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.
We 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. More info on volunteer shifts and sponsorship opportunities coming soon!
We had a blast on Saturday, March 19th at Fig Jam – a Highland Park community event complete with musical performances, food trucks and lots of grassroots organizations. We used the opportunity to spread the word about our Wild Art sculpture, for which we are still searching for a home. As a recap: our final sculpture will be made of 200 metal paintings, completed by Highland Park youth as part of our Wild Art program in 2015. Through the program, the students received art, ecology and wildlife education, with an emphasis on how art can be used to improve communities. Read more about Wild Art here!
We are very grateful to the Highland Park Neighborhood Council for awarding us our 2nd Neighborhood Purpose Grant last night! We are very excited that the council supports our efforts with Wild Art, and we can’t wait to find a home for our piece. We have been working hard looking for exhibition sites, and can’t wait to share with you all once a final place is secured!
Our crowdfunding campaign for Wild Art was a success, thanks to generous donations from people just like YOU! We were able to raise 70% of our goal of $20,000. Of course we were shooting for 100%, but we are very happy with what we were able to accomplish together, and can’t wait to apply what we learned to make our future campaigns even better!
The funds we raised will be used to complete our Wild Art sculpture, using 200 metal wildlife paintings by teens from Highland Park. We will keep you updated on our progress as things move forward.
If you donated to our campaign and selected a reward, we will get your gift out to you as soon as possible. Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing time.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!