‘Creativity excavation’

Sixth annual 100DayProject to begin

Ann Russ, who’s helping to spearhead the sixth annual 100DayProject, looks at art created in the 2018 100DayArt project by Kate Greenough. The display is one of several projects exhibited in the Huron Mountain Gallery at the Peter White Public Library. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)

MARQUETTE — A hundred days can go by pretty quickly when you’re involved in something personal and creative.

The sixth annual 100DayProject, a community-wide initiative designed to spur independent artistic creativity, has a launch date of Jan. 20, with the project finishing 100 days later on April 29.

Marquette ceramist Ann Russ again is spearheading the local effort, along with Houghton artist Cathy Benda. The goal is for participants to take part in something creative every day for 100 consecutive days.

“Basically a 100DayProject is a creativity excavation,” Russ said. “It awakens creativity through a daily hands-on practice of 100 days.”

Such a project, she said, gives participants a chance to “play and explore and experiment and innovate — and to make mistakes” for that length of time.

This is 2018 100DayProject art created by Kate Greenough. It is one of several projects on display in the Huron Mountain Gallery at the Peter White Public Library. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)

“How often do we give ourselves permission to do that?” Russ asked. “It’s not about making beautiful art or perfect art. It’s a process that develops in us new ways of seeing, thinking.

“Really, creativity is a practical thing because it makes us better problem solvers and innovators, and opens our eyes and our minds to new possibilities.”

The theme this year is “Art’s Capacity to Nurture,” which highlights creativity as a life-giving force that supports thriving in people.

Marquette artist Cindy Deo has been a participant in the 100DayProject and plans to be a part of it again this year.

“Personally I get excited about using and thinking about materials,” Deo said, “and i get excited about just my inner artist that is usually kind of dormant for a while because I do other things.”

This is 2018 100DayProject art created by Claire Moore. It is one of several projects on display in the Huron Mountain Gallery at the Peter White Public Library. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)

Deo, whose priority as a grandmother is taking care of her granddaughter, said she enjoys being able to have some “me time” to express herself artistically.

A trademark of her artwork is the incorporation of recycled items.

“This year, for instance, I am going to use materials I’ve collected over the years, like cloth, and I’m going to dye a cloth and use it in some kind of landscape,” Deo said.

She also takes photographs, and her landscape pictures, she noted, can be used for landscape quilts.

Deo might not have to search too much for recycled materials. A longtime thrift store patron, she said she already has a stash of items she can use in her artwork.

Several arts organizations will partner in the project this year: the Grand Marais Art Colony in Grand Marais, Minnesota; the Marquette Artist Collective; the city of Marquette Arts and Culture Center; the Gaylord Area Council for the Arts in the Lower Peninsula; Gallery 515 in downstate Clare; and Studio 23/The Arts Center in downstate Bay City.

An exhibit of 100DayProject work is on display through the end of January in the Huron Mountain Gallery at the Peter White Public Library. The exhibit features work by the 2018 creative partner, the Marquette Artist Collective.

A reception is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the exhibit, which differs from other art exhibits in at least one way.

“When we go to exhibits, what we see is finished work,” Russ said. “We see the culmination of years and years of experimentation and missteps and steps along the way.”

Those missteps often are hidden from the public.

What’s brilliant about the 100DayProject exhibit, she said, is the artists giving patrons a glimpse into their solitary journeys.

“It’s an idea that they explored over 100 days,” Russ said, “and they’re showing us how that idea evolved.”

She acknowledged some of the work is raw.

“It’s unfinished, but finished work is not the point tof a 100Day project,” Russ said. “It’s about the process of creativity and how an idea develops over time.”

Bessemer artist Kate Greenough’s display in the exhibit incorporates squares with items such as stones and a leaf. The artwork of Marquette’s Claire Moore shows small colorful squares depicting a dog, a house and other things.

Oil portraits on canvas fill the section of art by Sabrina Langdon of Marquette, who said in her artist statement that the 100DayProject is always a chance for her to reflect and focus on creating consistently.

“The exhibit is instructive in the sense that it challenges our assumptions about creativity — the assumption that we either have it, we’re either creative or we’re not, or we’re either born with creativity or we don’t have it it’s a gift from the Creator,” Russ said.

An information session on the upcoming project is set for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the MACC, and will include a tour of the 100DayProject exhibit.

For more information on the project and to get involved, visit the100dayproject.com to register, or visit its Facebook page.

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