By Stephanie Johns
Two local artists, Angelina Bellebuono and Julie Noland, have a unique collaboration in which the former teacher of one, Bellebuono, helps the other, a teacher in her own right, to the benefit of young artists.
“The gift of connecting – through art, shared experiences – is what drives me as a writer and photographer,” Bellebuono said. “I can’t put enough emphasis on what connecting can do for people.”
Bellebuono explained that years ago she taught Noland in a creative writing class. Noland currently teaches young artists through summer courses offered at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC).
Noland’s students recently had a chance to visit Bellebuono and her goats.
Of their trip to the farm Noland said, “It opened a space to discover, enjoy, be in nature and take in Angelina’s poetic words and animated stories into their minds, to be enthused while drawing and painting.”
Bellebuono has used her goats as inspiration for her own work for at least two installations: one held at The Caboose in 2010 and another at A Novel Experience bookstore in Zebulon/Pike County this year.
Noland first selects a theme – goats for the week students interacted with Bellebuono and horses for two upcoming weeks of classes at MMCC.
She then selects an artist for inspiration – Frida Kahlo for goat theme week and Frederick Remington for horse theme weeks.
“I truly love when my art classes can connect with the community and beyond to prompt the thought process of collaboration, sharing, giving, …” she shared via email.
During Bellebuono and Noland’s collaboration, students visited Bellebuono’s home and goats on Monday.
They learned about the goats and had an opportunity to observe them: their fur, their horns, what and how they eat.
Then students had a chance to view Bellebuono’s work inspired by the goats. She read her Goat Ballad to the students and each student chose one piece of her work to take back with them as inspiration for their own work.
In this way, art inspired art, Bellebuono said.
“Connecting with one another is the most amazing experience we can share,” she said.
Students then went to the pasture to sketch the goats before having goats-milk yogurt, cookies, and lemonade on the porch.
The next three days the students spent painting and creating their own goat-themed artwork.
Noland still has room in her July horse-themed classes at MMCC. One is a drawing and painting class, the other experiments with different drawing mediums. Both will use art by Frederick Remington for inspiration.
She uses her education and teaching experience to the benefit of her students. She has a BFA in graphic design from the University of Georgia (UGA) as well as a certificate in art education, also from UGA.
She’s worked as a graphic artist in Atlanta as well as a teacher in Putnam and Morgan counties. She currently teaches private art classes in addition to her work at MMCC and museums in the surrounding area.
“I still enjoy sitting down with a big canvas, lots of paint and just having fun,” she shared via email.