Category: Art We Love

RuckusRoots Receives LUSH Cosmetics Charity Pot Grant!

Hello everyone!

We’ve missed you! It’s been a super busy summer…read on to find out everything the RuckusRoots team has been up to these last few months.

First up – We are super excited to announce that we have been awarded a grant through our partner, LUSH Cosmetics, for the second year in a row! The Lush Charity Pot has generously granted our organization over $20,000 in funds to continue our Chimes for Change curriculum and to launch a brand new program in the Spring of 2018. We can’t wait to announce the details soon! You can read more about our last Chimes for Change project in collaboration with Tortoise Industries, local artist, James Peterson, and the high school students of Larchmont Charter School here. 

Next up on our list of announcements: the successful installation MÚCARO on the playa at Burning Man 2017. Our dear friend and artist mentor, El NiNo, became the first Puerto Rican to receive the Burning Man Honoraria Grant to build MÚCARO this summer, and we were thrilled to lend a hand in the process! The giant owl structure represented the island of Puerto Rico and was dedicated to arts education; specifically the artist’s mother, Mrs. Hilda Alicea, who worked as a teacher for more than 45 years encouraging kids to pursue their dreams. We encountered many teachers and arts advocates on the playa who were touched by this installation personally, and we were so proud of how well NiNo’s work was received! 

Another cool aspect of the piece was its interactivity. Viewers could walk inside the owl through a door under the wing, climb a spiral staircase 32 feet up into the owl’s head to peer out the eyes onto the desert below. The head also spun around to give participants a 360 degree view of the playa. 

Now that the burn is over, we want to keep spreading the MÚCARO love and support! You can still purchase these sweet little owl pendants (designed by the artist) and all proceeds will be donated to the resilient people of Puerto Rico, in efforts to rebuild after the recent hurricane. P.S these pendant necklaces make great gifts – get your holiday shopping done early! WWW.LEAVEITTONiNO.COM 

We’ve got several exciting collaborations with local L.A organizations in the works for this fall/winter, and we are busy working develop our strategic plan for 2018! Are you subscribed to our mailing list yet? If not, you can do so here  – we’ll be launching a series of exciting new videos and tools for edits Check out our Facebook and Instagram for little snippets of the action as it unfolds, and we’ll be back again soon to share more! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RuckusRoots featured on One Green Planet

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The supercool website One Green Planet recently asked me, founder of RuckusRoots, to write an article about how we can use art to fight for the planet. I was pleased to contribute my views on ARTivism, as well as mention some of my favorite artists who expertly blend the worlds of art and eco-activism.

Check out the article, and let us know: how do you use art to fight for the planet?

VisionLA Fest: Where Climate Change & Art Collide

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock in Los Angeles (somewhere in Griffith Park or the LA River, I assume), you’ve probably stumbled across one of of the great art events taking place as part of VisionLA Fest over the last few weeks. Scheduled to coincide with the Conference on Climate Change in Paris (Nov. 30 – Dec. 11th, 2015), VisionLA Fest brings over 80 art, music, performance, literature and activism events to Los Angeles, most of which are free! The goal of the festival is to “engage communities county-wide, calling for a swift response to the climate crisis and creatively envisioning LA’s sustainable future.” Personally, I love this mission, as it is very similar to that of RuckusRoots. Blending the arts and sustainability to create ARTivism is what we’re all about!

You can be sure we’re going to attend as many of the remaining events as we can. (Until now, I had been one of those unlucky rock-dwellers.) There are several exciting events left, the schedule for which you can find here.

But if you want to know where we’ll be, here are the three events we plan on attending over the next three days.

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Concert for the Climate

December 9 @ 7:30 pm

First Congregational Church,

540 S Commonwealth Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020 United States

“The concert will feature Vicki Ray (California E.A.R. unit, L.A. Phil.) premiering Disappearing Waters, a piano piece with video projection by Lori Pond; the Street Symphony featuring members of the L.A. Philharmonic; and Don Preston (of the Mothers of Invention) performing on organ. The evening will be framed by a panel discussion about the role of music and art in general in the climate movement and broad social change.” Sign me up!

William Close and the Earth Harp Collective Holiday Spectacular

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December 10 @ 6:00 pm8:00 pm

City National Plaza,

515 S Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90071 United States

 

“William delights audiences around the world with his unique large-scale instruments and kinetic visual, musical performances.” Umm…yes please! We’ll be there!

Arts Earth Partnership Presents ENVISION: Closing Celebration of VisionLA ‘15 Fest

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FRI. 12/11 • 7:00pm-11:00pm

Plaza de Culturas Y Artes • 501 N Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 [$25-$100]

A convergence of artists, environmentalists, and concerned citizens who believe the creativity and ingenuity of the Arts & Cultural sector can help manifest a truly sustainable future. The event will feature poetry by LA Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez, music by DJ Jedi, an installation dance/concert by String Theory Productions, and awards to local environmental stewards.

Admission includes tamales by Mama’s Hot Tamales Cafe and an open bar with beer and wine.

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Facebook event page

Thanks to VisionLA Fest for putting on such an important, city-wide event. The crucial conversations that happen at convergences like this one are what get us closer to a brighter future for all.

All images from VisionLA Fest.

RuckusRoots Program “Wild Art” Wraps Up at Academia Avance

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Wild Art, a RuckusRoots program that connects underserved LA teens to nature in their own community and teaches them visual art skills, wrapped up last week at Academia Avance in Highland Park, Los Angeles. Over the course of 8 weeks, nearly 180 eighth and ninth graders worked with professional artist mentor Nino Alicea to learn artistic skills (color theory, composition and still life drawing). The learned about sustainability from RuckusRoots founder Christine Spehar, and also received education from wildlife expert Miguel Ordenana, who taught them about the amazing biodiversity that exists right under their noses in Los Angeles. The students combined these lessons by creating their own wildlife-inspired artwork on painted aluminum–the templates we used are of threatened native species. They chose between a monarch butterfly, a mountain lion, a trout and a peregrine falcon. 

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We are so proud of all of the students for their hard work and dedication to this program. Some who initially said, “I’m not creative,” or “I don’t like art,” ended up making some of the most beautiful work. We also interviewed some of our participants and are in the process of putting together a video with that footage, so stay tuned!

The next step for the nearly 200 beautifully painted aluminum plates is to combine them to design one, large permanent sculpture. Collaborator, friend and RuckusRoots artist mentor James Peterson is helping us with this piece of the puzzle. Next, we will work with the city and other local organizations to get our sculpture built and placed permanently. Our students will be able to help with that process and see their art pieces displayed this coming fall.

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The goal for publicly placing this sculpture is to give our youth a platform to creatively express themselves, connect to nature in LA and to take ownership of and pride in their community. We believe this introduction to wildlife and conservation issues is the first step in leading young people to engagement in and possibly beyond Los Angeles.

Thanks to all who participated, check out our gallery of pictures below and stay tuned for more videos and updates about this program this summer!

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Call to Artists!

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CALL TO ARTISTS

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RuckusRoots is looking for another artist mentor to join our team. Are you skilled in building, painting, crafting, fabricating and/or sculpting? What about digital skills: CAD, electronic music production and/or graphic design? Other skills not mentioned? That’s cool! Tell us what you can do.

Must haves: positive attitude, ability to commit to part time projects of various lengths (2-6 weeks, depending), ability to think on feet and respond to changing circumstances, interest in reused materials and sustainability and above all, enjoy working with kids (middle school).

Email us with resume and cover letter if interested. This is a paid job.

Happy Halloween from RuckusRoots!

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We here at RuckusRoots love Halloween….with the emphasis on candy and playing dress up, what’s not to like? October is also our founder’s birthday month, so there’s that. No matter what you do this Halloween, we want to remind you that picking a costume is a perfect opportunity to get creative with “throw away” materials you have lying around the house. Instead of going out and buying a new wig, why not create one out of newspaper, or make jewelry out of spray painted plastic bottles? The options are endless for recycled art this Halloween….let us know what you come up with!

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RuckusRoots Sculpture Debuts at Northeast LA Art Walk

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Our latest TRASHformation sculpture enjoyed a successful premiere last weekend at during the Northeast LA Art Gallery Night in Highland Park. The sculpture was on display at The Church on York last Saturday during the art walk.

We teamed up with 127 middle school students from Academia Avance in Highland Park, CA to create an interactive sculpture made from recycled materials. The program, called TRASHformation, was the only arts education the students received all semester.

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At the beginning of the program, we asked participants to come up with ideas for an art piece that would positively affect their community. The winning idea, by 11-year-old Brisa Cabrera Diaz, is entitled “Your Hug,” and is an 11-foot tall sculpture of a teddy bear that absorbs feelings. As Diaz wrote in her proposal, “My art piece is of emotion. When you’re sad you hug it and when you’re mad you can talk to it about your madness. Express your feelings to it.”

RuckusRoots worked with artist Rebekah Waites and five classes of middle school students over the spring semester to collaboratively build the sculpture. Students learned creative problem solving and artistic techniques such as sculptural modeling and fabric mache. Almost every piece of material used to make the sculpture was donated or found in the Highland Park community, including scrap wood, old bed frames, plastic containers, donated fabric, and mattress foam. 

The sculpture has several potential new homes, including the Academia Avance High School Campus, and a short stint at the Burning Man Arts Festival. We are hoping to place it at another local gallery for the duration of June and July, 2014. Please contact us if interested in hosting the bear.

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RuckusRoots goes to Coachella with CryoChrome!

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If you were wondering what RuckusRoots was up to this April, look no further than CryoChrome, one of the must sought after art installations on display during this years Coachella Valley Music Festival in Indio, CA.

We spent 18 days in the desert to help make CryoChrome come to life. The piece was the brain child of LA artist and RuckusRoots collaborator James Peterson. This was Peterson’s first commissioned art piece for Coachella, and we are proud to say it was a success!

The interactive sculpture was roughly 40 feet long and 20 feet tall, and was based on Russian ice caves. Affectionately dubbed ‘the rainbow tunnel,’ the outside of the piece was covered in a skin of over 20,000 recycled CD’s (yay for recycled materials!) while the inside of the tunnel was vaccu-formed plastic walls covered in color-changing LED lighting. As you walked through the piece, the walls rotated around you, creating an optical illusion that left festival goers dizzy and exhilarated. Lines remained long throughout both weekends of the festival; we estimated at least 70,000 viewers experienced the sculpture each weekend.

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Photo courtesy of Koury Angelo via Rolling Stone

We were honored to be a part of such an amazing art project! The piece was featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone, LA Weekly, The Hollywood ReporterHuffington Post and many more. It was an exciting month and now we’re on to more ruckus-raising at home!

Coachella 2014: Cryochrome from James Mills on Vimeo.

This week during TRASHformation: Fabric Mache

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Last week saw a lot of progress made in our TRASHformation program at Academia Avance middle school in Highland Park. Since the students had recently learned how to create a small 3D sculptural model, it was now time to think about how we will create the “skin” of our piece. Besides mentoring the students, Rebekah Waites and some very dedicated volunteers (thanks, Doug!) are simultaneously building the large structure. With the overabundance of fabric materials the community donated we thought it best to put those to good use. We introduced the students to a new art method known as “fabric mache”. “Fabric Mache” is in sense very similar to paper mache, it is the cross-stitching of strips of fabric that have been dipped in a solution of glue and water; once dry it becomes a stiff shell that can be painted and/or drilled.

In these upcoming weeks we will begin working towards designing and “stuffing” the interior of the sculpture, ensuring the strength and durability of the bear. We are still searching for a suitable home for this art piece at a Highland Park art gallery. Let us know if you have any leads!

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Day 2: Academia Avance’s TRASHformation

We started off classes by introducing the selected art proposal from last week, which will serve as inspiration towards our final project. The winner, Brisa Cabrera Diaz, age 11, wrote her proposal based on her experience with her teddy bear, which makes her feel better when she hugs it. She wrote of an individual capable of expressing his/her feelings freely to something  so safe and pure, titling her concept “Your Hug”. To reflect this, the piece we build with the students will be a giant teddy bear that can “absorb” the feelings of the community with its glowing LED heart. We are planning to build the piece using old stuffed animals, toys, books, etc. The concept reflects warm ideas that focus on the emotional well being of the community and the artist herself.

In order to collect the materials to make our art piece, we had a few classes begin making posters asking for donations. Anything from old shoes and clothes to discarded toys and books will do.

Next week we will collect the materials, take inventory and begin planning our design.