Art Kaleidoscope serves on a community scale as well as on the level of the individual. This open event offers a needed venue and a valuable resource for the individual artist, while working to reestablish a vital arts-culture within Harrisburg and introduce art to the greater community.
I speak to the opportunity that AK provides artists as a regular participant during recent months’ events. Preparing one’s work and thoughts and presenting them in front of peers and onlookers helps to fill several crucial artists’ needs – that of advancing the work beyond the limits of the studio; of forcing nebulous ideas into articulation; of opening one’s private artistic practice to outside critique. Further, time spent in the audience each month – taking in ideas and sharing in the endeavors of other artists in attendance – can be as valuable as the experience of making one’s work known to others.
For the community of Harrisburg and all who might visit to take part in its cultural offerings, Art Kaleidoscope serves a unique function. It places artists and their work in a intriguing-but-relatable context, and allows for direct public participation. Because the event is free to attend and takes place in a welcoming local establishment, the presentations and interactions that result are, in actuality, public art – an “art-speak” designation that can carry enough expectations and connotations to be potentially limiting to those creating and those experiencing the work. From all I’ve seen so far, such limitations don’t apply in the forum granted to artists and their community on a monthly basis through gathering for Art Kaleidoscope.
- Leann Leiter, Painting and Photography
Art Kaleidoscope has twice given me the opportunity to exhibit my photographs in an informal and supportive gathering of other artists. In one evening I can present my work and see the work of many other artists. It’s a wonderful, wonderful service to the art community.
- Dale Bicksler, Photography
Although my experience is limited with Art Kaleidoscope in Harrisburg, PA, it has proven to be a great
outlet to speak about art and have discussions with artists in the area. It seems that once artists are
finished with their schooling it is difficult to find like-minded people to share ideas and feel out their
own artistic process. Art Kaleidoscope has given professional and amateur artists alike, an atmosphere
they feel comfortable exploring their creative practice. I feel very privileged to have this opportunity
- Brook S. Lauer, Textiles and Painting
Art Kaleidoscope is a wonderful program supporting the arts and artists working around the area of Harrisburg. It has personally given me the opportunity to view a wide variety of work from artists of an wide assortment of disciplines and has influenced and strengthened my own personal work. Any thriving art community needs a forum to openly discuss and share ideas. Art Kaleidoscope acts as that medium and the city and its artists would be severely deprived without it.
- Alan Kordas, Painting
My art is photography and even though there are other photographers, each has their own niche which I believe helps expand our own photography skills. I have also enjoyed the other crafts such as music, weaving, book art and the short story movie.
Away from the artist community I so easily found in art school, I have found it challenging outside of college to stay connected with other artists. The Art Kaleidoscope gives local artists the means to connect, share their work, and give each other feedback. The monthly meetings inspire and encourage me as I continue to make my own art. I am interested in any and all art, so I enjoy the variety of artists’ presentations, especially the question and answer portion when I can ask them more specific questions about their processes.
- Rachel Campbell, Painting
I love shopping and getting coffee at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. It is a community hub. They have music, meetings and art. Leading up the stairs to the second floor is a mural painted by one of my professors at Messiah College. It used to be outside of their old building. Because the Midtown Scholar is so active in our local arts community, they moved the mural inside of their new, larger location.
I went to the Midtown Scholar to look at some books and get the best coffee in town, and I saw a flyer advertising for the first meeting of Art Kaleidoscope. I have a B.A. in Studio Art and was already looking for a way to reconnect with the art community in Harrisburg. The flyer said I could submit my art and present it in a slide show. I was so excited. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to lug around my physical art. This way I could show more of my work.
I didn’t have the guts to submit to the first show. I wanted to see what sort of precedent would be made. It was wonderful. There was a wide range of skill and subjects. After the artists talked about their work and the show was over, I was able to go up to the artists and talk one on one. I was thrilled. I had been to traditional artist receptions and was lucky to be able to say a word or two to the artist. Art Kaleidoscope provides a casual, down to earth chance to interact with local artists, see their work and talk with them. It breaks down the barrier between the viewer and the venerated artist. When I look at art I always want to talk to the creator. This gathering makes art much more accessible.
I presented my work in March. I hadn’t spoken in front of an audience for years. It helped me to articulate my own intentions for my art. What was important to say? How do I convey a thought, to people who may know very little about art, and to people who have studied it for years. I was nervous, but the show built me up and helped to satiate my need for interaction and communication. It was great finding parallels between my work and others. We talked about them and it was like going to school. One of the best ways to learn is peer interaction. It is very cool to have peers of different ages, different levels of skill and diverse backgrounds. For me, the only other way to meet local artists was by going to traditional artist receptions. At Art Kaleidoscope we are given an informal, personable forum, located in one of the hippest and community driven places around. I look forward to it each month.
- Christine E. Neumann , Painting, Photography, Graphic Design