Monday, August 8, 2011

Art Lounge goes to Art Walk

Art walk is a fun time to buy art or just enjoy walking around downtown Joplin. The streets are closed to traffic, so people are free to set up tents and sell whatever they want. (not a time to walk ON art) In this picture, we were eating at Instant Karma.
Instant Karma serves gourmet hot dogs, but if you want to go there on Third Thursday, go early (it gets very packed). None of us liked hot dogs though, we all got pasta. So then why did we go to instant karma?? Because they have paintings covering the walls! Yay for paintings!
                                                             ^ A big painting

A local photographer sets up a fun photo shoot at art walk in his studio. The theme this time was 80s night so we put on REALLY silly costumes and got our photos taken. Check out the other photos from that photo shoot on the 9art facebook page.

                                    We had a lot of fun, but SOME of us are a bit camera shy.

We suggest you check out the next Art Walk, on Third Thursday, every month, downtown Joplin!!

A Vision for Joplin

A muralist is in Joplin, meeting with the community, planning a mural for our city and he asked a group of my students to draw what they wanted to see in the mural, to draw their vision of Joplin.

We had trouble coming up with ideas because before the tornado, Joplin was pretty boring...and since the tornado, everything that we used to take for granted is so much more precious.

We drew a sketch for our mural and put a big drive-in screen, with cars from every decade parked in front...and a playground with children who could see 'butterfly men' fluttering around them.

Our sketch had lots of trees, and somewhere in the design, we wanted people wading in a creek, catching crawdads. We thought it was important for the mural to show downtown and discussed how much of the mural should be devoted to the tornado. The students agreed that they wanted it to show happy people in Joplin.

Here is the mural team at our Art Lounge class at Spiva, presenting their history, how they are working with the Midwest Art Alliance to bring art to small communties....sharing a bit about what they do and also showing us example of other murals they have done. 

While the team was there, we showed them the mural we made.

Art Lounge students made a list of words to describe how people in Joplin felt after the tornado. The students, aged 10-16 selected some of the positive words and some of the  negative words from the list to include in the mural around a central figure. The figure in the center was left faceless so that viewers can picture the faces of those who helped them after the storm. The figure represents neighbor helping neighbor to cleanup and rebuild.

The mural was created on a blue tarp, which represents the new, yet temporary landscape of the city. The acrylic paint will eventually peel and chip off the surface, just as the blue tarps will be replaced with shingles and new roofs.
The Art Lounge mural is currently on display at Spiva if you want to see it in person.  (For a limited time)

What would your vision for the mural be? What would you include in a mural about Joplin?

This project is going to be amazing, we cannot wait to see what Dave and his team come up with for Joplin. To follow their progress and read about what the are doing around town, you can follow the blog here: 

If you would like to be involved with Dave's team and the Joplin mural, it is not too late to get involved!!

What is Art Lounge Like? Part 4.....Celebrations

Art Lounge is a community of student artists, coming together each week to talk about art and create art. We eat, we paint, we blog. It is an amazing experience each week to share with friends at Spiva.

Recently, we celebrated a birthday with a little party, complete with ice cream cake and decorations. 

 We made our own decorations using Martha Stewart's guidance. Click here to see how to make your own tissue paper pom poms.
 Eating cake!!

A close up of the party hats. Want to make your own?

Print out a blank party hat template on a sheet of white cardstock. Find the PDF here.
Make a pompom for the top using yarn. See a tutorial here.
Paint your party hat with water color paint. Let it dry, shape it into a cone. Add a sticker, staple some elastic on the bottom and hot glue the pom pom to the top. You could also add some fun fringe along the bottom edge. 

This was a memorable night...after hanging all the decorations as a 'surprise' for the birthday girl, we found out that it was sort of her worst nightmare. She hates it when things hung from the ceiling float back and forth, she is always worried that ghosts or something are controlling them. Haha, we had a good laugh about our new pretty pom pom classroom decorations.

What is Art Lounge Like? Part 3....Sculptures

For inspiration for our air-dry clay sculptures in Session 2, we looked at the work of DoubleParlour on Etsy. It was fascinating to see their work, so we decided to interview them. 
 You can see more of DoubleParlour's artwork on Flickr.
Here are a few of our favorites: 

1. Amia, 2. maiya, 3. leona, 4. group, 5. lydie no.1, 6. birthday ghost no.2, 7. Carrieanne, 8. Sabelle, 9. Fletcher #1

Doubleparlour Cassandra and Ernie Velasco San Francisco, CA

1. Where do you find inspiration for your sculptures? Are they based on real people, self portraits or aspects of your personality? Do you take commissions?

We find inspiration for our sculptures from all sort of places....including natural science, architecture, music, decay, humor, social norms and deviance. Some of our characters are based on aspects of real people from photos in news clippings, movies, acquaintances, and strangers. There is always something unique about every person, even if that person appears to be dull, normal, or blends in with the crowd. However, more often then not, our characters come directly from our imaginations...probably a kaleidoscope of images and thoughts we have throughout the day.

We sell our artwork online, in galleries and at local craft fairs. We do commissioned work, primarily requests from on-line collectors. Some commissions are requests to make a sculpture similar to a piece that has sold. Once in a while we receive requests to create a sculpture of a loved one based on photos with particular elements such a favorite animal or dress. Those pieces are difficult as it is hard to know what the requester has pictured as the final outcome.

2. Tell us a little bit about your process, do you draw the characters before you make them? Do all of the drawings become sculptures or paintings?

Although we collaborate on a few of our sculptures, generally we work separately, creating most of our pieces individually from start to finish. I would say each sculpture starts with an idea and sometimes a quick sketch. We prefer to do little planning and to let each piece evolve. We do more detailed drawings for paintings or illustrations...some of which become prints. A sculpture begins with an armature of aluminum foil and wire. The armature is then skinned with polymer clay for small parts with delicate details (i.e. faces), baked, and then skinned with an air dry two-part resin. The majority of the sculpture is usually formed with resin, as it is less fragile.

3. It is awesome that you collaborate on some of the characters. Most of them appear to be ambivalent, sad or they have forced smiles. Is that some thing you do intentionally or do they take on a life of their own? What do you want your audience to feel when they look at one of your sculptures?

Our characters generally have a contemplative look, like they are lost in thought or hiding something. I suppose we want our audience to feel curious or sympathetic to the character's personality or perceived emotional state.

4. My favorite sculpture is Doreeh.

What is your favorite?

Cassandra's favorite piece is "Can't see the forest for the trees" was one of my most difficult pieces to make, I love it! 

 Ernie's favorite is Bezz and Dezz.

5. Where do you live? Do you have another job or do you get to make art full time?

We live in San Francisco, we have live here for about 16 years now in the BEST neighborhood...Lower Haight. Cassandra works full-time at a hospital and creates art part-time. Ernie quit his job as a pastry chef about 2 years ago to do art full-time.

For the ART LOUNGE sculptures, we first created sketches that represented some aspect of our personality.

Then we created wire armatures using aluminum wire and foil for the base of our sculpture.

Once the armature was complete, we started to cover it with the air-dry clay.

 After the wire and foil was completely covered with clay, we waited for the clay to harden into a shell. This was where we had some trouble. Some of the clay cracked. We tried to patch it up a bit with bondo....but in the end, a couple of sculptures didn't make it.

Once the clay was dry, the sculptures were ready to be painted. 

And here is our Ninja Warrior!

Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoyed the interview and the peek at our sculpture production process.