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OFA presents hands-on art lessons

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English and art students at the Ogdensburg Free Academy will be treated to a hands-on lesson in multi-media expression later this month thanks to artist Alan B. Tuttle.

Based in Lewis, Delaware, Mr. Tuttle hails from Oxbow and worked with art students at OFA in the early 2000’s.

This year Mr. Tuttle is bringing a series of art pieces he calls “The Domiciles Project” to the Montpellier Art Gallery at OFA and students will be encouraged to interact with them and create art of their own in response.

“We invite all forms of creative responses to them,” Mr. Tuttle said.

Mr. Tuttle’s Domiciles Project features a series of doors with partially formed images created on the front and back that seem to give a voyeuristic glance into the world on the opposite side.

Mr. Tuttle said the project began in 2005 when he began to paint the images on his antique doors and found that viewers had a deep emotional reaction to them.

“I’ve found that people want to put their own twist on it,” he said.

Today Mr. Tuttle publishes the stories that people create based on his work on his website, www.thedomicilesproject.com, and he doesn’t view the art as complete without seeing the reaction of an engaged viewer.

Dianne K. Drayse, chair of the OFA art department, said Mr. Tuttle’s work is “an intriguing project because they’re not really complete until the viewer participates in the viewing. That’s perfect in an educational setting.”

A collaboration between the English and art departments, Mrs. Drayse said, “Students can come and respond to [the doors] in many different ways. In prose, poetry, a monologue, a presentation of their monologue; they all get published on Alan’s website.”

The doors will be at the OFA gallery from Sept. 25 to 27 and will be available for a public viewing on the evening of Sept. 26.

Mr. Tuttle will also bring his work to Gouverneur Central School on Sept. 23 and 24 and to Indian River Central School on Sept. 18,19 and 20.

“This is a great way to bring something fresh and new into our programs,” Mrs. Drayse said.

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