Success of art at UCS Jazz Shoes Blues Fundraiser

Glass artist David Powell, artist and AIM volunteer Owen Chaney, me and former UCS intern and social work candidate Charlotte Critchfield.

At Jazz, Shoes and Blues: Glass artist David Powell, artist and AIM volunteer Owen Chaney, me and former UCS intern and social work candidate Charlotte Critchfield.

All our hard work paid off (literally!) at United Caring Shelter’s Jazz Shoes and Blues fundraiser on April 2, 2016.  Pictured here are artists and volunteers, some of them homeless shelter guests, who were instrumental in the event as well as the design, creation and sales of art created at Art In The Annex and exhibited and sold at Art In The Margins the Zion Center For Spiritual Development and Healing.

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These folks and UCS also helped me meet my Pollination Project Impact Grant match, thereby helping me continue the life changing (for all of us!) art experiences I provide at UCS for the homeless, and in nearby Henderson, KY with at-risk youth and the elderly.  I can’t thank you enough!

Artistic fundraising efforts at Art In The Annex, United Caring Shelters

Art work for the upcoming fundraiser, Jazz, Blues and Shoes began in earnest in February at United Caring Shelter’s Art In The Annex.

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Two enthusiastic shelter/Art In The Annex Guests help stretch, gesso and begin painting canvases that will be auctioned off at the April 2 fundraiser.

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On 2/13, volunteers from University of Evansville as well as artistic shelter/Art in the Annex guests joined local glass artist David Powell in making “journey” rings to be sold to raise funds for the Art In The Annex program. They are on sale now, for $5, at AIM at Zion United Church of Christ in downtown Evansville.

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And on 2/20, I met David Powell at his studio in Mt. Vernon, IN, and got a lesson in glass blowing. He also showed off three of the over two dozen bowls he is making for the upcoming Jazz, Blues Shoes fundraiser in April!

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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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