New artist residency program opens at Cedarhurst

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Cedarhurst Mitchell Museum, the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts is partnering with Pennsylvania artist Franz Spohn for a unique artist residency program at the Dr. Nick Osborne Primary Center in Mount Vernon, Illinois. The project, taking place March 6th-8th, 2024, will engage students in the creation of a large-scale gumball mural inspired by a renowned artwork.

Recreating Art with an Unusual Medium:

Franz Spohn, known for his innovative “sweet pointillism” artworks, will lead students in recreating Maurice Prendergast’s “By the Seashore” painting using colorful gumballs meticulously placed within plastic tubes. This collaborative endeavor will result in a 5′ x 7′ mural, unveiled during Cedarhurst’s Gathering at the Galleries event on May 10th, 2024.

Spohn’s Extensive Experience:

A prolific artist, Mr. Spohn boasts over 200 gumball/bubble gum murals throughout his career, including one completed in Mount Vernon in 2002. His works have been showcased internationally, capturing audiences from Australia to Canada.

Community Engagement and Interactive Art:

These large-scale murals typically incorporate upwards of 13,000 gumballs in various hues to build the featured image. Spohn describes the process as “interactive art,” encouraging viewers to step back and appreciate the emerging picture while reveling in the vibrant details up close.

Beyond Murals: A Multifaceted Artist:

Franz Spohn is not only a master of gumball art but also an accomplished illustrator. He has collaborated with renowned publishers like Bantam, Doubleday, and Dell, and his artistic talents have graced projects for major brands like Target and Speedball Art Products.

A Legacy of Education and Engagement:

Mr. Spohn actively engages in educational outreach, participating in national conferences like the National Art Education Association for 28 years and serving as a keynote speaker at the Ohio Art Educator Association event in 2013. Additionally, he has contributed to programs at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, demonstrating his dedication to fostering artistic exploration in young minds.