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Former art instructor warns against ‘teacher pleasers’

Provided to the Tribune
Provided to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Judy Arrigotti will be the speaker and demonstrator at the Sept. 13 Tahoe Art League meeting.
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Judy Arrigotti, who painted two bears for Tahoe’s CeleBEARtion, will be the speaker/demonstrator at the Sept. 13 Tahoe Art League meeting. If you have a “BEAR Map” (now available at most tourist information places) it will be easy to locate and enjoy seeing her bears: Kato Bear of the Lake (No. 3) is next to Safeway/Roundhill and Hog Heaven (No. 40) is at Lakeshore Lodge and Spa. Pat Ronan, of Lakeshore Lodge, asked Arrigotti if she could incorporate a road with motorcyclists enjoying touring into her Tahoe scenery design. She said that “Hog” is for the motorcyclists and “Heaven” is for Lake Tahoe.

Arrigotti said her passion for art began in the fourth grade, when her parents bought her an oil-paint set. Her interest in art only increased and led to a 30-year career of teaching art to children and adults. For eight years of her teaching career she worked with gifted children. During this time she studied creativity in an effort to better understand how teachers could encourage creativity in children.

Arrigotti said, “If encouraged, creative children can be tomorrow’s leaders, artists, composers, authors and inventors. If children don’t think that creativity is valued, they are encouraged to be teacher pleasers, followers and to do the expected. I learned that creative people are fluent and they have lots of ideas because they have experiences, interests and knowledge to draw from. They are flexible and are intellectually playful by combining, expanding or modifying ideas to think differently. They are original and strive to be different, to do the unexpected, to push for ideas that nobody else will think of. They exhibit creative behavior because they believe they are creative. They have been praised for their creative ideas so they stretch to be creative and the more they practice the better they get.”



In 1999 Arrigotti retired from her elementary school teaching position to fulfill a lifelong dream – to be a full time artist. While teaching, she discovered the diversity and excitement of using gourds as her canvases. She said, “Gourds are my canvas and my sculpting material. The numerous shapes and sizes of gourds stimulate my ideas and challenge the artist within. My sculptures are recognizable because of my intricate ‘cutouts.’ I remove the negative space to create 360-degree designs. This process combines the tactile qualities of sculptures and the visual imaging of fine paintings with nature’s organic beauty.”

Arrigotti’s gourd designs portray still life, figures, wildlife, landscapes and seascapes. They include tabletop sculptures, wall hangings and masks. Thirty years of training and experience as a two-dimensional artist and teacher help her technically implement her ideas. Years of studying creativity have inspired her to think “outside the box.” Her gourd work can be viewed locally at Fire & Rain Gallery and in the Village Center.



Arrigotti is a member of several professional art organizations and is president and founder of the El Dorado Hills Arts Association.

Tahoe Art League meetings are held from 7 to 9 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month at the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center, 3050 Lake Tahoe Blvd. These meetings are open to the public. Art league members are eligible to participate in “Art Around Town,” where local restaurants and businesses offer art display space and outdoor shows.

The league is currently gearing up for the TAL Art EXPO, which will take place Oct. 18 and 19 at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Club. For information on these and other activities view the TAL Web site at http://www.tahoeartleague.org or call (530) 577-2604 or (775) 588-3579.


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