Tag: TRASHformation

New Video: “Eye in the Sky” at Legacy LA

After completing our collaborative art piece with Legacy LA youth, RuckusRoots and a few of the participants presented ‘Eye in the Sky’ to members of the Ramona Gardens community at the Legacy LA facilities, where it will permanently be on display.

The event , called ‘Youth Teach In’ was orchestrated by third year members of Legacy’s Youth Council Program, where they presented and discussed some of the pressing issues facing Ramona Gardens today, such as air quality, safety and food access. The program is for youth between the ages of 14-18; they meet weekly to participate in social justice and political education workshops, learning strategies and skills to organize their communities.

After the discussion, participants from RuckusRoots’ TRASHformation at Legacy took the time to explain why they made the sculpture and what it meant to them, echoing the safety and surveillance issues the Youth Council addressed. The piece explores themes of perspective: what the cameras see and what they don’t, the true Ramona Gardens (both positive and negative aspects) as seen through the eyes of our participants. Our youth explained that the surveillance cameras give them the feeling of being constantly watched. Our tree-shaped sculpture displays images the youth took, both positive and negative, and is then topped with a large paper mache eye, meant to evoke this theme of perception, both that of the police and of the actual community members.

It was great to see the participants present their work and then answer questions from a to a captivated audience. The sculpture, meant to be a statement piece, definitely made people take a second look and think deeper about an issue that’s important to Ramona Gardens.

We hope to get the piece displayed or presented to city council with some of the youth we worked with, to address the surveillance camera issue.

Legacy LA TRASHformation Complete

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A few months ago we began a TRASHformation program with a group of at risk youth from the project housing community of Ramona Gardens in East LA. The youth, who we met with at Legacy LA, a non profit dedicated to making positive interventions in the lives of young people by offering alternatives to gangs and violence.

This TRASHformation is a collaborative effort that reflects issues surrounding police-installed surveillance cameras in Ramona Gardens, since most of our participants sited the cameras as an issue that affects on a daily basis. Our piece explores themes of perspective: what the cameras see and what they don’t, the true Ramona Gardens (both positive and negative aspects) as seen through the eyes of our participants.

The Legacy youth told us that the surveillance cameras give them the feeling of constantly being watched, and that their presence emphasizes only the negative aspects of their community. We decided to flip this idea on its head by arming each participant with his/her own disposable camera. The participants then used the cameras to capture daily occurances in Ramona Gardens, both good and bad, in an attempt to accurately portray their community. We collected almost 400 photos from the Legacy group. Together we built a sculpture in the shape of a tree and displayed the images on the trunk going from positive to negative and then topped the tree with a large paper mache eye. The iris and pupil of the eye are also created using photos and negatives taken by the Legacy youth, and the whole thing is stained brown to resemble a tree.

The sculpture is made from a collection of found chicken wire, repurposed wood, and recycled newspaper, then covered in pictures taken by Legacy LA youth. Thanks to Kyle McCullough for his paper mache instruction on this piece!

We hope to get the piece displayed or presented to city council with some of the youth we worked with, to address the surveillance camera issue.

TRASHformation Nighthawk Flies To New Home at Nightingale MS

nighthawk unveiling

We’re so pleased to announce that the unveiling of our long-awaited TRASHformation sculpture at Nightingale Middle School went off without a hitch last Friday. Our participants helped dismantle the sculpture and carry it across campus to its new home in the lunch area. This location makes a perfect nesting ground for our bird since it is made mainly of lunch-related materials (like food trays and chip bags), it serves as an eye-catching reminder for the student body to recycle those items after they eat. Also, the area is covered–our bird prefers to stay dry in a rainstorm! TRASHformation participants were awarded RuckusRoots t-shirts, and presented to the rest of the student body and administration about how and why we built the sculpture once it was safely in place. We have more pictures and video coming soon! We are so proud of our Nightingale TRASHformers for all the hard work they put in on creating this piece, and for the lessons they learned along the way. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who participated and who helped make this project possible.

Endings and Beginnings

Photo Apr 05, 4 14 34 PM

We love springtime here at RuckusRoots, and this year is no different. Our taxes are filed, we’ve moved into new offices, and we’re about to finish two wonderful programs that have kept us inspired and challenged for several months. The Legacy LA TRASHformation is well underway (see the beginnings of our sculpture, above), and the Nightingale D3 Lab TRASHformation will be completed next week. On Wednesday April 24th, we will transport our finished bird sculpture outside to its permanent home in the lunch area of campus. Several TRASHformers will give a presentation about how and why they built the sculpture…we can’t wait to share the details with you next week. Until then, stay tuned!

Photo Apr 04, 12 47 48 PM

RuckusRoots Interns to Show TRASHformed Art at Taste of Highland Art

A Taste of What to Expect at Highland Park’s ‘Taste of Highland Art’

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The senior class at Academia Avance in Highland Park have taken it upon themselves to produce a festival, appropriately called ‘Taste of Highland Art,’ where art, music and food come together in the hopes of giving folks a “taste” of what the Highland Park community is all about.

The festival is set to include local artists, businesses, food trucks and even local bands, along with some of the students’ own artwork and creations. Five teens who have been participating in our Strong Roots internship program guided by Robin Banks spent the last semester learning essential art and building skills, including welding and CNC machine operation. Recently, the interns assisted Robin in creating an art fabrication commissioned by Twitter to be used at this year’s Grammy’s!

Photo Feb 27, 11 22 52 AM

After completing several projects, these creative teens looked around and realized that many of the leftover scraps could be turned into beautiful art work. Attendees of “Taste of Highland Park” will be able to view and purchase these mini “TRASHformations” made by our Strong Roots interns. Above and below are samples of what the students are showing.

Photo Feb 27, 11 23 36 AM

The festival will take place on March 5th and March 12th, from 3 to 9 pm in the heart of Highland Park at Ave. 57 and Marmion Way, near The Gold Line station. For more information about the festival, visit The Taste of Highland Art Facebook page. Come out and support your local community and the young artists that call it home. We’ll see you there!

The Nighthawk ‘Skeleton’ Unveiled

It’s been an exciting week for our TRASHformation program at Nightingale Middle School. Along with collaborating artist Robin Banks, the RuckusRoots team erected the body, or “skeleton” of our Nighthawk sculpture. We visited the lab on Wednesday to assess the trash with Robin and Jennifer Cunnigham, the D3 Lab coordinator, and made a rough sketch of how we would construct the bird and just how big it would be. Since the kids worked so hard and collected so much valuable and usable materials, everyone agreed the bigger the better!

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We used recycled steel bike rims to form the torso and found scrap metal to make the outline of the wings, legs and feet. We welded it all together while adding structural stability, ensuring the sculpture is safe to display on campus.

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We then delivered the frame to the D3 Lab in three pieces, setting it up so that we can begin adding to it with Nightingale students over the next few weeks.

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Thanks to the Academia Avance High School senior interns who worked with Robin to weld together our Nighthawk and also transport it to the lab. We always appreciate a helping hand.

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The kids were quite excited to see part of the structure come together today! We looking forward to next week when more hands will be needed and the kids’ creative ideas will finally come to life. Stay tuned!

Trashformation drafts from Nightingale Middle School students

A Drawing Day at Nightingale Middle School

Today was our final day at Nightingale Middle School before the holiday break. This week the students continued working on their drafts of the Nighthawk sculpture we will build when we return to school in the new year. Several groups of students completed great drawings; we’ll vote for the best one in January, and then begin building our piece based on the winning selection. We can’t wait to see what 2013 holds for this TRASHformation project! Check out a full gallery of the project to date below, and read past blogs to get caught up on what we’ve been up to.

TRASHformation at D3 Lab @ Nightingale: Drafting the art piece

Students begin drafting the art piece, a Nighthawk, the school mascot

The research phase of our program continued today at the D3Lab as the students went through the data collected from the interviews conducted last week.  The TRASHformers received a lot great input, from students and staff alike. Going through the interview answers, the kids agreed that most of the students were excited about the idea of a Nighthawk, the school’s mascot, a shade structure, or flower pots to use in the Nest, the school’s garden.

But it was the idea of a Nighthawk as the art piece that had the most votes and that the best spot to put it was near the lunch area on campus. They also found from the interviews that other kids liked the idea of the Nighthawk doing a victory pose and that it should be holding school supplies or books. The students spent today’s TRASHformation splitting up into groups to begin the drafting process. The three different groups each started to draft a version of what the Nighthawk might look like.  Luckily we had some very enthusiastic and skilled artists who quickly volunteered to be the drawer for each group. One group found it was easier to draw their Nighthawk by deciding what sorts of trash would be used to erect the figure: cardboard tubes for the feet and legs,the paper trash for its wings, and someone suggested old skateboards for the body.

Next week, the students will finish the three different drafts to show to the Principal for approval. It’s then off to the Holiday break for 3 weeks, after which we will come back in the New Year to begin the build process.

A student uses the eagle on a dollar to help draft his Nighthawk

Here’s a write-up from D3 Labs about the program so far!

 

The Research Phase: Interviewing Students

Nightingale TRASHformers interviewing fellow students about the art piece

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!

Nightingale TRASHformers interviewing fellow students about the art piece
Nightingale TRASHformers interviewing fellow students about the art piece
Nightingale TRASHformers interviewing fellow students about the art piece

Waste Audit Day: D3 Labs, Nightingale Middle School

When “playing with trash” becomes a forum for creativity and collaboration!

Today we took a big step forward in our TRASHformation program at D3 Labs at Nightingale Middle School in Cypress Park. We conducted a waste audit, assessing, recording and organizing all the different types of trash and recycling items the students had collected over the last couple of weeks. First, we piled everything in the middle of the floor, and then one student wrote down all the different categories we could see represented in our trash pile. Then we organized the items by category. The students weren’t shy about organizing the trash (you might even say they caused a bit of a ruckus!); there was definitely a sense of excitement as we began to think about all the cool art we could make using these items. Some of the most common trash items we collected included chip bags, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and tubes, as well as paper and rubber. We’re looking forward to next week, when, after a show and tell of trash art from around the world, we will begin brainstorming ideas for our own art piece. Stay tuned!