Part of the concept behind the “people” that I created during my most recent arts residency was that they would travel around Coshocton and appear in “Unexpected Places” for the month following their creation.
I recently checked the Pomerene Center’s online gallery and was excited to see that they’re having a great time traveling around to all of the participating children’s schools. It’s fun to see how the project that I set in motion is continuing.
There are more photos of the people and their travels on the Pomerene Center for the Arts’ website.
Here are two more of the wonderful “people” that I made with 3rd and 4th graders during my art residency in Coshocton. As with the finished “people” I posted earlier, I love getting to share my art with kids, challenging them to see unusual materials as art, and helping them to make their own art.
These “people” were made from the children’s own cast off clothing. The kids worked in groups of 3-5 to make body parts for the figures. Then I assembled all the parts into complete figures. The kids also got to see some of my work in a show that’s up in one of the art center’s galleries.
The photos really can’t do justice to the sculptures. Especially since each body part represents considerable concentrated effort, there’s a very high level of detail and complexity–patches on top of patches, a bead here to signify one thing, a complicated little pouch stitched on and filled with something. The kids did a great job of putting thought into what they did instead of just throwing some things together and calling the art “done”.
We made a total of 10 “people”. You can see photos of the works in progress here.
As part of the art that the 3rd and 4th graders made with me in Coshocton, each group was asked to write about the body part they had constructed and the materials they had used, kind of like I do with my art. In response, they wrote many wonderful things.
Here’s a great selection of the kinds of things that they thought to include in their reflections. In case you can’t read them well, here’s a translation (with corrected spelling for ease of reading):
The head came from the Salvation Army, so it has a lot of story behind it. The hair we found in a bucket in art class. The flower was right beside the hair so we KNEW it was a perfect match. The hood was made from a very special fabric. It actually has a lot of story behind it too.
Lane’s shirt that Mom won’t let him wear. Emily’s nice, cozy gloves. Brandon’s ring. Colton’s great sewing.
The pink pants is when I first went to the doctor to get my shot. –Tatum. The jeans are what I wore on my first day of 2nd grade.–Arianna. The jeans is when I went to first day of 1st grade.–Tatum. I used the jeans for the pocket. I cut some of the designs.–Shalcey
The pants I brought in was my favorite pants I ever had. Now the pants are going to be a fake person.
Several pieces of my art are on exhibit at the Pomerene Center for the Arts in conjunction with my residency. In the gallery next to the one showing my art is an exhibit by an artist named Melissa Vogley Woods. This is a piece of her art. In a third gallery there is an exhibit of quilts by local quilters. I enjoyed the combination of all three galleries and their variations on art involving fabric and memories.
I liked Melissa Vogley Woods’ art reflecting on empty houses, including photos like the one above where she has mended the empty house with old quilts. I like her process as a way of interacting with a neighborhood like the one where I live in with its empty houses that disappear to the demolition crew in a day. How do you heal the houses? How do you heal the neighborhood? What memory does the neighborhood have after a house is gone after having stood for more than a century?
Here’s another one of the people I made with the 3rd and 4th grade classes in Coshocton. Remember each limb was constructed by a group of 3-5 kids working together. On this one, I love the Hannah Montana legging that became an arm, the goalie glove hand (with ring!), and the fact that you can see the buttons on the shirt that got wrapped up and stuffed in a stocking to become the head.
It was up to me to figure out how to put all the pieces together and, like actual people, these people are all wired together in different ways. On this one’s shoulders, you can see the exposed “bones” made out of cable donated to the Pomerene Center by a phone company. On this person, I drilled through it and tied the bones together.
As part of the art that the 3rd and 4th graders made with me in Coshocton, each group was asked to write about the body part they had constructed and the materials they had used, kind of like I do with my art.
In response, they wrote many wonderful things. This is one that I particularly like. The group decided to make a particularly ambitious torso by cutting three shirts apart and sewing them back together. It was a lot of sewing for a bunch of kids very new to it.
I love the result and I love their commentary:
“This is my sister’s shirt and Brayden’s shirt. It was hard to make. Sometimes life is creative.”