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Students from an assemblage class recently taught by Esther Siegel and Spencer Brewer will show their work in the front windows of the Corner Gallery for the month of February. This well-known Redwood Valley couple have been creating and showing their own art for years, but branching out to teaching classes is a new experience for them.


According to Esther, "This was an entirely unknown process for many of the students. Most of them didn't have an idea where to start or what they were going to do. They were all pleasantly surprised that they could use objects to make art. It opened up a new identity. Some felt creatively stifled in the beginning, and starting with actual objects gave them a place from which to jump start and explore making art in a new way."


Esther remembers being in an art show for the first time. "It was mind-blowing to see my work on the wall... it totally altered my perception of myself." The same happened with her students, one of whom declared "Who would have thought that being an artist in a gallery would ever be on my bucket list?" A lot of the students never before identified as artists, so this downtown show is a real opening for them.

click below for a quick look

Participants in this inaugural class included three sets of couples. One worked on a piece together, which, according to Esther, offered them opportunities to process issues of individuality, separation and decision making.  The other two couples worked side by side on their individual pieces. There was also a mother-daughter couple, and though the child was only ten years old she was able to focus and stay with the process. "As a matter of fact," Esther laughs, "most of the students were so focused that they didn't even jump into the pool that was offered. They all wanted to keep working!"


Esther explains more about this intense creative work... "There is a lot of therapy in the creative process, for singles and couples alike. You learn about yourself, risk taking, self expression and boundaries. This is especially true for some participants," she says, "who created pieces that were very personal or about tough issues."


Spencer observes that people gained confidence as they learned. "Some of them," he explains, "came to the class without knowing how to use basic tools like drills, hammers, screwdrivers and sanders." It was necessary to teach these fundamentals before getting the artistic process running. Feedback from the students was that they were pleased that Esther and Spencer were good teachers in addition to being great artists, which is not always the case. The result of both new teachers and new students trusting each other to guide and be guided is fifteen pieces of art for the show... humorously entitled "Casing the Joint."


With the resounding success of this inaugural class, Esther and Spencer have plans to continue teaching on a monthly basis. The next class they will offer is a couples class before Valentines Day, with room for 4 couples to enroll. Contact Esther at if you would like to find out more or sign up.


The First Friday opening of "Casing the Joint" will be on February 2 from 5-8pm. Live music will be provided throughout the evening by "Obie" aka Michael Oberg. The Corner Gallery is located at 201 S State Street in Ukiah.

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