Juliette Aristides The Artistís Model on Break

Art Inspires Ashland starts Friday at Ashland Art Center

The second annual Art Inspires Ashland, known for its TED Talk-style lectures and interactive workshops designed to inspire, will showcase the fields of classical painting, documentary filmmaking and comic-style illustration.

Staged by the Ashland Art Center, the presentations run Friday and Saturday and will feature painter Juliette Aristides, filmmaker Reina-Marie Loader and comic artist, author and musician Lucy Knisley.

"These are world-renowned leaders in their fields," said Denise Baxter, executive director of the Ashland Art Center. "It's a great honor to be able to do hands-on work with these accomplished artists from three very different areas. It's an opportunity to look up and be inspired by what we do every day as artists."

Twenty-minute talks, designed to be high-impact and crammed with useful information, will be given at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St. The artists' works also will be on display. Cost is $20 in advance to see all three artists, $25 at the door. Tickets and information are at http://artinspiresashland.org.

Loader's workshop on independent filmmaking is from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday at the Art Center, 357 E. Main St. It's $30.

A meet-and-greet for the artists, with food and wine, is at 7 p.m. Friday at the Art Center.

Aristides will do a nude drawing workshop, while Knisley will present a comic drawing workshop, both Saturday at the Art Center, and both sold out.

A public screening of Loader's film, "Sarajevo: Shelved Memories," will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Armory. It's $5, with tickets for sale at the Armory or Art Center.

"Sarajevo is an experimental docudrama, not a pure documentary," says Loader, who is coming from Vienna. "It steers away from convention towards a more artistic approach to filming real events — but it is out-of-the-box filmmaking."

Loader's edgy films include "Horn," about poaching of endangered rhinos in Africa, and "Cutting Silence," about genital mutilation. Her website is www.cinemahumain.com.

"I can't change the realty of people's prejudice, but I can initiate debate," Loader says. "The act of filmmaking becomes a personal weapon. Art is a form of resistance to the feeling of powerlessness."

Aristides is a teacher and founder at the Aristides Atelier (workshop) of the Gage Academy of Fine Arts in Seattle. She is dedicated to rebuilding traditional arts education in the U.S., she says, and is the author of "Lessons in Classical Drawing" and "The Classical Painting Atelier."

Aristides will speak about the process and the purpose of making art, which is "to seek to understand and convey the human spirit through her art," she notes. Her website is www.aristidesarts.com.

In addition to her art, Knisley, a New Yorker, is a puppeteer, ukulele player and food-travel writer, as well as the author of books in her field. She is named on Amazon's Best Books list. Her book "Relish" is about growing up in the food industry. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her website is www.lucyknisley.com.

The use of the TED Talk platform, says Baxter, "has caused me to pursue and recognize what's going on in our own lives and how we can be inspired by these successful people. ... They bring a continuous theme in all arts for inspiration and making it through every day and feeling it matters."

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

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