• Hadassah described the man she drew as “calm and collected”
  • Hadassah and other students were given a blank piece of paper, charcoal and erasers to get started. The chalk she used wasn’t the type she uses in her art class at school, which is much bigger, she said. “School chalk art is more like working with a cheese puff”
  • LaPorte put an upside-down work by the famous artist Gustave Courbet on a screen and divided it into eight parts
  • Hadassah, who started drawing when she was 6, was told to completely cover her white paper with black charcoal
  • The next step for students was to erase the areas of white seen in the portrait on the screen. Parts of the face were not drawn to create the picture. “We’re drawing patterns of black and white that reveal things,” LaPorte said. “We’re looking at things with a different perspective”
  • Le Tran, East Kentwood visual art educator, and Hadassah collaborate on some final touches
  • “This seems like it will be a lot of fun,” Hadassah said before the workshop. “I don’t know what to expect right now”

Learning From a Master

by Linda Odette  

Senior Hadassah Babura learned from one of the best April 20 when she took part in an art class taught by Chris LaPorte. The event was a fundraiser for the annual Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts. An anonymous donor paid for Hadassah to take the class from LaPorte, who was the 2010 winner of ArtPrize, an international art competition held in downtown Grand Rapids. Here we present a photo story of her time with him.


Gustave Courbet

Hadassah went to LaPorte’s studio for the workshop. One of his pieces is behind her. “Everything around you is designed visually,” LaPorte said. “The couch you sit on, on the tie you wear, the house you build, all need to be designed by someone. If you’re creative and interested in art, the possibilities are endless”

Le Tran, East Kentwood visual art educator, and Hadassah talk to the artist before the class starts. “I’m thrilled she’s getting instruction from Chris LaPorte,” Tran said. “I love it when my students can have a learning experience

LaPorte removes the blue tape that formed the pizza-like guides before turning the portrait right-side up

Hadassah gets close up before finishing her work. She plans to go to Aquinas College to study language, but “she will always be making art, she’s a natural,” said teacher Tran

Submitted on: April 28th 2017

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