WARM classes

The Show Gallery Lowertown is partnering with 4 teaching artists from Women’s Artist Resource of Minnesota (WARM), Catherine Palmer, Holly Tappen, Layl McDill, and Tara Tieso, to offer classes. Scroll down to follow links to acrylic painting classes with teaching artist Catherine Palmer as well as some selected pieces from Holly Tappen’s ‘Flash Fiction’ class. Enjoy!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Catherine Palmer’s painting classes




Selected Pieces from Holly Tappen’s Flash Fiction

Love is like Football by Debra Ripp/ Tobersonstudios

Sam was walking home with two bags of groceries, they were pretty heavy and the string handles were carving lines painfully into his hands. So he was trying to hurry. He picked up speed around the last corner to his building and bashed right into Hilary, who was coming toward him from the other direction. It could have been the 40 yard line in the football analogy, but what do I know about Football? Anyway, his oranges all rolled toward the gutter, so there are some lost points. Hilary apologized and it was probably love at first tackle. Or touchdown? 

 Two Grandmothers  © Marjorie Schalles 2020 

Marty had two grandmothers. Grandma McGinty was from Ireland, and had married an Englishman. Grandma Greenbaum was from Russia, and had moved to Marty’s home town from New York. She was Marty’s dad’s mother. Grandma McGinty lived clear across the country, and they were able to visit from time to time, which was a real treat. 

Neither of these women were cookie-baking, hugging, squishy Grandmothers. They had lived through some difficult times, which made them quite cross and secretive with hard edges. Their past experiences were a complete mystery. Grandma Greenbaum lived nearby and Marty visited her every weekend. She remembers so clearly watching her Grandma, ironing board ready in front of the TV, pressing piles of shirts with a cigarette hanging out of the side of her mouth as she criticized the ladies on the shows quite loudly in Yiddish. In fact, Marty took it for granted that her Grandma always spoke Yiddish, because she could rarely understand a word she said. It turned out that she was actually speaking English but with a very thick accent. Yelling at the TV was strictly Yiddish, however. She was a no-nonsense complainer of the highest order and Marty kept her distance and just observed, amassing endless questions. 

When visiting Grandma McGinty, it was quite different. She was Very Proper, serving weak tea in teacups with saucers and getting very snippy if anyone put the milk carton on the kitchen table. She used all of the china. Being with her and loads of cousins was the best thing. All of the cousins were blond, and with Marty and her brother, they totaled 17. Marty looked forward to becoming a prim, Irish lass with curves and blond hair. Of course, this never happened because she took after the Other side of the family. 

When Marty was grown, she would look fondly upon her cute blond cousins, searching for likenesses between them. It wasn’t until she was a grandmother herself that she came to the conclusion that her Russian heritage had won that battle, and she finally accepted the fact that she resembled her father’s side of the family. She could see it clearly in her own son, her brother, her grandson, and her niece. One day, while working on an art project, she chose a picture of a young Grandma Greenbaum to include in the piece. Lo and behold, there was Marty’s face, squarish, with dark hair and eyes, wide shoulders, and a strong chin. 

 Art in the time of COVID-19 © Marjorie Schalles 2020  

What are the stages of grief? Is this a close comparison? It sure felt like it to her, as she tried to get through the days of (nothing) staying “in place.” She knew how many things she COULD do, but where was the ambition, the drive, the feeling that she had all the time in the world to do anything she wanted? It must be the lack of sun. Go for a walk. No sun today. Walk anyway. Nah, take a nap. Too restless. Volunteering should help, right? So she spent 2 days researching face masks, read through page after page of directions, suggestions, rumors and innuendoes, and managed to produce 30 pretty nice ones. When she finally left the house (freshly masked) to hunt and gather, she was lifted out of her shoes with glee as the other shoppers stopped, smiled, and complimented her on the fun fabric she used. After unpacking her groceries, she cut out 96 more. 

I think we’ll get through this after all. 

 NEW KID IN SCHOOL – AGAIN © Marjorie Schalles 2020  

Because she grew up in the San Fernando Valley, she had never ridden a bus. She didn’t even know how – where do they stop? How do you pay? How will the driver know you want to get off? This was the year that her father had the bright idea to move to the city – Los Angeles – and she was starting seventh grade at a new school, unknown to her and not yet present on her inner compass. In order to smooth the way, her mother took her for a test ride before the first day to acquaint them both with the route and the protocol. Mind you, her mother did not use public transit and didn’t have the first clue about the entire endeavor. In fact, she was quite elegant in her scorn of “those people” who rode buses. 

The trip was fairly uneventful but for one complication – she had to transfer to a second bus to get to her destination, on time, and with the confidence necessary to begin her life at a new school where she knew no one and felt completely invisible. The first thing she realized was that she had no memory of street names, landmarks, or other visible references; no mental bread crumb trail. Needless to say, she never arrived, having transferred to the wrong bus at the wrong corner and going in the wrong direction. The bus driver took pity on her and explained how to retrace her route to get to her new Junior High. 

The year was 1961, not a particularly propitious time for a skinny white girl with a pixie cut to attend a school with a diverse student population. Picture tight dresses and bee hive hairdos, bright lipstick and chewing gum. She was terrified, and the other girls knew it as soon as they saw her. It did not end well. 

 The Park in the Dark © Marjorie Schalles 2020  

When Rosie was little, she lived with her mother in a tall apartment overlooking the lake downtown. It was very modern and she had a nice room with big windows. She loved to feel the whoosh of the elevator as it sped to the 14th floor to her home. 

Rosie’s mother was an airplane pilot, and she traveled very often for work. Rosie didn’t mind, because when she was away, Rosie got to stay with her Grandmother, which was the best thing in the world. Gram did not live in a tall building, but in a nice small house with a garden and a park – right across the street. 

When Rosie would visit, she always took her favorite things – her purple pajamas, her slippers, three books, and her bear, Ted. Ted loved to go to Gram’s house and most of all he loved to go to the park with Rosie. They would slide down the big silver slide, laughing and giggling. They would play on the merry-go-round and get very dizzy until they couldn’t go around anymore. Gram went with them, but mostly she sat in the shade and smiled while she remembered how much she enjoyed the park when Rosie’s mother was a little girl. 

One day, there was a sudden storm, so Gram and Rosie gathered up all their things and hurried back across the street to Gram’s house where they watched the lightning from window. It was the most exciting storm Rosie had ever seen. 

When it was time for bed, Rosie put on her purple pajamas and brushed her teeth and got ready to read her books. But something was missing! Where was Ted? She and Gram looked everywhere. Gram said, “Ted must still be at the park!” By this time, the rain had stopped and there was a very big moon shining over the trees. 

Rosie was so worried that she didn’t know what to do. Gram knew she would be very sad if she had to sleep without her favorite bear, so she told Rosie that they could go to the park together to look for Ted. Rosie had never been to the park in the dark, and it was kind of scary, but Gram told her that it would still be the same park, but it would look a little different. 

Rosie held tight to her grandmother’s hand and they walked across the street. The grass was so wet that her slippers were soaked and very heavy. There was the slide, shining silver in the moonlight. And the merry-go-round that still creaked a little bit from the breeze. The trees seemed so tall in the dark and the branches shined from the streetlights. But where was Ted? 

They looked everywhere, under the slide, on Gram’s bench, under the merry-go-round, and all of a sudden Rosie spotted him on the ground near the sandbox! He was in a shadow of the biggest tree, and he was very wet from the rain. He was also heavy from all the rain, and when Rosie hugged him her pajamas also got soaked. They bundled him up and hurried back to Gram’s to wrap him in a towel until he was good as new. Rosie was so happy as she climbed into bed that she forgot to read her books. And Ted had a smile on his freshly washed face.