Passing on the torch of art appreciation through “Pushing the Boundaries”


“Oh mom. Please! Not another ‘educational opportunity’.

My then 11-year-old daughter’s words were sweet. Barely audible.

And I ignored them.

In we went to see an art exhibition that I had planned to examine for the newspaper. After a 60 minute exposure to new worlds, I took her to an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.

It was a treat not to complain to someone else at the gallery – a reward for “good behavior”.

Call it polite blackmail. But sometimes you have to gently push the boundaries if you want to raise young people who will end up valuing the beauty of the arts.

Start small

A place like The Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom is a good place to start taking kids to an art exhibition. It’s small and entry is free.

Exhibitions are organized by staff from the Folsom Parks and Recreation Department. The gallery presents works by regional and national professional artists, collections from museums in the region and traveling exhibitions. It offers original and high quality art exhibitions.

Depending on the attention span of the youngster, you can take a brisk walk of 10 minutes or an hour. Best of all, there are places offering ice cream (at the library), train rides, and zoo animals nearby at the Folsom Town Hall complex.

Push the limits

The gallery’s most recent exhibition, Pushing the Boundaries, opens September 13 and runs through November 7. It presents the work of two artists: paintings and sculptures by Kim Thoman; and the color studies, paintings and prints by Carol Ladewig.

3D printing in art

Visitors to the gallery can expect to see a new tool in mixed media: the 3D printer. Artist Kim Thoman has added this tool to her repertoire. “As a painter, I was particularly interested in using my flat paints as texture for a form,” she said.

It’s an interesting effect.

“The basis of my art is the conviction that duality exists in everything. I am aware of the presence of opposing forces in the world around me, such as intellect and intuition, male and female, stillness and movement, body and soul, light and the dark, the organized and the chaotic, and of course, life and death, ”Thoman added. “My work aims to balance the duality of contrasting energetic forces. My desire is to present the opposite sides of all truth in order to see the real picture. In addition to the philosophical concerns in my work, natural elements emerge which are symbols of my own growth.

Color and light

Carol Ladewig’s art focuses on a fascinating series of color and light studies, including wall installations. Subject and content are determined by when and where it was created. Ladewig divides his time between two studios: one in Oakland and another in rural Massachusetts. The different parts of his works can be influenced by the cycles of the sun and the moon, as well as other factors in the world around him.

“My experience of time develops in the Berkshires with a slower and calmer pace, my work becomes more contemplative, the colors more vivid. In Oakland, the time gets faster, more rushed and I find myself using darker, more muted textured colors, ”she said.

The public is invited to celebrate both exhibitions at the free opening reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, September 13, with refreshments, wine and live saxophone music by Jerry Fairlie. Gallery opening hours and more are available at

No regrets

Today my adult daughter teaches in elementary school. She makes art appreciation fun for her students by involving them in classes and creative activities. Yes, the kid who “suffered” for years of exhibitions has grown to love them.

Knowing that future generations will love the arts, those moments of doubt about “dragging” my child to art places were well worth it. Ice cream and goodies paid off.

English teacher John Keating, played by Robin Williams in “Dead Poets Society”, said something pretty profound about the arts.

“Medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble activities and necessary to sustain life,” he said. “But the poetry, the beauty, the romance, the love… that’s what we stay alive for.”

Time and youth fly away. Share your love for the beauty around you today. Carpe Diem!

Send your event for consideration in Susan’s column at [email protected]

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