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!

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.

Work of Art at the Henderson Housing Authority, November

Our “growth” panel was installed for their 11/17 Family Night last night! Lots of positive comments from parents and kidz alike. Our vinyl self-portrait project is also well underway, using “selfies” from the kidz that are Photoshop altered, printed, projected and painted.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.


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!

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).

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!

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!

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.

…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!


Outreach with at-risk kidz, week of September 21

We are very close to finishing the gym mural at Central Academy! Not as exciting as the one in the middle school hallway (thus the boyz busy on graffiti signatures and other designs rather than helping much on the wall). But note these murals, created by A, independent of me, also at Central Academy!  At Henderson County High School we are assembling creative collages to adorn and advertise the CHEERS after school program. And at the Henderson Housing Authority we are creatively examining our heads via a contemporary “phrenology” project.

Art Enrichment with at-risk kidz in Henderson, week of 9/14/15

We are getting close to completing both murals at Central Academy in Henderson, KY!  We also had a guest graffiti artist visit the Housing Authority, CA and Henderson County High School’s CHEERS after school program on 9/16 and 9/17/15.  The kidz loved learning about graffiti styles from a veteran who knows first hand about graffiti, and kidz like them.

Outreach with at-risk kidz, week of 9/7/15

We made a lot of progress on the Central Academy gym mural, just in time for Parents’ Night on 9/10!  Also on our zentangle board project at Henderson County High School. The Henderson Housing Authority kidz were amazing on their name zentangles as well.