When I was a kid one of the highlights of our family vacations was making spin art. It was at a miniature golf course and I remember putting a 6”x6” piece of paper down and watching as centrical force created my masterpiece.
All those memories came pouring back last night at Brad Price’s Spin Art Pizza Party at his Hang 12 Art Gallery in Kill Devil Hills.
It was a wonderful evening that reminded me of the joy of being a kid and having my creative horizons expanded and challenged.
Of course, Brad being an artist and creative and never quite satisfied with the status quo, has created a spin machine that produces spin art on a much larger scale than a 6”x6” piece of paper. What the kids get is a 12”x24” stretched canvas on a wooden frame.
They also get pizza from Southern Shores Pizza & Deli. Good pizza, too . . . but as the art came alive, the pizza almost became an afterthought.
What really seems to set the evening apart is Brad’s approach. When I did my six inch square piece of art, it was put the paper down, pour on the paint and spin.
“Long smooth strokes,” he tells the kids. The first step as he explains, is to take the white piece of canvas and make it whatever solid color they want.
I mention to him that it’s great that he’s teaching them technique. He agrees adding, “And it also saves the brushes.”
The kids are using acrylics so the paint dries fairly quickly, but there is a 15 minute pizza break to allow the paint to dry.
Then to the spin machine.
The ages range from four to twelve or maybe thirteen and they’re restless at first as they gather around the spinner. Brad brings out a canvas frame that he has and demonstrates technique and style, showing them how to make circles and explosions of color.
“I’m trying to get you the best piece of art I can,” he tells them.
When the kids see the finished painting the excitement begins to build.
Bella is first—maybe because she seems to be the oldest, or maybe she listened best. Brad, knowing that all the kids want to start spinning right away tells them, “The last one to go get the experience of all the other art. That’s usually the best one we have.”
As Bella begins to create her spin art, suggestions start as a trickle but quickly build to a crescendo. “Use the green . . . no, the blue . . . Oh, it would be really cool if you put dots there and spun it . . .”
As each artist finishes, the painting is set aside to dry, and within seconds they are back at the spinner, adding their voice to the suggestions for the next work of creation.
The finished artwork is so far beyond that little six inch square I created when I years ago, that I find myself wondering if I could pass for a ten-year-old.
Too bad, too. I may not be able to draw a stick figure, but two hours on a Friday night and I could have been the next Picasso.
The Spin Art Pizza Party is every Friday Night at Hang 12 Art Gallery in the Seagate North Shopping Center. Contact Brad Price at (252)-255–2314 or online.