Whitehot Magazine

“Magic and Happiness” at BedStuy’s Artshack

Inke, glazed ceramic, courtesy Artshack.

Magic and Happiness: A Show by Artshack's Kids


July 29 through September 3, 2021

By JOHN DRURY, October 2021 

Yesterday’s “on fleek”, is today’s “snatched” at the shack. Lingo, like fashion, changes seasonally. And beneath a glaze of Covid19 reluctance, there exists still, an untarnished brilliance in the adaptability of our children. The young are quick to adjust - to adopt new skills, simply with opportunity and exposure - and this current crew of fresh faces proves absolutely no exception to the rule, in spite current adversity. In a brilliant display their summer’s joyful production, at the young resource in Brooklyn’s BedStuy neighborhood, a masked gang of 8-year-old kids reveal a genius freed in the reflection of self-assessment and as participants in the not-for-profit facilities program for pre-teens. Art is good. 

Tamani, Martian, glazed ceramic, courtesy Artshack.

Most children like mud, and clay is the perfect material allowing the immediacy – the malleability – suitable sometimes tough circumstance. Our 9/11, is their Coronavirus; and like our catastrophe, the game changer from which there will be no return to the previously understood normal. One must simply seize the day and aim to move forward. Like mud pies, the proof then, is in the proverbial pudding. Creative action (and reaction) is an intuitive and healthy response to the unforeseen; and in wares produced without worrisome foresight, very few will find the frothy visual delight on display truly unsatisfying. The result then, proof of the Artshack’s accountability as an anti-racist, queer-affirming organization celebrating the creativity of youth and honoring people of all abilities, is simply joyful. The kids are alright. 

Anaïs (age 8), glazed ceramic platter, courtesy Artshack.

It is the rest of the adult world, presently so dangerously jacked up. If you find yourself in need, of some “me-time”, a new batch of course offerings at the Artshack begins November 3rd. Take a cue from the kids and snatch yourself some. Be the GOAT. WM

John Drury

John Drury is a multi-media artist, published author, independent curator and instructor. Drury holds a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design (1983) and a Master of Fine Art Degree in sculpture (1985; including a minor in painting), from Ohio State University. John is the father of two teenagers, living in New York City since 1989 and has received the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Award for his work in sculpture.

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