Repurposing & Research, That’s What’s Up at Aspire of WNY’s iXpress Studio!

Aspire of WNY’s Lakewood, NY, iXpress studio is known for many incredible works of art, fun times, and now, repurposing many donated items they receive.

The most recent repurposed project was a huge, old “starving artist” canvas that had become damaged. It was repaired and gessoed (a thin layer of plaster of pairs or gypsum is applied to the canvas to help prepare for a painting) a few years ago just to be moved around from here to there in the art room. It wasn’t until just recently we figured out a use for this blank canvas waiting to become a masterpiece!

The iXpress program participants were working with pastels and, in the process, learned a bit about the artist Wolf Kahn. Wolf Kahn was a German-born American painter known for his combination of Realism and brilliant color field who worked in pastel, oil paint, and printmaking. Research of images led the artists to do their own acrylic rendition of one of Kahn’s vibrant pastels titled “Formal Tree Row.”

Several artists participated in transforming the aforementioned old canvas into a beautiful work of art called “Memories of the Season.” To create the piece, they used masking tape and old sponges as well as their brushes and fingers to create not only a lovely painting but also new memories. As the painting progressed, the staff and artists laughed, made a mess, tipped over the easel on more than one occasion, and thoroughly enjoyed the process together.

Artists include Eric Morrison, Mary Ebert, Jesse Slade, Jessica Mancari, and Katie Spence.