Art In The Margins!

Accomplished artworks, including mosaic stained glass and jewelry, all created by guests participating in United Caring Shelter‘s Art in the Annex Program, are now fully moved into the exhibit/sales space at Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ in downtown Evansville, just across from the homeless shelter. This is part of my ongoing efforts to promote awareness of the many gifts the homeless have to give their community!

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AIM is located off the Vegetableland lunchroom hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  And many thanks to The Pollination Project for helping to fund this economic empowerment project for the homeless in my community!

More than busy work @Art In The Margins!

Shelter guests @United Caring Shelters Art In The Margins wrapped up 2015 by writing holiday cards to distant loved ones.  I provided everything necessary: the cards, writing and art supplies, and stamps. But I never thought I’d have so many participants in this rather craft-like art activity.

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At least a dozen Art In The Margins participants took advantage of this opportunity to re-  or temporarily – connect with loved ones, some of them clearly long lost. For example, a young woman with a child in her lap called her mother in Texas for her current address.  The volume on her mobile phone was turned up, so I could hear her mother’s tone of shock and surprise at both the phone call, and the question.  And although it was a very short exchange of information that seemed to end abruptly, there was nothing negative about it.

A homeless couple came into The Annex together and made cards for each other. I witnessed the loving exchange, which involved hugs, and tears.

I also met a half dozen shelter guests, mostly male, whom I had never before been able to coax into The Annex, and all because they wanted to share holiday greetings with estranged loved ones. It was indeed an honor to mail the many cards that were entrusted to my care.

As an alternate AIM activity, I finally opened the first of several puzzles that were donated some time ago by the former executive director. At issue was commandeering and keeping set up a (hopefully undisturbed!) table in the Annex for this purpose.  But so far, and through several White Flags (when UCS is open to all, with sleeping palettes on the floor) our puzzles have emerged unscathed.

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And… As I both witnessed and learned from this Internet article: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/The_Healing_Power_of_Jigsaw_Puzzles.html…jigsaw puzzles are not just busy work. They are powerful healing and learning tools!

And last but absolutely not least, I must thank a lovely lady who donated several hundred dollars worth of beautiful adult coloring books and gel pens that AIM guests (and girls in an after school program in Henderson KY) have been enthusiastically using for relaxation and contemplation.  Again…the unexpected healing power of art!

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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!

Art In The Margins @UCS, December 11

Participants in this unique art program at United Caring Day Shelter continue to produce stained glass mosaics, to be displayed for sale at Combs Gift Shoppe in Newburgh, IN.

Highlights of this week at Art In The Margins: the design and beginning painting stages of several Holiday Windows, completed by kids in the Henderson KY schools and displayed in Henderson KY, courtesy of the Downtown Henderson Partnership.

And O and other shelter guests assisted in creating “hobo” bird feeders for the many sparrows that hang out in the smoking yard, constructed of recycled and additional cheap household items and hung in the now empty-of-picnic-tables shed.  And through the winter months, AIM Saturday afternoons will include homemade (by me and volunteer O) soup!

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Update on art for sale to benefit UCS Art In the Margins!

New photographs of stained glass mosaic projects, facilitated by me and designed/created by artistic shelter guests at United Caring Shelters in Evansville. All and more, including embellished chairs, are for sale at Combs Landscape and Nursery in Newburgh, IN! All sales benefit these talented individuals, as well as the Art In the Margins program.  Come check them out!

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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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Art In The Annex @United Caring Shelters, September 2015

Hot, humid days have meant art inside the Annex, working on stained glass mosaics to be sold at upcoming art/craft fairs in Evansville, IN and Henderson KY, to benefit the Art in the Annex artists — some who participated in Haynie’s Corner’s Funk In the City on September 26! But the weather is moderating as we enter autumn, and that means more time on the smoking yard wall, which we expect to complete by November. We are working on two window wells (see the amazing dragon sketch planned for one of them!) and memorial benches for several homeless shelter residents who died in 2014/2015. I was also honored with a pencil portrait of me by artist Rick Lewis. So touched! Again, thanx for the friendliness, assistance and trust of those who voluntarily make artwork with me!

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Completion of Story Quilt, Redbanks Pleasant Pointe

It was a real thrill to see the installation of the Redbanks Pleasant Pointe Story Quilt — especially the reaction of the residents involved in the project!  Coming soon: Life Stories/Life Lessons project, sponsored and supported by the Kentucky Foundation For Women!

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