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:…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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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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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!

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Success of UCS/Art In The Margins stained glass project!

We sold over $200.00 worth of mosaic stained glass at the recent Haynie’s Corner/22 Jefferson YART sale, all created by Art In The Margins artists at United Caring Shelters Day Shelter. So we are busy working on more for the upcoming holiday First Fridays!

Proceeds from AIM artist artworks go directly to the artists themselves, or to fund the unique program I facilitate at the shelter.

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Art In The Margins at YART!

Thanks to YART and 22 Jefferson Gallery/Studios for inviting me to be part of a very successful yard art sale in the Haynie’s Corner Arts District, Evansville IN, on Saturday, October 17!  Art In The Margins sold all but two small stained glass pieces, as well as a medium-sized sunburst, earning hundreds in funding for the homeless/outsider artists I serve at United Caring Shelters.  I also sold one of my large artworks. That will help keep me in the studio at 22 Jefferson through the end of this year, promoting awareness and support for alternative artists in the area!

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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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Henderson KY Lions Club Arts & Crafts Festival, 10/3 and 10/4/15

The Henderson KY Lions Club generously donated two booths at the festival, held at JJ Audubon State Park, one to display and offer for sale the stained glass mosaics and embellished chairs designed and created by many talented artists who are or have been guests at United Caring Services Day Shelter and/or participants in the Art in the Annex program — and another to paint faces!

Although festival day one was cold and rainy, day two was beautiful and attracted more customers and kids.  We sold THREE chairs, and received many kind donations for the free face painting, to benefit the Art in the Annex program at United Caring Services.  AND my assistant volunteers, O and H (a  middle school student in the Henderson County Schools) had a blast!  Thanks to all.

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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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