Sunday, July 14, 2013

Community Art Project: ArtWorkers

This sixth and final (for now) community art project was ArtWorkers: Creativity and America.

ArtWorkers was an interdisciplinary arts celebration and exhibition at Spiva Center for the Arts, May 16-July 6 2013. For me, it was an intense yet smooth, challenging yet successful smashing partnership between co-creators Hugh Merrill, myself, and Spiva staff. We really were a communicative, unstoppable trio. Hugh conceived the Big Idea and over-arching themes of the show such as politics, ecology, and family. I recruited and essentially curated the participating visual artists and most of the events throughout the run of the exhibit. In addition, I wrote this blog and created a public survey for the exhibition. I was also proud to co-write a large National Endowment for the Arts grant, a high achievement for a small art center, indeed! These images represent the moments that I had a direct or indirect hand in, ones that perhaps touched me the most. By no means is this representative of the the entire exhibition. Special thanks to EaglePicher Technologies for sponsoring the show, Hugh Merrill for his leadership and mentorship in community art, the tireless, super-professional and visionary Spiva Staff, Eric Fischl who inspired the entire idea, and the Conrad Family. Cheers to more of this in Southwest Missouri!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Community Art Project: The Beehive Collaborative

This fifth community art project was a year of experimental art education.

The Beehive Collaborative was a project-based community art organization that lasted for one instensive year: 2012. I rented a studio and transformed it with help from many friends. Throughout the year I created, facilitated, and hostsed workshops, exhibitions, and events designed to celebrate, reinvent, and challenge the creativity and self-imposed boundaries of the Four States region. The space focused on collaborative workshops, summer art camps, live music events, and an exhibition and book called "small art, BIG LOVE". It was a whirlwind year of fresh ideas, innovative curriculum, and risk-taking facilitation, mostly for non-artists.

Community Art Project: MFAA

This fourth community art project was a six-summer teaching experience.

I had the extreme honor of teaching with the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, a summertime-high school-statewide-interdisciplinary arts program for six straight summers (2006-2011). It felt like my doctorate in fine arts, quickly on the heels of my MFA. The images in the collage link below are just a smattering of the afternoons of deep student artwork exploring identity and wide student artwork involving collaboration and global concerns. My charge as faculty was to give the students something they wouldn't get in their regular high school artroom. So I went big, with non-traditional materials, installation, hand-made journals, study of masters, all the while reflecting, documenting and demanding relevance to the students' lives and mine, as artists. It was the most significant teaching and art-making experience of my career thus far.