AmeriCorps VISTA Training at Pine Mountain Settlement School 11/10/16

The VISTAs I support, along with another VISTA Leader and several Partners For Education staff, organized and led several workshops (trainings) at Pine Mountain Settlement School in Bledsoe, KY on November 11.  Couldn’t have picked a more beautiful place — or more passionate and dedicated VISTAs and supervisor to host our event. I also designed our new t-shirt!

Of course, we had to begin with art — a sign in sheet the length of several tables — and I had to work art into my presentation on end of service Reflection and Sustainability Plan!

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As part of our day the PMSS VISTAs led us on a hike of the beautiful, historic, extensive grounds. They also taught us two contra/folk dances — and I remembered how much I once loved dancing!

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2015 Art Wrap Up With At-Risk Youth

My 2015 art enrichment/outreach with at-risk youth in Henderson, KY wrapped up with the beginning and ending of several projects.

Henderson County High School CHEERS program: These energetic participants in the after school program — and a few unexpectedly interested boys at Central Academy — helped finish the Holiday Windows, now on display in downtown Henderson. Two girls at CHEERS also wrote a special holiday message of thanks to CHEERS director Scott Wilson!

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At the Henderson County Housing Authority, we made Peace Bird ornaments, and wrote a graffiti/artistic message of Peace to accompany them.

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And and Central Academy, girlz created A Christmas Card To Send…Or Never Send…to add to Kentucky Foundation for Women funded Life Stories/Life Lessons writing/art project they are collaborating on with elder women at Redbanks, while boyz began work on their box sculptures.

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A peaceful holiday to all! See more Art Bag Lady initiatives in the New Year!

The Art Bag Lady, week in review 10/26/15

We are making great progress on our “Growth” collaborative painting at the Henderson County Housing Authority. Kidz helped re-purpose old crayons into encaustic paint using linseed oil and heat, including use of a hair dryer that two girlz commandeered for the better part of Wednesday. They also watched with amazement as (after covering it with sprayed text) we brought back our original tree structure by emphasizing it with the dripped encaustic.  We are adding words of growth and encouragement to the borders too, using sponging stencil techniques — taught to us by one of the kidz!

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Life Stories/Life Lessons, funded by the Kentucky Foundation For Women commenced at Redbanks Pleasant Pointe and with four new members of our autobiography writing group!  I was so pleased to discover that two of them completed the current writing project — Family –.  Another, after listening to others read their writings, spoke aloud about being bullied at school, as well as her love for her younger brothers.  I thought about those themes while presenting Life Stories/Life Lessons to girlz at Central Academy for the first time on Thursday, looking forward to December when the plan is to bring the elderly women and at-risk girls together to share stories on similar themes.

The girlz, however, began with art instead of writing — personalizing the covers of their visual journals. Their first theme: Loves and Hates!

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Our boxes are coming along at Henderson County High School’s Cheers program too! On Thursday we sprayed the inside and stenciled the outsides of re-purposed cigar boxes, then sifted through significant “junk” that we will be gluing inside the boxes. We will then spray all a solid color.  The plan: to make a Louise Nevelson inspired wall sculpture using objects of significance to us.

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Outreach with at-risk kidz, week of October 19

The word for the week was SPRAY! Kidz at the Henderson County Housing Authority learned about stencils and spray paint via their multi-panel painting project. And check out the kidz creative use of Blick bags as aprons!

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We sprayed at Henderson County High School CHEERS after school program too, after roughing up old cigar boxes in preparation for a Louise Nevelson inspired 3D group installation project!  Some of the CHEERS kidz really got into the sanding too (although I find it a chore).

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And finally, finally we are finished with our PRIDE mural at Central Academy.  Kidz who participated got to sign off directly on it!  On to two new CA art enrichment projects: Girlz involved in my KFW funded Art Meets Activism autobiography project Life Stories/Life Lessons, and boyz on a similar Louise Nevelson inspired project!

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Outreach with at-risk kidz, week of October 7

The Henderson County School’s Central Academy murals are almost done — touch up takes a long time! Thanks to O for helping me with the middle school Pride on 10/7, while I worked alone, way up high on a tall ladder, on the gym mural on 10/8.  Next: a 3D project with boyz, and a Van Gogh inspired mural in the high school hallway!

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We are beginning a multi-panel acrylic/encaustic painting at Henderson’s Housing Authority.  The kidz were really into applying a base color to our tree shape, and coming up with text that addresses growth and change.

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…and I was really pleased to engage a few quiet and reluctant-to-make art kidz at Henderson County High School CHEERS on Thursday! Two young men who repeatedly insisted they could not draw helped create letters for our collage board.  And one of the girlz got so into stapling that she refused to share the task!

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First Friday @22 Jefferson 10/2/15

Featured artists in October are Julie Struck and Claudia Congleton, working artists and art educators in 22 Jefferson studios.  We also had visiting artist/sculptor David Powell demonstrating glass blowing to USI students prior to the First Friday opening.  And plenty of thanks to the patron(s) who bought the beautiful beach scene stained glass mosaic, created by several Art in the Margins artists working at United Caring Services Day shelter, where Julie Struck volunteers.  Proceeds from sales of that and other lovely mosaics (and funky embellished chairs also on display at 22 Jefferson) directly benefit those artists as well as the Art In The Annex program at UCS!

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Outreach with at-risk kidz week of 9/28/15

We made a glorious mess at the Henderson County Housing Authority on 9/30, making encaustic paint out of old broken crayons. More touch up mural work at Henderson County Central Academy on 10/1 too, as well as prep and planning for a new one in the high school hallway. And persuaded a few very reluctant, afraid of art kidz at HCHS CHEERS to participate in making an unusual bulletin board advertising the program outside the high school’s media center.

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