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Artspace Summer Arts Program Teaching Artist: Scott Renk

Spotlight on Artspace’s Teaching Artists

At the Artspace Summer Arts Program, each class is taught by creative, fun and talented artists. Follow along as they tell you a bit more about who they are and what they do.

Find out more about Scott Renk, an Artspace Artist who is teaching three classes (one adult and two child) at the Artspace Summer Arts Program this summer.

Scott Renk

Scott Renk practicing some Urban Sketching.

1) When did you know you wanted to be an artist when you grew up?  

My grandmother Rosella was a fabulous painter with  an Italian background, I used to sit beside her for hours and watch her paint and listen to music together. I know she inspired me with her incredible works.  After I established a successful audio/musical career I started sketching obsessively forcing myself to let go of my fear of failure and see mistakes as a positive part of the creative process.  After attending the Urban Sketching Symposium in the Dominican Republic and meeting and sketching with incredible artists from around the world, I knew I wanted to bring the love and energy of urban sketching to Raleigh and make it a daily routine for me.

2) What inspires you most about working with kids?  

student work

Example of one of Scott’s students’ work.

Watching the torch of creativity and expression being passed on to another generation truly inspires me.  Just to be a sliver on the great tree of art is such a great and humbling notion.  I have had many amazing experiences from teaching all levels of students.  Perhaps my most moving was painting ceiling tiles with children who have cancer and their families at the Ronald House at Duke.  I have never seen such strength and positive energy exhibited by individuals experiencing the most dire of circumstances.  Watching the power of art to uplift their spirits was incredible, something I will never forget.  They taught me more than I can ever have dreamed about.  Also, as a teacher of At-Risk students I have had the good fortune of having a student who had never taken art go on to art school and even greater heights of fashion design in New York city.  She is like a daughter to me.  Teaching Urban sketching to middle school and high school students has also brought me great experiences as I can see incredible talent and understanding of our next generation in action.  I had the distinct honor of being invited to teach urban sketching to 200 architects from around the world at the  2015 AIA National Conference in Atlanta.  I was very happy to see how the architects responded to my teaching creativity and to get the “straight lines to get jiggy” with their drawing.  It was amazing to see them turn into little kids as they played with various mediums and creative techniques.    As a teacher, I consider it a life long endeavor and will always be open to more learning and communication with former students.3) What is your favorite thing about teaching at Artspace? What are you most excited about this summer?I love the environment and commitment to teaching artists and the community that Artspace provides.  It is rare for some organizations to be so supportive of local artists who can teach the local community about art.  I am most excited about having a little free time to sketch with my son and hang out with him over the summer.  I also hope to find some time to work on my animation and music as well as make lots of art.


Scott is teaching two youth classes at Artspace this summer, one for 6th – 10th graders and one for ages 16+.  Find out more about the classes he’s teaching and register now!

Urban Sketching for 6th – 8th grades &  for 7th – 10th grades – July 20-14 – Embark on hands-on journey into the world of urban sketching. Students will gain knowledge of urban sketching techniques and concepts, as well as learn experimental methods to find stories in the places we take for granted.

Figure Drawing: Sketching the Figure in Pastel for ages 16 and up – Wednesdays, July 15 – August 12, 6:30 – 9:30pm – This figure drawing course is designed to emphasize energetic and intensive color studies of the human figure.  Working with a live model, the instructor and participants will create gesture studies in charcoal and pastel which visually capture the force of the poses.

To learn more about Scott and his artwork, please visit his website: www.scottrenk.wikispaces.com

Scott's Artwork

Example of Scott’s Artwork.

About Mary Kay Kennedy

Development & Communications Manager

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