The line between controlling and participating in the process of creating art is a fine one that artist Homare Ikeda has quietly mastered: His ability to go with the flow and let his abstracted images take him to new places daily is both extraordinary and inspirational to his students, whom he tries to instill with the courage to experiment. For the teens from Auroras William Smith High School who fell under the mentorship of the sweet-natured, storytelling Japanese-born painter early this year as part of PlatteForum's Learning Labs program pairing at-risk students with resident artists, it was a godsend.
The fruits of Ikedas unique residency, during which he painstakingly completed eleven new drawings each morning and used some of them to create a stunning abstract animation, will go on display today in Lines in Space. The exhibit, which opens with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m., also includes collaborative student pieces and sketchbooks.
PlatteForums Judy Anderson cant say enough about the work, and especially Ikedas animation: Its like one of his paintings in action, she notes, in which the delicate interaction of lines and shapes take on a Zen-like form.
As for Ikeda, he admits the digital animation process is tedious and time-consuming. But the result is very exciting, he explains, both as a new explorative route and as a way to demonstrate the art of chance-taking to his students. I try to teach them how to listen, to look, to speak and be engaged, he says, and Anderson concurs: He ignites this thing in them and kind of teaches them how to be free. By teaching them to trust themselves and be less judgmental, he helps them open up to new ideas.
Lines in Space remains on view at PlatteForum, 1610 Little Raven Street, through March 20. Go to www.platteforum.org or call 303-893-0791.
March 5-20, 2009