Category: ARTivism

Chimes for Change Event Announcement!

Our students at Larchmont High have been really hard at work these past few months designing their chimes and learning from our Artist Mentors in the process. Our vision for hanging these beautiful chimes from a portable, tree-like form have come true – and the end result is going to be amazing! We’ve been extremely lucky in our partnership with Tortoise Industries for the fabrication part of this project, and we’re happy to say that work has begun on the structural elements of the tree! 

With the design process completed and construction underway, we are thrilled to announce that the big launch and project unveiling of Chimes for Change is going to take place Friday, June 2nd in the exhibitions space at Art Share L.A! Founded in 1997, they maintain a large warehouse in the heart of the DTLA Arts District, and are been committed to being a thriving community-focused arts space in Los Angeles. Art Share provides affordable housing, studios, and performance space for local artists- which makes them a unique and much-needed force in the development of artists and community organized projects (like Chimes for Change) who might not have the benefit of widespread exposure, major gallery backing, or exhibition space.

 

The festivities will begin at 7pm and will include student presentations, light refreshments and more information about what we do here at Ruckus Roots. More importantly, this is an opportunity to interact with this beautiful sound and sculptural installation you’ve been hearing so much about! Partnering with Art Share for this opening event gives our students an opportunity to see their work displayed in a professional gallery space and interacting with a broader public – so we really hope we can see you and your friends there!

Mark your calendars for June 2nd and stay tuned for more details as the event gets closer – we’re sure to have more than a few surprises up our sleeves 🙂 Last thing: a huge thank you goes our to everyone who helped support, fund, design and bring with this project to fruition – see you at Art Share in June! 

 

 

 

 

ARTIST MENTOR SPOTLIGHT: NiNo Alicea

In our new Artist Mentor Spotlight feature, we’ll introduce you to one of our incredible teaching artists and give you an opportunity to get to know them a little better!

First up: Nino Alicea! 

In addition to his work with Ruckus Roots as a visual art and design mentor, Nino is a muralist, painter and sculptor living and working in the Los Angeles area.  With a background in graphic design and design production, Nino has been involved in production work for both television and film in the past. For several years, he worked as a Design Producer for NBC’s American Dream Builders, and in 2014, he was part of the team that installed Pae White’s “Woven Walk” at LAX. Most recently, Nino was named as art director of Ricky Martin’s current stage show!  

Nino has been essential in both our Wild Art project, a sculpture publicly installed at the Los Angeles Zoo during its Wild for the Planet event, April 23-May 22, 2016, and our latest, Chimes for Change! Check out his work with our students below, explaining the fundamentals of balance in design before they begin concept work for their chimes!

Nino says his “…ultimate goal is to inspire others to continue creating and dreaming big.” Nino’s dreams have definitely been big lately! His debut Burning Man art piece, called “Got Framed” (2016) was a huge hit on the playa last year, and was recently featured in National Geographic Travel February/March 2017 issue! In addition, we’re excited to announce that Nino is officially a Burning Man 2017 Honoraria Grant Recipient for his latest project, “Mucaro”!

MĂşcaro (MOO-ka-roe) or “owl” in Spanish, is both an homage to the artist’s mother, and a symbol of arts education/learning – not to mention a simply breathtaking 30ft installation! This massive owl structure will survey the playa at Burning Man with a 360 degree view by day, and emit beams of light by night. It also features spiral staircases that enables people to actually enter the structure, climb up to the lighthouse-like head, and take in the view! 

Obviously, this is a massive undertaking, and really elaborate project that Nino’s pursuing. It’s taken a lot of hard work, months of planning, and he’s almost there with the funds to achieve the last step of Mucaro! Nino and RuckusRoots are teaming up for a fundraising Gala in the coming months – the proceeds of which will be benefitting both our organization and the final stages of Nino’s piece! Stay tuned for event details coming soon – we’d love to see you there! 

Congratulations again, Nino! We appreciate all of the time, dedication and creative energy that you give to RuckusRoots! 

(P.S to learn more about the Mucaro, the project plans and the team helping to make it a reality, click here! )

 

Crowdfunding Success and Chimes for Change Launch

 

We are very pleased to announce that we’re starting 2017 with a bang. Thanks to YOU, we met (actually surpassed) our 10K goal and raised $11,300 during our end of year crowdfunder. What an inspiring way to end 2016 and begin a new year and new program. Thank you to everyone who donated and has supported our work along the way. We are so grateful for YOU!

These are some of the questions we asked students during the first week of our new Chimes for Change program at Larchmont High School. And thanks to our new iPads and partnership with SKIES, an interactive learning app developed by Cal Tech grads, students were able to answer these questions and see their answers posted alongside their classmates in real time.

This is just one of many exciting developments we’re bringing to our new and improved Chimes for Change program. Here are some others:

  • We finally have our own student tech devices (Thank you LUSH Charity Pot!)
  • Instead of just one, several professional artist mentors are involved in lending their expertise to this program. Learn more about each of them here.
  • We’ll be taking students to neighborhood council meetings to take our change-making abilities one step further. 

And this is just the beginning! Because of these changes and even more we’ll reveal as the semester progresses, this is sure to be our most impactful program ever. 

Student Presentation: Opening Day at the Los Angeles Zoo

Our Wild Art Sculpture concluded its 5-week exhibition at the Los Angeles Zoo yesterday, after celebrating Endangered Species Day for the Zoo’s Wild for the Planet event. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful month, during which we met many awesome Angelinos who care about our planet, its creatures and the arts! The sculpture is moving to its new home in Highland Park, where the students who built it will be able to enjoy it for years to come. 

Until then, enjoy this video, which shows our students presenting their piece on opening day at the Los Angeles Zoo, as well as artist mentor Nino Alicea sharing his thoughts on the power of collaborative arts to improve communities & change lives. 

Unveiling of Wild Art Sculpture at the LA Zoo

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On April 23rd, we unveiled our Wild Art sculpture at the Los Angeles Zoo. Thanks to our crowdfunder from last fall, the Highland Park Neighborhood Council and Academia Avance Charter School, we were able to make this unprecedented event happen. Our Wild Art sculpture is the first outside art piece to ever be installed at the Los Angeles Zoo. Several of the student-artists who helped make the piece were able to come and present it to viewers on opening day. Following are pictures and video of the event. Congrats to all the students, thanks to artist mentor Nino Alicea, designer James Peterson and fabricator Scott Froschauer for your help in bringing this piece to life.

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We’re Going to the Zoo!

WildforthePlanet-logo-e1459641971135We are very happy to announce that we have found placement for our Wild Art sculpture!

Thank you to everyone who has supported this project along the way, and thank you in advance to everyone who will help us build it.

Here are the Details

Our students’ Wild Art paintings will be on display for a month starting on Earth Day (April 23rd) and ending on Endangered Species Day (May 22nd), as part of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens’s Wild for the Planet Event. Come see us across from the Eucalyptus Grove in the Zoo.

Made with help from 200  youth from Academia Avance in Northeast Los Angeles, the sculpture features paintings of local threatened species, including the monarch butterfly, mountain lion, peregrine falcon and steelhead trout. In RuckusRoots’ Wild Art program, students combined ecology, wildlife and art training to create this sculpture. They hope it will bring awareness to the beautiful and diverse range of species that call Los Angeles home, and encourage viewers to consider ways in which humans, plants and animals can coexist harmoniously in our great city. This sculpture was made possible in part by the Highland Park Neighborhood Council and will find its permanent home in the students’ community of Highland Park after its exhibition at the LA Zoo.

If you would like to sponsor the sculpture or help us build it, please email info@ruckusroots.org. More info on volunteer shifts and sponsorship opportunities coming soon!

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.

• tickets

• 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!