Tag: sustainability

We did it!

Hey everyone!

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

www.chimesforchange.org

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! 

photos: Ramon Flores 

You’re Invited…

Hello everyone! 
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!

RSVP soon to reserve your tickets! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chimes-for-change-opening-reception-tickets-33795666749 

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! 

 

 

 

 

Wild Art Summer Camps with RuckusRoots!

wildlife

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!

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

a student creates her still life drawing
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!

urban gardening, RuckusRoots, Los Angeles, Northeast Los Angeles, non profit, art, sustainable

Spring Ahead with RuckusRoots

urban gardening, RuckusRoots, Los Angeles, Northeast Los Angeles, non profit, art, sustainable
Top: endangered wildflower, the Chocolate Lily, spotted in Griffith Park. Bottom left: seedlings from our urban garden sprouting. Bottom right: Behr’s metalmark endangered Butterfly spotted in Griffith Park

There’s nothing like Daylight Savings Time to really make Spring come alive. And with the Spring weather and extra sunlight, we here at RuckusRoots are feeling very inspired to get going with some amazing programs this year.

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

–Moved office spaces; our new home base is in Glassell Park, Los Angeles, still in beautiful, bustling Northeast LA.

–Planted an urban garden in Glassell Park, Los Angeles, at our new home base.

Urban garden, Glassell Park, Los Angeles, art, sustainability, RuckusRoots
We planted lettuce, kale, carrots, tomatoes, basil, chives and more!

–Founder Christine Spehar got certified as a Kids Yoga Instructor through Adventure Yoga for Kids Teacher Training in Boulder, Colorado. This experience furthered her understanding of working with children of all ages and backgrounds, and of the important tie between body awareness and creativity in the young.

Here’s what’s in the works:

–So many new collaborations are in the works with great organizations like The LA River Revitalization Corp, Makerspace LA and the Friends of Griffith Park. More to be announced soon!

–Artist Mentor Rebekah Waites is planning a new school TRASHformation program with us, details coming soon.

–A new Chimes for Change program is in the planning stages, to be announced soon.

If you’d like to be involved in any of our programs, please feel free to contact us and Join the Ruckus!

 

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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In Full Swing: TRASHformation in Highland Park


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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.

AASHE 2012: We Came, We Saw, We Leafed!

Our mini trashformation was a hit!

We had a blast at the AASHE 2012 Conference, which, lucky for us took place in Los Angeles this year. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s annual event represents the largest convergence of sustainability and education professionals in the country! We had a spot in the expo hall, right next to some other very cool green-minded companies and organizations, like the Sustainable Living Roadshow. Back when I founded RuckusRoots in 2008, SLR was one of the organizations that provided a lot of inspiration for me, and so it was very rewarding and downright awesome to get to meet its founders and see more of what they do up close and personal.

TRASHformation

For our AASHE installation, we decided to bring a mini version of TRASHformation, so participants could get a true sense of what it is we do. Instead of giving out more water bottles and reusable bags (not that there’s anything wrong with that), we had passersby add to our existing tree sculpture (which began as an installation for The ReCycle, the world’s most sustainable bike). Participants personalized our aluminum can leaves by scoring their names or a drawing on to the back of a leaf; we then drilled the completed leaves onto the tree.

TRASHformation

It was fun to watch each participant embrace the challenge of writing backwards (for the name to show up correctly on the aluminum “front” of the leaf, we had to write our names backwards on the other side). We called it a little “test for the right brain,” and indeed, it was! More than anything, it got people laughing and engaged, and provided a good parallel (albeit in a much pared-down format) of the benefits of our programs. In case participants wanted to know more about our programs, we had the following flyer at the ready. It’s a good breakdown of what RuckusRoots can provide on any campus, check it out:

Much of what I said to interested AASHE-goers during the conference is that I founded RuckusRoots because, after volunteering at many other eco-non profits, I realized that outreach to non-sustainably minded people needed help. Many environmental organizations focus on the negative side of sustainability, the doom and gloom of the situation we’re in, and all the stuff we CAN’T or SHOULD’NT do. All of that stuff is valid, but RuckusRoots is different because it focuses on the positive side of sustainablity – what we CAN do with all this leftover trash, what we CAN do to improve our lives and communities in sustainable ways. I think art is a great way to engage people (everyone is creative whether they know it or not), and in my humble opinion, our educational systems don’t emphasize the power of creative, collaborative thinking often enough, if at all.

TRASHformation

Our thinking at RuckusRoots is that if you create a positive emotional connection to sustainability through fun, interactive arts-based programs, the necessary shift in thinking will follow much more easily.

Thanks to everyone who came and made leaves with us! I was truly touched and thrilled by many of the conversations I had with so many students, teachers, administrators and organizers. It reinforced my belief that there’s a large community of creative, enthusiastic and brave people out there willing to forge the path to a happier, more sustainable and more creative society, and I am proud and happy to be a part of it.

Thanks to everyone at AASHE for allowing us to bring a TRASHformation to the conference. It was a great experience, with many new relationships fostered! Check out our gallery pics below!