CCS: Crafts I Shape the Future With an Arts and Crafts Degree
“Eclectic” is the word Larissa Dahroug uses to describe her inspiration, her career—herself. This multidisciplinary artist, whose media includes visual, performing, written and healing arts, is based out of The Clock Tower Studio/Gallery in Oakland, California.
“I believe creating a tangible, physical dialogue about the world that surrounds us is the responsibility of artists,” said Dahroug. “I believe art has the ability to transform communities by inspiring meaningful dialogue about issues like race, class, gender, faith, governance and love if approached and executed in a thoughtful way.”
Prior to Spatoochna.com and opening The Clock Tower Studio/Gallery, Dahroug served on the board of the Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco as Guildletter editor in addition to owning/operating her own jewelry business, Larissa Louise Designs, for several years. She has taught art for the San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, California and at the Creative Arts Center in Sunnyvale, California. Her metalwork has been published in the Santa Clara Review and in Lark Book’s The Art and Craft of Making Jewelry.
Dahroug’s sewn-paintings are included in the collections of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Rosa at the Glaser Center and The Angela Center in Santa Rosa, California. Her writing has been published by patch.com and The Peace Press. Some of the artist’s most recent work has found her writing and performing original and cover music and spoken word as well as scripted and improvised stage work. She has also been a practicing Reiki Master/Teacher since 2006.
Dahroug’s first serious experience with art as a means of expression began in high school. She was drawn to metalsmithing classes at Rochester High School (Rochester Hills, Michigan) after falling in love with the tools used to manipulate earth’s strongest elements. Determined to become an artist, she applied to the College for Creative Studies (CCS) and was accepted as a painting major.
“At the time, I thought that you had to be a painter to become an artist,” explained Dahroug. “After a year studying painting, one of my professors, Gilda Snowden, suggested I would be happier as a crafts major. She was right.”
Another of Dahroug’s professors, Tom Madden, contributed to her organic design process. In his senior seminar course, Madden instructed the students to tear pieces from magazines and distort the shapes and images using tracing paper. Then, he had the students manipulate the shapes to inspire new design concepts.
“I was struggling with the process of designing a product from beginning to end,” said Dahroug. “His method clicked with me."
"To this day, I continue to use what I learned in the class. My proffesor was, and continues to be, a big influence on my art.”
Dahroug’s fervor for art extends beyond the pieces she creates in her studio. Part of her passion involves inspiring other artists.
“Although getting good grades in school is important, it shouldn’t be a student’s primary focus,” said Dahroug. “There is so much to learn and explore. Someday I hope to offer a scholarship at CCS for other students interested in crafts. I’d love the opportunity to motivate other young artists.”
To view more of Larissa’s work, visit http://www.spatoochna.com/.