We were thrilled to be asked by our corporate partners, LUSH Cosmetics, to participate in their Western Regional Managers Conference in Scottsdale Arizona, May 2018. Not only did we learn more about the amazingly progressive ethic of LUSH and their Charity Pot program, but we also were able to share RuckusRoots’ mission with lots of wonderful Lushies and run a version of our TRASHformation program in support of No More Deaths, another LUSH-funded organization.
No More Deaths is a volunteer-led, Arizona-based organization aimed at stopping immigration-related deaths and dangerous situations on the US-Mexico border. They believe that saving the lives of those enduring treacherous, life-threatening treks across the desert is a humanitarian responsibility. However, they have faced much backlash both politically and legally for the simple act of providing water, food, and very basic medical attention to these suffering humans.
We designed a TRASHformation project to directly aid No More Deaths volunteers by offering both cooling shade and uplifting messages. Nearly 120 participants built our “Woven Hearts Art Tarp” in about three hours. It is made almost entirely out of recycled materials (LUSH charity pot lids, recycled fabric, etc.). Colorful zip ties connect thousands of lids, while hundreds of positive messages of solidarity adorn fabric circles glued to the lids. This 10’ x 7’ quilt-like piece will act as a mobile shade tarp and can be installed in many different ways—off of existing plants, vehicles, structures or poles. It will last for quite some time in the searing desert sun thanks to the durability of the materials, and its breathable nature will allow high desert winds to pass through without causing any danger.
Want to build one of your own? We put together an Instructable that guides you through exactly how to do it!
We had an amazing opening night June 2nd at ArtShareLA and loved the opportunity to show our latest Chimes for Change project in a prominent downtown gallery. This is was especially meaningful to our high school students, who made a special field trip to hang their chimes on our giant metal tree and check out in the gallery for the afternoon! If you were able to make it to our opening night, you might have seen several of the students there!
We have so many people to thank for helping out with Chimes for Change! It was a huge undertaking and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the following superstars!
James Peterson, (tree designer and project planner)
Steve Shatkin & Tortoise Industries (our incredible tree fabricators)
Lush Cosmetics Charity Pot (incredible project sponsors for student ipads)
Erinn Bone (music mentor extraordinaire)
NiNo Alicea, Regina Clemente, Scott Froschauer, James Peterson and all of our fabulous artist mentors who helped with student chime-building)
Jeffrey Sapin (ever-patient teacher and project supervisor at Larchmont Charter High School)
ArtShareL.A (thanks for hosting our installation!)
All of our amazing and generous crowdfunding sponsors for helping finance the project!
It’s always bittersweet to finish up a big, semester-long project like this one! But we are really proud of the student work, and the reception this installation received from the greater public. If you weren’t able to make it to the gallery to see this interactive installation, you can visit
to see photos of each student’s chime, read their artist statement, and listen to their recorded song – all through the website!
We’ll be spending this summer revamping our website, doing some fundraising and dreaming up new plans for upcoming projects – so make sure you’re following us on social media and are signed up for newsletter updates so you stay in the loop with all the changes coming about!
We’d like to take this opportunity to formally invite you to the opening event of our latest Chimes for Change project in collaboration with Tortoise Industries and the students of Larchment High Charter School!
Join us for this very special evening of audio-visual artwork, student presentations, and ARTivism hosted by our friends at ArtShareL.A!
Explore the large, metal tree sculpture displaying wind chimes made from found and recycled objects!
Participate in a “silent listening party” of student-made electronic music!
Discover sustainability facts and figures collected by student-assembled sensors!
Mingle with artist mentors and meet the students behind the chimes!
Gather with us as we “chime in” about how art can transform our community!
We’d like to extend a thank you to Larchmont Charter School for hosting our program and Tortoise Industries for donating fabricaiton of our interactive tree sculpture, designed by James Peterson! A special thanks to LUSH Charity Pot for making the iPads used in this program possible. And thank you to all our wonderful art mentors, volunteers and students who worked so hard to make this project come to life.
P.S Make sure to bring headphones and a smart phone so you can participate in the silent listening party – each chime is accompanied by a QR code that will lead you to a song and statement by each student artist!
We are very excited to announce a new Chimes for Change program will begin at Larchmont High School in January. This fall and winter we have been reviewing feedback from our pilot Chimes for Change program, applying what we learned to planning the new one, and we’re making some exciting changes and additions to the curriculum as a result!
Some new features include:
–New learning outcomes: besides sustainable design/building, music composition and sound recording, participants will also learn digital mapping, the physics of sound and science of materials.
–Students will work with several different artist mentors, each one an experts in his/her chosen field. Public art, music, engineering, science and civic outreach will all be taught by working professionals.
–We also hope to also design and build a display for the chimes that becomes a replicable interactive sustainability learning tool to directly address the needs of schools and communities.
–New Partners! Thanks to LUSH Cosmetics, SKIES, Larchmont High School and Gabba Gabba Gallery for supporting and collaborating with us on this project.
We’re also doing summery things like swimming in rivers, going to the beach, hiking in the mountains and visiting our friends and family, and we encourage you to do the same! There is nothing more revitalizing than being in nature with the people you love.
Here’s hoping you’re all having a wonderful summer – we’ll check back in soon with updates about our upcoming program!
This summer we had a blast leading some wildlife and art-based workshops with local kids. Based on our middle school-aged program Wild Art, these workshops were geared towards younger kids and held in Northeast LA at Heartbeat House Dance Studio. We taught our participants about local wildlife, like the mountain lion, trout, falcon and monarch butterfly. Then the children got to decorate paper animal templates with fun recycled art supplies and paint. As always, it was a great way to get creative and start the learning process about nature and sustainability for these youngsters!
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!
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!
With our TRASHformation program in full swing at Academia Avance middle school, we decided to push the flow of creativity and excitement by having each student prototype their original sculpture ideas. We did this so each student could gain a greater understanding of the process to creating their own large-scale art piece; from drafting art proposals to making miniature scale models, each student is contributing to and making progress towards our final large-scale sculpture. In our previous class we had each student build the body and form of each work, this week we moved on to painting the exterior with a base coat of white. Soon the students will have their own piece of art to take home, along with the large sculpture, which we will display in the community.
With the miniature projects nearly done, we had eager students help contribute to building the base and structure of the sculpture. We composed our base from recycled bed frames and had already formed its structure from recycled wood and chicken wire. While working with the dangerous tools was a task left to the artist mentors, many students helped out where they could, whether it was painting the base or helping form the body with chicken wire. It was a rewarding day! We closed shop with great hopes for the next week.
After Thanksgiving break, we went back to D3 Lab at Nightingale Middle School, excited to begin a new phase of our TRASHformation program. As you may recall, we completed the waste audit and collected a lot of great materials for building a couple weeks back. The next step was for participating TRASHformers to interview fellow students around campus to gauge interest and collect opinions about the art piece. Since the piece will placed in a prominent spot on campus and will hopefully be something the entire student body can use and enjoy, it was important to do some R & D. Three different pairs of students ventured out to collect data from their classmates, asking questions like, “What should we build? Where should it be located? What color should it be?” Besides collecting information, the interviews also proved to be a great face-t0-face marketing tool for our program. Several students who were unaware of TRASHformation expressed interest in helping us build the piece, and we’re excited to welcome them on board as we progress. This week, we’ll be reviewing the results of the interviews and creating drafts of our art piece. Stay tuned!