BAC Community Spotlight: Dawn Ludwig

December 2018

 

Dawn Ludwig

BAC Student

 

How did you arrive at the Brookline Arts Center?

I discovered the BAC through their kids classes. My son, who is now 10, shares my love for art, so I signed him up for a few art classes and vacation camps at the BAC. He had a blast, so when my New Year’s Resolution had me making more time for the things I love, I decided to sign up for a class myself.

 

Tell us about your background. How did you become interested in art?  

My grandmother loved art, and I remember watching her paint when I was very young. Sometimes she would even let me help or would find little projects for me to do. When I was 10, my school art teacher chose me for a special program on Japanese printmaking at the Museum of Fine Arts in Dallas. I took the class, and my parents decided to find more classes for me. So, I started taking painting classes at a local art studio. My parents still have my paintings from that era hung in their houses. Unfortunately, I got busy as a teenager and stopped doing much art. I picked it back up after college and did a yearlong art intensive at an art school in Austin, TX. Then again life took over. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I picked it back up at a BAC class.
 
 

What passions do you bring to the BAC community?

In addition to my passion for art, my other creative expression is food and cooking. About 22 years ago, I turned my studies as a chef from a hobby into reality.  I quit my corporate job and bought a Culinary School. I was fascinated with specialty diets and food allergies just as the awareness of these issues was emerging in the food industry. I ended up training chefs in specialty diets for 15+ years. Then, about four years ago, I combined my training in French cooking with my roots in Southern/Southwestern Cooking (I’m a Texan originally), and my studies in specialty diets and nutrition, to help my husband, Dr. David Ludwig, write the book Always Hungry? Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells, and Lose Weight Permanently. My passion became one of helping people realize that having extra weight was not their fault as we showed them how to get their bodies working with them rather than against them, and helped remove shame, blame, and guilt from their relationship with food. As I translated David’s scientific research into simple, delicious, and practical recipes (all with options to accommodate vegetarian, egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free, of course) this passion for food and helping people came together and changed people’s lives. The book became a NYTimes Bestseller and led us to write the follow-up cookbook Always Delicious, which was published earlier this year. After publishing two books, I finally made time to incorporate art back into my life (beyond my kid’s art projects). And the BAC was right there when I needed them. I started taking a weekly class, have taken every session since then, and will continue as long as they're offered. 

 
I recently had the opportunity to bring my passions for food and art together by making treats for the BAC's Artist Marketplace. In case you missed it, here’s a link to the recipe for Almond Coconut Macaroons from my book Always Delicious that I made for that event. 

 

What do you enjoy most about the BAC? 

There’s so much to love!! 

  • I love the way that BAC classes help keep my passion for art alive and expand my abilities far beyond what I ever thought possible. The classes challenge me to use new tools and media, try new techniques, and explore my creativity on a weekly basis. 
  • I appreciate the summer and vacation camps for kids. My 10-year old son has done several camps and loves each and every one. The BAC allows him to be fully creative and free with his love for art. It’s a quality I want to continue to encourage as he grows.
  • I recently discovered the community outreach side of BAC when I participated in a charity rowing competition. One of the teams was rowing to raise money for the BAC. Discovering that the BAC is bringing free art classes and projects to underserved communities made me love them even more. 

 

What was your favorite childhood art project?

The Japanese Printmaking class that I took at the Museum of Fine Art in Dallas was a highlight of my childhood art experience. Being chosen as one of only two kids to represent our school was an honor and a privilege. Having a teacher voice her appreciation for my art and choose to challenge me to a new opportunity deeply affected my art journey.

 

Who are some of your art heroes? 

I have a wide range of art heroes. I love to travel, and I look for art everywhere I go. My earliest inspirations were from when I lived in Europe in college and explored so much incredible art from the Impressionists nature in muted tones to Joan Miró's surreal shapes in primary colors. I couldn’t get enough of all of the art everywhere I went. My Texas roots and activist spirit inspired a love for Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo.  Most recently Dale Chihuly’s glass art has captured and mesmerized me. 

 
This past year, taking classes at the BAC has expanded my sense of heroes in art. I watch how each of the students in class, all given the same assignment, bring unique interpretations to their projects.  The diversity in perspective reminds me that we are all heroes when we express our creativity and inspire others with the beauty that comes from within each of us.