Splash! Diving into the imagination - Winter '99 navigation bar
Avenue Road Arts School
Winter Updates

When we added the Kids' page, Splash Puddles, to our newsletter, I thought it would be fun to explore some of the wishes children have made on our Wishing Tree. Apart from the more worldly ones - like wanting a new Barbie Doll or Spice Girls' Poster - they mostly want to do things that take them to places beyond their present circumstances. "I wish I could fly"; "I wish I had magic"; "I wish I were a princess" are perhaps the most common.

I wish that my mommy will take me to the stars

We seem to have an innate desire to transcend the here and now. As Robert Browning said: "Oh that a man's reach should exceed his grasp or what's a heaven for?" We need to dream if our lives are to take on meaning. And we need to pursue our dreams, even when they seem outrageously beyond our grasp.

We often feel happiest when we are doing something that is a stretch for us, something that challenges our abilities. So many adults leave their art classes beaming with satisfaction and saying: "I didn't know I could do that!" We push ourselves a little - and then we can look with pride at what we have done. Sometimes we need to take risks to get what we wish for. Things that make us feel proudest often involve the greatest risks we've ever taken.

I was lucky to have a father who taught me, by his example, that you can push yourself much further than you would ever imagine... that wishing can almost make it so, just as long as you're willing to work hard to get what you wish for. Sometimes we feel down; at times even immobilized. This makes it harder to dream. It's often an effort to wish for anything, other than to feel happier than we do now.

I've never been very good at pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, but I've seen that it is possible. With the recent death of my father, I am inspired to try a little harder.

My dad suffered excruciating pain for the last 25 years of his life. Many people in his condition would have given up and retreated to a wheelchair, and I'm sure he was often tempted. But he wished to live a worthwhile, engaged life until the end, and despite his discomfort he did.

Even on the day he died, having suffered a massive stroke, he summoned all his strength and found the resources to say wonderful things to his family that we will always remember. Courage and determination are qualities that may be partly inherited, but I do believe we can work to make ourselves more brave. He certainly did.

Children are so clear about their dreams and wishes, and this is one of the wonderful lessons they have for us - one of my favorite kids' wishes is "I wish that I could turn into anything I want." We need to think about what we want to turn into and then go for it. As adults we are lucky we can make wishes and then work to try to make them come true. We need to dream. We'll never get old, as long as we can dream. My Dad died at the age of 90 but he was one of the youngest spirits I knew.

Lola Rasminsky, Director


This Winter, Marsha Stonehouse will teach the Wednesday night Acrylic Painting class. She also teaches Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and The Creative Way. Sadko Hadzihasanovic will return in the Spring term to teach Acrylic Painting.

We welcome Irene Luxbacher back to teach this playful and informative class. Irene has been on a sabbatical pursuing her career and exhibiting her own work in and around Toronto.

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, taught by Marsha Stonehouse, will be offered on Thursdays (1:15 - 3:15 pm) starting in January.

Unlock your creative potential and increase self awareness in this class, taught by Marsha Stonehouse on Thursday nights (7:30 - 9:30 pm)

Acting for Fun, taught by Mark Krause, will be offered on Fridays (12:30-2:30 pm), as well as Wednesday evenings (7:30-9:30 pm).

This Winter we will be offering a Photography class suited to the Intermediate/Advanced student. This class will be offered on Tuesday evenings (7:30 - 9:30 pm). The Monday evening Photography class will remain a beginner class.


New This Winter

Jenny Soden, who teaches Mixed Media classes and is the Coordinator of our Muskoka Arts Summer Camp, will be teaching Start with Art and Creative Movement & Music, in the Toddler Arts series. Programs start January 4/99 Limited spaces available in some Winter & Spring classes.

We are sorry to see Mary Wilson leave to pursue her teaching career in Montreal. We wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors.

We are pleased to announce that Architect Terrell Bond, owner of the environmental design firm, Stone's Throw Design, will be joining our Faculty. She will teach children how to create models of the places we live and play. Classes begin January 9, 1999 and run Wednesday, 4:30-6:00 (10-14 yr. olds) & Saturday, 12:45 - 2:15 (8-10 yr. olds).

A fantastical storytelling experience intended to bring Shakespeare ALIVE! Michael Kelly, actor, director, producer and Artistic Director of the arts in education company Shakespeare In Action, has adapted the enchanting tale A Midsummer Night's Dream for young audiences. Michael has taught Acting Shakespeare courses at York University, George Brown College, Equity Showcase Theatre, the National Youth Drama School in New Zealand and conducts yearly classes for The Acyors Workshop. This exciting workshop will introduce children, ages 8-10, to the world, the play, the poetry and the magic of Shakespeare. The participants will create and stage their own performance of the play for friends and family.

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