The Foundry hosts young and old artists


Linda Brown, a local high school teacher, looks at the “Fishy” drawing at The Foundry.

martin chang, editor in chief


Every March The Foundry celebrates the creativity and imagination of children with their Art Imitates Art exhibit.

In the exhibit, which is in its second year, The Foundry asks children to send in their drawing of their pets, like fish and turtles, their families, or whatever the children wants to draw, then an artist is assigned to reinterpret the drawing. They paint and sculpt using the shapes and colors of a child’s imagination as inspiration.

The show opened March 1 as a part of First Friday.

Jorge Guillen has participated in the show for the last two years it has been held.

He explained the process that he went through working off a child’s piece.

“You have to stick to the core principles in the shapes of the original piece,” he said. It’s up to you to make it your own and it stick to the fundamentals that the young artist developed.”

Guillen’s piece “On the 5th day the sun rose” was what he called “Mayan inspired.”

“I added glyphs representing The Foundry, glyphs representing themes in the original drawing,” Guillen explained about his piece. “There’s elements of cubism, there’s elements of graffiti.”

Guillen enjoyed the process of the Art Imitates Art exhibit.

“I like it because there’s elements of a bunch of different art styles. It’s a really good experience,” he said.

Debbie Korhonen, an artist in the show, had three of her kids contribute to the show.

Luke, age 4, drew a monster because he “liked them.”

Luke said he liked what the adult artist did with his drawing, but when asked what he liked about it he simply replied “monsters.”

Ethan, age 8, was a bit more articulate. He said that he painted “a turtle in a cage” because they have a pet turtle at home.

He liked how Teri Webb, the artist who did his piece, made the eyes of his turtle “kind of the same” and “stick out like 3D.” Webb’s piece used nuts and bolt glued to a painting to create that effect.

Briel, age 6, described her piece as “fish, and turtle, in the ocean.” Similar to Luke she drew those things because he liked them.

Korhonen enjoyed watching her children spread their wings.

“It’s a great opportunity. People have been wanting to shake their hands and that’s sweet,” she said.

According to Christina Sweet, a co-owner and executive director of The Foundry, the show is popular every year and this year was no exception.

“[The show is going] wonderful. It’s twice as big. The crowd has been pouring in all night long. Sales are great. Kids have been coming in sipping sparkling cider. It’s definitely been a great success,” she said.

Sweet thinks this comes from the show being a family outing.

“It brings out family that normally wouldn’t be out on a Friday night with their kids,” she said. “It just brings in their parents, it brings in their grandparents, their sisters, brothers, friends, and it’s just a big crowd pleaser.”

For Sweet, who herself participated in the show, one of the goals of the show is to challenge the adult artists.

“I like the challenge it poses. To use the exact shapes that the children uses and to create something or embellish on it,” she said.

Sweet explained how she addressed that challenge when she interpreted a piece by a 3 year old that drew her family.

“You just have to use your imagination,” she explained. “It’s just squiggles and shapes here and there. I had to turn them into worms having a garden party. You just have to open your mind and do whatever fits the shapes you end up with.”

Sweet’s top goal and favorite part of the Art Imitates Art shows is how it encourages children to continue their artistic impulses.

“My favorite part is when the kid sees what their piece has turned into,” she said. “They [the children] giggle, they laugh and they smile. It’s almost like watching mini-adults having a good time at an art exhibit. They’re sipping their cider, tasting their candy, walking around, they’re opening their eyes to others art, not just not looking at the piece they did.”

“The goal is to make the children proud of their artwork, to encourage them to keep going. That’s why we’re going to have it every year. We want all the artist kids to come back every year and participate and grow.”