Category: Uncategorized

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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Help Young Artists Thrive in Their Community!

Our Crowdfunder Has Launched…

Watch the video and read on to find out how you can help these young artists make a mark on their community!

If you have been following our work, you know that the main goal of our program, Wild Art is to build community and sustainability through art. This program gives LA youth a chance to make a permanent mark on their own community, to take ownership of and pride in where they live through their own creative powers. We believe this will instill in them the desire to be stewards that community, of the environment and of the arts for many years to come.

Now is your chance to be a part of something great! There are several ways to participate:

  • DONATE

    We are seeking funds to turn the artwork of 200 LA teens into a permanent public sculpture in Los Angeles. (Need a refresher? Read the back story on our project, Wild Art.) If you have been following our work, you know we have made several awesome sustainable art pieces with youth across LA, but this will be the first one that is a public work of art, and the first one that will feature individual art pieces by LA youth. This is our chance to show these teens that their creativity can positively impact their community, their city and the natural world they live in. Donate now!

  • SHARE

    We are hoping to take this crowdfunder far and wide: the more people who know about it, the larger our network becomes and the more change we can create. Sharing via social media, email and in one-on-one conversations are all appreciated! Share this link.

  • CONTRIBUTE A REWARD

    We are offering several exciting rewards for those who donate to our crowdfunding campaign, but could always use more. Here’s what we’ve got so far. If you have a gift or service you feel you can donate to our campaign, please contact us. Anything that will help make our campaign more enticing to other donors is appreciated!

Mid-Program Progress: Still Life Drawings by Highland Park Youth

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A student creates her still life drawing

As part of our newest Urban Wildlife program, students first learn color theory, composition and still life drawing skills before moving on to the bigger, collaborative project. This video shows their mid-program progress.

We have some very talented students in these classes of 8th and 9th graders, and are so excited for the opportunity to offer them arts education, which they would not otherwise receive. Take a look at their skilled work!

This week we move on to urban wildlife education with local experts, planning our big art piece and writing about nature in Los Angeles. Each student will receive a template of a threatened Los Angeles animal that he/or she will paint. All these small pieces will be put together into one permanent art piece over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

New Community Art Program Begins at Academia Avance

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It’s a perfect way to spend Earth Day, if you ask me. We are starting our second week at Academia Avance today, where we are running a community art program focused on sustainability and endangered urban wildlife. Today, I asked the students to think about what sustainability means to them, and then we learned color theory with artist mentor Nino Alicea. The students created their own color wheels, making them in any shape they could imagine. The program will continue for the next seven weeks. We’re very excited for what’s in store, stay tuned!

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Join us at the Frogtown Art Walk!

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“Your Hug,” the 11-foot tall, interactive teddy bear sculpture RuckusRoots built with middle school students from Highland Park last semester, will be showing at the Frogtown Art Walk this September 13th, 2014. With live music and lots of exhibiting local artist, this event is not to be missed! Our piece will be showing at 2902 Gilroy St. at Cafecito Organico. The event runs from 4-10pm. We hope to see you there!

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Building the Bear: Our Process

The summer is lingering on, and we’ve been having a great one – enjoying some much needed time with family and friends.

We are excited to come back refreshed and renewed for the coming fall semester. Until then, here’s a gallery of images of our most recent piece, “Your Hug,” built with artist mentor Rebekah Waites and 127 middle school students from Academia Avance in Highland Park. This TRASHformation program was the only arts education these students received all semester. To learn more about how and why we made the bear, please check out the previous blog. The bear will be on display again soon, stay tuned!

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.

RuckusRoots Chosen to attend Annenberg Alchemy Seminar

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We’re looking forward to completing the last leg of our Annenberg Alchemy seminar this coming June. We attended the first two sessions this past March at the Science Center.

We were thrilled when we found out earlier this year that RuckusRoots had been chosen to participate in this year’s annual Annenberg Alchemy seminar. The seminar consists of 3 days: two full days of training and an ‘Anthology Review Day’ approximately 90 days later. This 90 Day period allows the program attendees to implement the lessons learned. Critical issues covered are fundraising, board effectiveness, civic engagement and accountability.

This prestigious non profit seminar focuses on the working relationship and communication between the Executive Director and the Board Chair, more specifically the alignment of both parties goals, roles and responsibilities in relation to each other and how that provides the catalyst for change for the overall organization.

To be accepted into Annenberg Alchemy, they require your organization has been serving the needs of the local community for at least three years, with the same Executive Director in place for two or more years, and operating with an annual budget of $5 million or less. Check, check and check!

We’re looking forward to completing the last leg of our Annenberg Alchemy seminar this coming June. After attending the first two sessions this past March at the Science Center, we’re sure that we’ll make a lot more good connections and take the invaluable tools Annenberg gave us to better RuckusRoots in every way!