One of the joys of getting away on vacation is learning something new. For those who have always wanted to explore their artistic side (and see what might be hiding inside you), Pat Gawle at Arte 550 can bring that desire to life! First of all, Pat is an excellent artist and her gallery is filled with beautiful clay sculptures, as well as hand-painted tiles. She combines whimsy with spiritualism -- all executed in a unique, primitive style.
When we first went to the gallery three years ago, Pat was getting ready to offer classes in clay sculpture, tile painting, and decorative floor-cloth painting among others. My wife and I decided to try our hand at sculpting and are now finishing our fourth year of classes! Pat is an excellent teacher -- helpful, patient, and funny. After going over the basics, she helps you to pick a project -- often something you think you will never be capable of accomplishing (I should say that I had never previously had an art class and therefore felt pretty clueless!). Classes typically meet once a week and projects can range from a single day to multiple weeks. I am attaching a picture of the pelican I made in my first class. I was amazed that I was able to create something like that. Since then I have created several other pieces and look forward every year to returning to PV and class with Pat.
I should mention that in addition to the classes in her studio, Pat also leads "art adventures" outside of town. We have been with her twice to the beautiful village of El Tuito, most recently to do a raku firing in her gas kiln there. You also get to meet a local Mexican clay sculptor who does amazing pre-Columbian replica pieces as well as enjoying a late lunch in the village.
The next time you find yourself in PV, pop in and see Pat. You might see us in the back, working on our projects and chatting the day away. Take a class and amaze yourself!
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