“All methods are sacred if they’re internally necessary” – Wassily Kandinsky.
We are a group of artists who have studied with Peggy Zehring, abstract artist and founder of The La Veta School of the Arts (LVSA), in La Veta, Colorado. We have studied with Peggy in Colorado or through the LaConner Art Workshops in The Skagit Valley near Seattle, Washington. Peggy’s teaching incorporates techniques that release each artist’s inner “idea” or “need,” in order to create a unique expression of the artist’s inner self. You will recognize the uniqueness of each artist in his or her work. We hope you enjoy and appreciate it. Kandinsky, the father of abstract art in the early 1900s, believed that art was “true” when it expressed an inner idea. He famously said in his book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, originally published in 1914: “The artist must…watch only the trend of the inner need and hearken to its words alone.” “Beauty is expressed from inner need, which springs from the soul.”
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Statement from Peggy Zehring
In 1977, after receiving my Fine Arts Degree from the University of Illinois – Chicago Circle, I was confused about what I had experienced there. I knew the entire school had been set up in the 1960s and 70s to carry the Bauhaus principles forward in architecture, design and fine art. I also knew that several of my teachers were so excited about it that it felt like a religious fervor had taken over the school. Even with all the hype, I wasn’t sure how these new ideas would look in the years to come or how my teachers’ philosophical excitement could translate into actual art pieces. Shortly after graduating, I moved to Seattle with my family. When I tried to further my education and understanding of what I had experienced in Chicago, I was was met with artists and teachers who were mystified by most of what I was saying and doing with my art. Since I was unable to find anyone who was willing to take me as a student, I decided to teach with the hope that my students could further my understanding of my Chicago experience. I had no trouble finding a job. Everyone I took my proposal to wanted to hire me because they had never heard of the kind of approach to art education I was suggesting. I’ve now been teaching for over 30 years, and, indeed, my students have taught me more than I had ever hoped or dreamed they would. Their work, like mine, has blossomed under the Kandinsky approach which emphasizes Truth over Beauty and creativity and experimentation over skill-building. It now seems like the right time to put our work out into the world. This web site – like the Guggenheim Museum in New York – is dedicated to Wassily Kandinsky and his courage to change the dialectic of art history from an emphasis on Beauty for its own sake to a conviction that Beauty inevitably follows Truth. Kandinsky believed the greatest gift artists can give to culture is their Truth which springs from an inner need to express itself.
Director – Peggy Zehring