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.
RuckusRoots premieres ‘Chimes for Change’ at Soundwalk
Last Saturday, Loyola High School students from our pilot ‘Chimes for Change‘ program displayed over 30 wind chime sound installations at Soundwalk, one of the country’s biggest sound art exhibits, in Long Beach. The program was a collaboration with music and sound art teacher Steven Speciale and visual artist James Peterson. Students worked with RuckusRoots over 6 weeks to fabricate wind chimes out of recycled materials, each one expressing a sustainability issue through their piece.
Soundwalk attendees not only got to view the collection chimes, but also scan QR codes affixed to each piece using their smart phones. The code allowed them access each artist’s electronic song as well as read his artist statement, which described the sustainability issue inspired by the chime.
After working with Peterson to conceptualize and build their chimes, Speciale taught students how to create electronic music using Yellofier, a digital song making application. The students recorded their chimes and then composed songs using those sounds in Yellofier.
The students’ songs and statements will be available on our Chimes for Change page in the next week. We are excited to continue Chimes for Change with several community organizations across Los Angeles, and can’t wait to share the results with you!
Thanks to Monching Flores for the images
This week we began the pilot community art program ‘Chimes for Change,’ a music-based variation of TRASHformation. We’re working with students from Loyola High School to fabricate mobile sound installations, or wind chimes, made from found and recycled materials.
Unlike TRASHformation programs in the past, Chimes for Change participants have the opportunity to create their own personal art piece–a wind chime–that aims to explore the relationship between sustainability and the arts. The chime might represent a personal theme or one of which that addresses an issue the artist sees in his/her own community regarding sustainability.
Artist James Peterson of Art & Contraptions, is helping students with the construction and fabrication of the chimes. As an experienced artist who has worked on small to large scale art pieces made with found or recycled materials, he will guide students in the hands-on process of constructing their art pieces.
Using sounds derived from recordings of the chimes, the students will also create experimental, electronically-based songs and audio-visual art pieces. Both the chimes made in this program as well as the collaboratively composed songs have been accepted to show at Sound Walk 2013, one of the country’s largest sound art exhibitions, held in Long Beach on October 5th.
As opportunities for Chimes for Change continue to manifest we are constantly discovering new ways this program could be used to explore the vital role that art can have in guiding us towards more sustainable lifestyles.
“Far from being irrelevant to social change, the arts is the only way through which we may gain an appreciation of our common humanity, it is the only thing that can teach us to love the world enough to protect and defend it.” Clara Fang
James Peterson is an LA based artist whose latest interactive art piece, Sessilanoid, was accepted into Art Basel, one of the world’s premier art shows. James also happens to be a RuckusRoots collaborator; he’s worked with us on many projects, big and small. This opportunity is one of the biggest in his artistic career and we’re so thrilled for him to embrace it.
James needs our help getting Sessilanoid to Art Basel in Switzerland, so please consider donating to his Indigogo campaign! You will be rewarded with cool, custom t-shirts, posters and 3D models of the piece…how rad is that? Read on for a look into a recent conversation I had with James about how and why he makes such awesome art.
“I want people to have a respite of intrigue and joy, to tap into their inner child, that sweet naïve place where it’s okay to be in awe and just enjoy something,” James says. That’s a pretty noble goal in this hyper-stressed world in which we live, you must admit. And I especially admire another aspect of James’ artistic mission: to convey an environmental message by letting the beauty and ingenuity of the piece provide a natural bridge into discussion and education. “I like to create situations where strangers meet and things are naturally intuitive. The core of everything is enjoyment and conversation between the people interacting with it. It gives me the opportunity to share what inspires me without forcing it down their throat. I think if you make something beautiful and compelling, people naturally want to ask questions about why you did it,” he says.
Watch Sessilanoid in action below, and hear James talk about the environmental issue he hopes to bring to light with this piece. And please consider helping James raise funds to transport his piece to Art Basal on his Indigogo page.
Sessilanoid: A Sum of all Parts – Interactive Sculpture from James Peterson on Vimeo.
Thanks to Todd Sali for the images.