Summer 2017 work with Living Art and Science Center, Lexington

Sprayed banner, detail, Street Smart Art

I recently joined a group of amazing teaching artists at the Living Art and Science Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Their mission is in perfect alignment with mine: “engaging the community through education, discovery, exploration and creativity….collaborative experiences for the community, and educational programs in schools, community centers, and other venues to reach special needs, at risk and underserved children and adults”.
I am so excited to be part of this artistic community!

My first arts experience for 3rd-5th graders was Street Smart Art, introducing them to graffiti styles, vocabulary and (sanctioned!) activities.  We explored designing our initials, and transforming them into tags, we practiced tagging until we got it down to three seconds, we designed words expressive of ourselves in graffiti style, and we learned to cut stencils and spray them successfully. Some of the kidz had real skillz, apparent on the day we went outside and sprayed a panel and canvas banner.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ID ART

My second art experience with LASC kidz was ID Art — art about ourselves, from a fine art and design perspective. We explored our wishes and dreams with word and image collages, created logos, created designs for business cards, used the LASC gallery and the high school art exhibit for inspiration about the many ways to illustrate ourselves. Some kidz made free art at the end of each class period.  Coming up next: Crazy Creative Quilting!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Healing/Empowerment Work With Military Women — Athena’s Sisters

me_Liz@VOICExposmallI am now connected to and art-working directly with military women and women vets via a wonderful organization: Athena’s Sisters — thanks to this engaged and empowered woman vet who reached out to me last fall, who is working hard to start and sustain an Athena’s Sisters chapter in Evansville, Indiana.

From their website: “Athena’s Sisters is an organization for all military women to use revolutionary expressions to grow in dignity and honor. Our members empower themselves through a sisterhood created by mind, body, and heart healing. Our artistic advocacy is building a community of courage.”

We met at the 5/13/17 VOICE Expo, held at the Evansville Armory, to promote the new chapter of Athena’s Sisters and to promote our summer art project: stained glass mosaics, similar to this one, created by Owen and about to be published on the cover of a book that helps educate those who help the suicide bereaved.  Owen came from a military family, and although he did not serve he admired those who did. So I know he was proud to be part of this event.

flyingwolf

Owen’s Omega RedWolf Flying, 2016

VOICE (Veteran Organizations Involved in Community Education) acts as a sponsor and clearing house for events that help veterans and their families, as well as engage them within the community.

 

 

 

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Holiday Windows by kids in Henderson KY after school programs!

Thanks to Lacey a generous volunteer and participants in Art In the Margins at United Caring Shelters for the old single pane windows and designs, and to the CYJS program at Henderson County Public High school for helping to fund this fun and engaging project for Evansville’s homeless as well as kids at CHEERS and the after school program at Henderson County Housing Authority.  Look for an update on the installation of the Holiday Windows on Main Street in downtown Henderson soon!  And thanks to the Downtown Henderson Partnership for helping to make this happen!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Art In The Margins @UCS

Due to a mainstream gallery/exhibition space that just didn’t pan out as planned, Art In The Margins artworks are moving back into United Caring Shelter’s Annex…and the space is looking even more artistic, thanks to shelter/Annex volunteer O and his exuberant assistance!   Also big, big thanks to him for connecting The Art Bag Lady with Combs Landscaping and Garden Center in Newburgh, IN. They are taking on our beautiful mosaic stained glass and embellished chairs, for sale through the holiday season.  Photo updates on Comb’s installations soon!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Room of Our Own!

Thanks to principal and guidance counselors at Central Learning Center/Henderson County Schools, The Art Bag Lady now has a dedicated “art room”! It is a generously sized but windowless former “freeze” location, so kidz and I are planning a window theme for the walls. On 11/19 girlz also continued work on illustrating Life Stories/Life Lessons themes being explored by female elders at Redbanks independent living facilities in Henderson KY.  These include “Loves and Hates” and family via alternative forms of family trees. And I was introduced to my first group of exclusively boyz, who took ownership of the room by signing off on what will be our ever changing expressive wall.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Outreach with at-risk kidz, week of November 1

The Growth panel project is finished at Henderson’s Housing Authority after school program, and ready to hang.  Kids are now well into a self-portrait project using old vinyl records (which they love to paint!) and teaching me a lot about Instagram and selfies. Eventually we will be using photographs of ourselves to project and paint on the vinyl.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At Central Academy, I worked with two thoughtful girls on our first Life Stories/Life Lessons topic: Loves and Hates.  They are a little afraid of writing and reading their stories aloud, so instead we worked on cards that illustrated those concepts as they see them.  Some amazing images occurred. It was also interesting to discover how differently we interpreted each others images.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And at Henderson County High School’s CHEERS program we created assemblages in our spray painted cigar boxes.  Kids had never seen or experienced “art” like this before.  Nor had they every been given permission to purposefully trash things in order to embellish their boxes!  Originally this was to be a Louise Nevelson inspired wall sculpture.  But kidz got so attached to their objects I agreed we should leave them unpainted, and assembled freestanding in a horizontal line.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.