Marwen Art Fair 2013

Back in high school I used to take art classes at a wonderful institution called Marwen

"Marwen educates and inspires under-served young people through the visual arts. [It] achieves its mission by providing free visual arts classes to under-served Chicago youth in 6 - 12 grades. Marwen also provides free college and career counseling to high school students and their families who are interested in pursuing a career in the visual arts or wish to continue their education beyond high school."

I heard about it in elementary school and then once I reached high school, I decided to enroll. I believe I was a sophomore when I enrolled into a basic drawing class with an instructor by the name of Barlow. Goodness, I enjoyed that class. I remember being extremely messy with charcoal and feeling so excited to try new methods. I had used charcoal before, but he explained techniques like coloring the whole page with charcoal and using an eraser to draw and it was just awesome. I also took a printmaking course, which was totally new to me and I really enjoyed carving my design and making various prints.

I met new people who were just as excited as I was about drawing and painting, which made me even more excited about learning. Although my main interest was architecture, I knew whatever I was learning would benefit me in the future.

They always had these surveys at the end of class and I kept writing "architecture classes" in the section that asked for comments and suggestions. Soon enough, I looked at the booklet of classes and there was an architecture class on the list. I enrolled and I applied the skills I learned in my high school's architecture program along with new skills I learned in the class to design a building. The instructor soon became a good contact of mine later on and I would see her at other architecture events for students. Marwen was a great place to learn, to network, and experience new things.

I still stay in touch with Marwen through the Art Fair. It takes place every year and gives me an opportunity to sell my work, while also benefitting the programs there. Half of the funds go to Marwen and the other half goes to the artists. I usually bump into old friends at the Art Fair opening day and it's an overall good time. I'm looking forward to taking my husband this year. He helped me frame my collage and it will be selling for $200 at the Art Fair. Join us on November 8th at Marwen if you're in Chicago!

Making of "Translation" collage