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Art Bites – Beyond Abstraction, a creative workshop with Stephen Calhoun

September 30, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm




In this workshop iterative artist Stephen Calhoun will teach participants how to utilize several of his methods to create iterative images. The source materials for this exploration of abstraction and pattern are paint chips given to him by the late abstract painter, installation, and mixed media artist Kathy Skerritt.

Over two hours participants will collaborate to organize and build colorful set-ups in containers. Then Stephen Calhoun will demonstrate how these set-ups can be photographed and manipulated using both iPhone/iPad and a digital camera. Participants will be provided with the final, printable artworks.

Calhoun speaks to the aims of this workshop:

“Art is iterative when it duplicates, reorders, repeats, and juxtaposes its materials, forms or aggregates. Art is abstract when its content is neither representative or realistic. However, pattern and order may be introduced to alter unrealistic content. Paradoxically, from this reordering patterns may arise that suggest representative kinds of content. A subset of my art practice is showcased to offer participants an accessible and experiential entry into spontaneous, improvisatory, and collaborative image-building. This situates a distinctive art-making between pure abstraction and representation. Symmetry intersects with this to complicate the abstract in an interplay between abstract source and meaningful order. In the mode of collaboration, I’m fascinated by people going  through conscious phases of observation, reflection, feeling, learning and insight. My hope is this experience learning may impact their own art and outlook. This workshop is designed to facilitate these goals.”

But art?
It is pure and intense play,

so it is like pure and intense life,
so it is like pure and intense fire.
You’ll see the coal burning.
—Antonio Machado

Stephen Calhoun is a self-taught visual artist. To make his often immersive artworks he uses cameras, software, computer, iPad, mathematics, found objects, botanical materials, craft materials, jewelry, paint, light, artificial intelligence, and other stuff to build out sources for iteration, generative processing and manipulation. His iPhone cinema body of work uses his original sound and music designs.

Originally a hobbyist, he was discovered at the age of 59 “minding his own business” by Deba Gray. Since his debut exhibit The Grasp of Order in 2016-2017, he has exhibited widely in the region in solo, juried, and group shows. His artwork is in over 125 private collections. In September he will show a selection of large artworks at Gallery 202, in the 78th Street art complex.

Kathy Skerritt was Stephen’s close friend and ‘art buddy.’ They spent many hours together in their studios learning about each other’s art practices.

About this Stephen says:

“Kathy set the bar very high given her own mastery, and her singular ability to be present, sensitive, centered and open about human creativity and its outputs. We both did a deep dive. No one has matched her understanding of what I am up to! This workshop uses her raw materials to honor her essential role in the development of both my art and how I think about and contextualize creativity, especially creativity which is to some degree soulful and spirited.”

Visit Stephen Calhoun’s website by clicking the link below:



September 30, 2023
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Artists Archives of the Western Reserve
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Artists Archives of the Western Reserve
1834 E. 123rd St.
Cleveland, 44106-1910 United States
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