bridge between artists and public, AAC has the opportunity to bring people together with contemporary art.

Throughout the year, our space is an exhibitions venue presenting new work by regional artists in the Mid-Atlantic States.

At the same time, we’re supporting and promoting local art through our Studio Residency program, which makes space for 12 local artists.

Finally, we also house an amazing art education program for students of all ages and experience levels.

Wow! That is a lot of words (and a lot of work)! We love it when the different parts of AAC intersect, and if we are not able to find them, we make them happen!

This is how the Instructor Select 2016 exhibition was developed. Currently on view in our Jenkins Community Gallery, this show combines AAC’s education and exhibitions programs. The artists presenting work are the talented students and instructors from our weekly adult classes.

Dream, Molly McCracken
Paper Doll Dream (detail), Molly McCracken

By experimenting with a variety of mediums and techniques, instructors are able to assist students from our weekly adult classes through the creative process.

Students have commented that the relaxed environment of the classes allowed for the flow of creativity. That they were able to take a break from their hectic work week and focus on themselves and their artistic process.

Not only do students from our adult classes gain insight into the creative process, so do the instructors!

Stephanie Lane, an instructor who is exhibiting work in Instructor Select, learns from her students in every class.

“My students are very enthusiastic and positive which makes for inspired work within an environment of high energy that flows between everyone. They constantly reinforce the value of freedom and intuitive mark making which is essential to the creative process. There is always something inventive happening where self-discovery is key,” she said.

Rolodex of Wonders, Jennifer Wilkin Penick
Rolodex of Wonders, Jennifer Wilkin Penick

Jennifer Wilkin Penick experiences a similar phenomenon in her classes. Through preparation for her classes, Jennifer is able to stay on task and find more time to focus on her own art, while exploring new techniques.

“By teaching mixed-media art classes that often include former students, I am encouraged to vary techniques presented and projects assigned, to keep each class feeling fresh to returning students. The really enjoyable side-effect of this is that I find myself exploring techniques that are new to me, too.”

Jennifer is motivated to work harder in her own practice to be able to more effectively share her ideas with her students.

Shaping of a Lake, Melanie Kehoss
Shaping of a Lake, Melanie Kehoss

Another instructor in the exhibition, Melanie Kehoss understands the value of working with like-minded creative individuals.

“My students see the process of art-making with fresh eyes.  They question jargon, materials, and techniques that I take for granted, and together we find answers.  Teaching helps me master the details of my field, from investigating artists who relate to student work, to learning what kneaded erasers are made of (usually polymers, FYI).”

Melanie’s installation Jeweled Traditions will be on view in our atrium this spring beginning April 16.

Jeweled Traditions, detail
Jeweled Traditions, detail

This work is a collaborative project between Melanie and our 2015 summer campers.

Because her work revolves around the peculiarities of “American” traditions, and how they have formed from the mingling of our various ethnic and religious backgrounds, she had her students re-enact some of their favorite traditions, which she later translated into paper-cut silhouettes. You can see this work starting next month and going through June 12.


Instructor Select 2016 will be on display on the Lower Level in the Jenkins Community Gallery until April 3. Also currently on view at AAC, resident artist Rachel Schmidt’s solo exhibition Daydreams in the Anthropocene, on the Upper Level, and King of the Forest: Adventures in Bioperversity, on the Main and Lower Levels.

Students of all ages are welcome to register for AAC’s 2016 Spring and Summer classes! We highly recommend the adult classes for students ages 18+. Some of these classes are taught by the instructors featured in Instructor Select 2016. Who knows, you might even find that you become one of the artists exhibiting their art in an upcoming Instructor Select exhibition at AAC!

Artist Talks with Andrew Barco and Elliot Doughtie

Saturday / October 21 / 1pm-3pm

Join artists Andrew Barco and Elliot Doughtie for conversations about their solo exhibitions currently on view at MoCA Arlington.

Neon Nights: Gala & Silent Auction

Wednesday / September 27 / 7pm

Join us on Wednesday, September 27 for a special gala and silent auction to benefit the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington. Tickets range from $250 to $500 and include a 3-course dinner, silent auction, and the joy you’ll feel knowing you’re supporting the museum! Can’t attend? Consider sponsoring an artist to attend in your place!

MoCA on the Move at Met Park

Sundays 10am-12pm

MoCA Arlington at Met Park
Fun for the whole family! No Experience Required offers playful art making activities for children (and their curious adults) every Sunday morning. There will be collaborative, community-built art works, and opportunities to “make and take” works, too.

CLOSE