Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Magic paper

Scratch art paper at some points in our lives as young artist many of us were exposed to this "Magic phenomenon". It can be costly and I've tried to make my own before. But you never get the some pure clean line that you do with the prefab stuff. I've tried crayon with oil pastel over it before. The color smudge.I think you can use crayon and India ink too.

Anyways, what amuses me with this stuff is not just that it is nice to work with it is children's reaction to it.They "oh and ah". This also can not always understand that the color is in the paper not the stick. They also have a hard time understanding that the paper is whatever color is underneath the black. You either get a whole sheet of one color, or mixed color if the paper is made that way.At the dollar store the other day I saw silver glitter scratch art. I have to admit it was tempting but I passed on it.

So I was working on some scratch art paper the other day while working with a group of kids. It was their last day and they had a choice of free time activities. most were all working on something of their own but when they saw the scratch art had to try it.From then I realized after many of the students began working with it that the sticks that were left for them to work with the majority of them were too dull to remove the top layer. I thought to myself "I wonder if Bamboo shish kabob skewers would work. The short wooden pointed sticks I they had looked like a sawed down skewer. I knew the calligraphy pens would work but was afraid they may ruin the pen points. The scratch art kits I have actually came with a plastic tool with a metal point for scratching with. But what an expense to buy them in bulk.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Saturday Suncatchers

These I made with my Saturday gallery class. I have a close friends who is the owner of Instant Sign Center in East Rochester. She has often given me her scarp material to work with. For this project we used the scarp laminate that is left over when rolling something through the laminating machine. The students create their own image using t-shirt puffy paints. For these we used the black gel puff paint.This kind of paint stays raised when it sets. This is important because the stained glass paints we used pool so they need a raised surface to sit in while they set.

We hole punched the tops and used a floral wire that I found at the dollar store they got suction cups to hang them in the window.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Writing on the Wall.

We live nearby the area at which we are painting the mural. We live down the street from the Flying Squirrel. I walk the streets and think of things that could use fix up or repair. I collect things that people have left lying on the street and throw them out, recycle them, or make art out of them. There are things I love about my neighborhood and things I would like to change. I would like people who live here to have more respect for one another and each others' property. I would also like my neighbors to be friendly as I walk by. Also, as a visual minded person, I would like to see people care more about visual upkeep of the space. I see the community mural project as a first chance to make this change. I hope there will be more to follow.

I have been connecting with people who live in Corn Hill and the surrounding area by doing this mural project. I wanted this project to bring together the community, not create a divide. I want to work with and provide opportunities for people who live here to have a voice and a say in what goes on in their own community.

I see the graffiti on the walls of abandoned buildings by my house. I have seen where people have crossed out others graffiti in an attempt to outline their turf. I wanted the mural project to be a way for local people to have a chance to connect, not become further divided. I know how big the divide is from one neighborhood to another. I remember this from when I worked with youth centers in the city. I was told that kids are afraid to walk from one neighborhood to another, as they would be passing through someone else's turf. I am a recent transplant to the area so I am adjusting yet. The thing that I see is how much people are struggling here to mark the turf. I wish I could convey to people that we are all in the same boat. We are all struggling to get by, to make the rent, and to protect our homes. We are all in times of economic crisis. Hurting one another does not make this better.

I received a call on Wednesday that there was graffiti on the mural wall. My initial response was "I am not surprised.” I went to check it out and had a mixture of emotions. At first I thought "Well it is a community wall I suppose they wanted to be included. Maybe we should leave up what they had done". One thing I noted is that only areas painted by Ed or I had been marked, while the areas painted by the local children and local artists were left untouched. I might be a new face to the area but I am still part of the community. It is disrespectful to randomly mark the walls where others have worked so hard, whether that be on the mural or the recently repainted wall.

The people who purchased the Flying Squirrel have put up their own time and money to make this building a community space. A lot of time and effort has been put into renovating and repairing the building. In this project along with others who use the space we are trying to hold onto the history of the building to remember the past, acknowledge the present, and create a future there. I do not get the feeling that anyone wants to claim turf and push people out of the space. All are welcome to use the building and to paint in the mural but there should be a code of ethics, a code of trust and of honesty. I wish that whoever spray-painted the mural would appreciate that other people’s hard work and effort are going into the painting. The space has even allowed others to paint graffiti style art on the interior of the space. If you wanted to be included just ask.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mural Permission Slip

Painting Permission Slip

You and your child are invited to help participate in the painting of a community Mural project and the Flying Squirrel Community Center and the corner of Troupe and Clarissa Street. This project is being lead by visual artist and arts educator Susan Link. The project is funded by a grant From Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester and from the New York State legislature. This project is intended to involve local community members and members of the Flying Squirrel Community Center in the painting and planning of a community mural which depicts the history of the area and the current use of the building as The Flying Squirrel Community space.

For the safety and security of your children we would like you to be informed:
  • The Paint we are using is Golden acrylic it will stain clothes.
  • Tools, such as a hammer will be present but should not be used by children.
  • Scaffolding children should not be on or below scaffolding while others are painting above.
  • We will be working Outdoor in the sun cannot provide outdoor protection or sun screen
  • Due to the fact that the visual artist and other adults present are also there to paint there. Must be an attending caregiver.

Permission Notice

I, the legal guardian of the herein mentioned child, have read the above description and do hereby grant permission for the child, __________________________________________, to participate in the painting of the mural on the north facing wall of the Flying Squirrel Community Space under the supervision of __________________________________, an attending caregiver.

Furthermore, I have read and understand the risks listed above and I agree for myself and my family to release Susan Link, the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester, and the members of the Flying Squirrel Community Space of all claims of damages to property or personal injury related to the project.

Signature of guardian _________________________________
Date ______________________

Signature of attending caregiver _________________________________
Date ______________________

Mural madness

What do you get when you combine lots of children, some artists,some paint,a parking lot, rocks and a wall to paint?Well you get chaos but our was well, organized chaos.In between segments of wall painting. The kids and K-lon ran races across the parking lot and one child kept wanting to throw rocks so I suggested, Pet rocks!

I worked some on the figures on the right and wanted to get more done with the scaffolding on the top but decided to keep scaffolding out of the way and put away while the kids were working.

We still need to incorporate hoops an I would like to incorporate drums and bicycles in a way. We also need to do more for the local Corn Hill history section of the mural.We have only 2 months left and will also need to change painting and meeting times for the summer. I will most likely be painting more on weekends and less during the week.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Last Tuesdays mural session

They came out of the woodwork Last Tuesdays. Thanks to being verbal and welcoming to the community the community members have been coming out. Giving feedback and telling me parts of their history with the area A local resident of several years talked about his use of the space as the ELKS club.

Eight local kids from the apartment complex across the street came over to help us paint. The children were very polite and patient in watching me mix the paints. I asked one child jokingly as the all watched me."Is this better then watching TV." She said "yes". The children helped paint the squirrel and the purple on Emma Goldman's scarf.

K-Lon who has come by on other weeks who is also a community mural artist came back to add color to his piece.I spoke to another artist who wished to add a design to the piece as well.His family also came by and said hi! his mother was formerly involved with the ELKS club as well.
She was at the Flying Squirrel community center to help a friend with another project.

For any other community members who wish to allow their children to paint I will be putting up a post called "Mural permission slip" which will give more information about the project and information on the paint.

Last Tuesday was a wonderful day and it was great to interact with so many others from the community.

I hope to see and met more people when out working today.

This project was funded by a grant from The Arts and Cultural Council of greater Rochester and from the New York State legislature.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Brown Bagging it- (June's First Friday)

Went to two new art openings this first Friday. It had bee awhile since I had been over to Four Walls and to talk to to Shawn Dunwoody. This gallery its style and atmosphere are right up my alley. The food is usaully dry cereal fruit and the music is always funky.Pretty often a live band is booked to play for later on. I always seem to get there before the band goes on.This time was no different.The space is comfortable and fun to be in. The new addtion of the small walls gallery makes art accessible to a young audience and keeps, bright, funky and friendly.

The publicity fliers for this show were well thought out. The show was a mixed media show was works all including collage or mixed media sculpture.They were brown paper lunch bags with the info printed on them. They were labeled "Grab Bags" and stated that the bag is a place to keep "all your bits and Pieces." The title for the show was fitting it was all mixed media works that combined small pieces of mixed media. The front room had works by Kathy Farrell I recognized them immediately she had shown similar works during the "Get a Grip" show there last year. Kathy definitely has a style and after seeing several other of her works sometimes you recognize it. Others times she takes you by surprise.Tiny screws rough surface with drips of paint they clearly defined area generally using objects that create straight lines to clearly display an object.The titles often take serious issues and give the ma comical edge.

A series of light boxes by Elizabeth McDade show photos of rooms were historic figures were born. These looked familiar to me. Perhaps I have seen this artists work before? The light boxes were all covered with small toys and objects. The were all recognizable but painted mono chromatically to look like antique frames.Objects and toy such as squirt guns, kazoos,shells, figurines etc.

College works by Artist Nancy Topolski showed intricate cutting that looks like it most likely used an X-acto and was layered with stencil.

Large cast and found object combination that large on the wall were shown by artist Elizabeth Lyons. These human one piece called calipers combines large textured rope and coming off the end are two large apparently female, human limbs.

Shawn Dunwoody was also and exhibiting artist in this display and created light up objects that were displayed along with the light up photo boxes.Tree trucks wire and other objects all painted red hang from a gas can which has been turned into a light fixture. "Good use of gas can"Was all I could think."My boy friend spoke to me about how hard that would be to cut and pointed out the holes on the bottom that make that so that it could no longer be used for it's original use.

We bee lined over to the ROCO 6x6 show and then were handed another paper bag.This one was different it had the directions on how to purchase works from the show. It also had blank lines on the bottom to write down the number that identified your favorite works.

I have never seen such a large display of artwork.Except maybe at Artisan works. Every wall space of the gallery is push pinned with works even the sides.Cast Glass works, stained galss, cardboard, pen and ink, photography, felted and textile work you name is and most likely that media is somewhere there. So of the works were be artists I know I recognized or have seen their work before.The style was so characteristics of their work. Think I recognized some John Kasteners, Eddie Davis the 3rd,Dennis Furisuo and some others artist I have taken classes with at the MAG.

We found where ourswere and where my students works were and wrote down the numbers. We have not yet decided to buy yet. But I have some works in mind.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cupcake jewelry made by kids

So I was wearing my cupcake jewelry to work and the kids would see it. Now, I know I am selling my products for money. Many of the kids wanted to by it from me. I felt weird asking my kids for money. So instead I asked my supervisor for some polymer clay and I showed the kids how I make cupcake jewelry.

They really enjoyed it.Some made striped beads, some made small animals.

I lugged my toaster oven back and forth each day and brought in my tools and shared my jewelry making supplies.
So what? I did not make money. For the kids I made memories and they were so proud of there work.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mural Work Last Tuesday

Last Tuesdays mural painting session went fabulously. We got some local support and some artists to help with the work. I am struggling with the feedback I have received and, my own harsh self criticism the project. There are things that I would like to see that others do not like to see. There are things I do well as a artist and things I succeed at.There are also things I know I need to work on. Part of this projects is trying to make everybody strengths blend together and appear in the image naturally. I some place we have outlined for other to "fill in" with color. In other places local artists have come to me and I have said. Go ahead we need this kind of imagery.Give me ideas.I always have these phases in an artwork where things did not go quite as I planned and need to just"Let it flow".

My boyfriend Ed has also been a huge help to me in all this and you can see him above painting as well. He and I working together is amusing to me as we both work quite differently artistically.

About two weeks ago I was approached by this young guy while we were working on the wall. He said he had worked on murals before and was a mural artist for a summer program with Americore. His artist signature is K-lon. He is a warm funny and bright guy who is very interested in working with youth and the community. He writes poetry and song lyrics, He also has his own recording studio and helps other to make recordings of their music.He also had his friend Malcolm meet up with him.Malcom also seems dedicated to working in the community and is a musician.He will be in the military soon. I am glad to have meet these guys and have them come help with the mural.