Art After Work: Marvin Tate

Thursday, February 18, 2021
5-6 p.m. central
Zoom Video Conference

Art After Work: Marvin Tate

Join Intuit on the third Thursday of the month for Art After Work, a free series of facilitated art-making workshops inspired by outsider and self-taught art and artists from the museum’s collections and exhibitions. For the first Art After Work of 2021, Chicago artist Marvin Tate will lead a discussion and facilitate a workshop inspired by one of his pastimes: birdwatching. In the virtual workshop titled Birdwatching, from A Distance, Not too Far, Tate will instruct how participants can make an artful bird from found objects.

Suggested materials

  • A wire hanger
  • Cotton balls
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic forks (2)
  • Scissors
  • A hole puncher
  • Beads or pinto beans
  • Acrylic paint

Optional materials

  • A wig
  • An X-Acto knife

Art After Work is for everyone, including beginners and people who say they “are not artists.” We can all be artists! It is a guided workshop, and instruction will begin at 5 p.m. central.

Art After Work is free to join! To show your support to Intuit, please consider the pay-what-you-can option when you complete your reservation. Your contributions help ensure the sustainability of our public programs and support guest lecturers and teaching artists.

Two hours before the event, Intuit will email you the Zoom link to those who RSVP on Eventbrite. Please check your junk folder; unfortunately, these emails are sent there sometimes.

Art After Work is funded in part by the Alphawood Foundation, the Department of Cultural Affairs, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Illinois Humanities, Prince Charitable Trust, Terra Foundation for American Art, and individual donations from Intuit members and supporters.

Marvin Tate in a natural setting
Photo courtesy Marvin Tate

Inspiration for Birdwatching, from A Distance, Not too Far

“This activity was inspired by various episodes in my life, the most recent being the spread of COVID-19. During the shutdown, I have experienced (like most) a loss of freedom, to move, socialize, and be inspired by real-time events. Because of the closing of restaurants, bars, galleries, and music venues, most of my physical exercise and socializing has been limited to going back and forth to work, going on the occasional nature walk, and sitting on my back porch, which, during the onslaught of the pandemic, I enjoyed immensely by making art and birdwatching.

“My backyard has always been a haven for visiting birds. Once I saw a hawk waiting patiently in the trees for sparrows; a family of cardinals; robins and their eggs; pet finches, escaped from my neighbor’s house; and lastly, a passing bluebird, picturesquely toying in the birdbath.

“Unlike me/us, these birds had the freedom to come and go as they please, with their lives. While I stayed masked, and for the most part, isolated. Inspired by their singing and unrestricted movement, I started to make various versions of them out of found objects. Thus far, I have made (since the beginning of the pandemic) over a dozen bird sculptures. However, for this workshop and the allotted time, participants will not be expected to finish the project but to relish in the process of creating and exploring the joy of making a bird sculpture out of everyday objects.”

—Marvin Tate