Monday, August 27, 2012

The forming of a new IDEA!

Late last night, laying in bed, my mind was wide awake for no particular reason.... I walked a lot yesterday, I should have been tired.  My train of thought looked like this:

"Hmm, that new Astrology book I picked up was pretty creepily dead on about a lot of things when I looked up people's birthdays. Weird. It said people with my birthday should either "create something unique" or "help people" to "win fame or fortune or be happy and fulfilled or all of the above". Create something people...........Hmmmmmm.......
Murals are a unique career.... WHAT IF I tell all clients I'm donating a percentage of my fee to some Peace Corps Partnership project? Hmm...... WHAT IF I could make that money go specifically to sponsor the Malaria awareness murals that Peace Corps Volunteers are throwing up everywhere now in Madagascar? Hmmmm......
WAIT A SECOND, I JUST LEARNED THE "PARACHUTE CLOTH METHOD" OF MURAL-MAKING!!! (This is a method where the artist(s) work on sections of a special fabric that looks and feels like a thick dryer cloth, then paste it all up onto the wall in big sections, like a gigantic modge-podge project. It allows artists the options to bring the work all over to have lots of community members help paint it, to work in snow or rain because they are working inside, OR to do the work far away from the actual wall where it will be installed.) WHAT IF I use any donations and/or commission percentages to make the malaria murals myself and then send them in a tube over to Madagascar to be installed by Peace Corps Volunteers and their communities!!!!!??? WAIT, MORE THAN JUST MALARIA, I COULD DESIGN A WHOLE SERIES OF HEALTH EDUCATIONAL IMAGES!! (With the help of my friendly Peace Corps Madagascar Health sector staff connections to make sure all the visual info (for the many illiterate) and text was correct and as informative as possible) Hmmm....
OMG WAIT, Current Peace Corps Volunteers could fill out a form if they wanted a mural in their community, specifying the size they needed it, the specific message they wanted, and telling me that for sure the community was on board. 
WAIT, this has to be more than just ME.  WHAT IF, I used my connection to Lane Arts and my access to classrooms to get kids here to help me paint the murals!!! I could start off each residency with a little presentation and Q and A session with the kids about what it's like in Madagascar and why we're making these informational murals. Then we paint. THE KIDS GET TO LEARN ABOUT OTHER CULTURES, GIVING BACK TO THOSE WITH LESS THAN THEM, AND ABOUT OF COURSE, PAINT TECHNIQUE, ETC.!!!!! YES!!!! COMMUNITY MURAL PROJECT FOR A COMMUNITY ACROSS THE WORLD! TALK ABOUT CONNECTING PEOPLE!!! 

This all came together for me at 1am, when I jumped out of bed, turned on the lights, and wrote it down before I let sleep take me away. Then I called my sister and told her about it, for double-insurance I wouldn't forget. This morning, I've been working the idea around in my mind, thinking about details and trying to get it "gelled".  I need people on board with me if I'm going to do this. I would need Peace Corps Madagascar's full cooperation and help in coordinating the volunteer's requests. I would need Lane Arts on board and willing to let me promote a new kind of Artist Residency in the schools, where kids are helping work on this project, rather than painting the walls of their own schools. I would need them to go through so that I can get paid for these new residencies. I would need funding to buy supplies and pay for shipping. Now, I'm researching "Fiscal Sponsorship" where you can partner with a non-profit so that any donations can be tax-deductable and you can apply for grants given to non-profits. The larger organization handles all your stuff, and they take a small percentage from each donation for their admin fees. There are specific agencies that do this for artists and their projects, and it sounds a hell of a lot easier than setting up a non-profit. Still formulating....thinking.....

Dear blog-readers, I know there are at least a couple of you....I see it on my stats page. I haven't much cared about comments up until now, but for this post, I'm especially interested in knowing what you think about this. Any other "BUT WAIT, WHAT IF....?" moments happen for you while reading this? Any resources that could be helpful? Do you even think this is a good idea? Thanks for reading everyone! More to come on this soon, I hope!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

And...more pictures!!

I'm on a role! More visuals for all the stories. :) This post's pictures go with this blog post here. It's the ghost story one. Super creepy. You kinda have to read it to understand what I'm going to show you here...otherwise the following pictures, although interesting, will not be nearly as much fun! ;)

 The first frame is a collection of all the sculptures that represent the people most deeply affected by the murder of the fictional victim. Family, friends, baby-mommas, etc.
 Oh the tangled webs we weave.....
 Each piece represents a person affected by a single murder.
 Some are a bit creepier, despite all the glitter.
 EVERY SINGLE sculpture piece of this whole thing is going to get a tiny LED light. Most are already rigged with them, but more need to be added. Imagine this piece in a dimly lit room, all lit up!
 There's a tiny light inside that styrofoam ball, the tulle on that heart, inside that glass box. Can't wait to see it all lit up!!!
 Working on wrapping the entire frame in sparkly, metallic gold and black fabric.
 This is the second frame. This one contains sculptures of those the least closest to the fictional murder victim....the "haters", the neighborhood drug dealer, the post man, etc.

Hope you enjoyed hearing about "The 94 Effect" a.k.a The Murder Project!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Picture Post!!

So this is what I've been doing with most of my time here in Philly.  The "Murder Project" as it's been aptly nicknamed (The 94 Effect - I wrote about this creepy project in a previous post), is now basically finished and my muralist mentor and I are out of her studio and spending 100% of our working days here at the pool mural project in North Philly.  This is what it looks like so far....

This wall is the first and only to be finished so far. 

Pretty, right?
This wall isn't quite finished yet. Still needs the text. The whole mural will eventually have the text of a poem wrapping around 3 sides of the building. 

The assistant muralist (left) and the men hired from the work-release facility as a part of the Mural Arts Program's Restorative Justice program.
Workin' away!
 Hands getting steadier with every day that goes by!

 Another intern and I are working on the wall facing the pool. NO DUNKING! NO RUNNING!
 So many brushes....
 We mix all the colors beforehand to match the master design, assign each color to a number, and do the whole thing like a giant paint-by-number. 
 It takes a LOT of paint......

So there you go, a visual post, finally!! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I think I need to make this happen.

So, I've had this idea cooking in the back of my mind for quite awhile now.  I think when I get home, it's gonna be time to make it happen for reals.  The exciting part is, I found a grant to apply to that might help me make this easier, and spend less of my own money to get going.

This is what I want to do:

Malagasy Cultural Night/Art Exhibit/Benefit:

- I'll finish my Madagascar painting series (trying to have like 10-12 BIG pieces, and some smaller ones). I've done a few already - they're all inspired by different aspects of my experience in Madagascar with the Peace Corps. Everything will be for sale, along with a ton of 8 x 10 prints that I'll sell for like $20.  All or most profits will go to the organization, PSI  (Population Services International), and will be directed towards their branch in Madagascar. (This organization provides health education, birth control education and supplies, hygiene education and supplies, and things like mosquito nets for families, etc. They're just awesome, and hands down the organization I was most impressed with while I was there....besides Peace Corps of course...haha).

- I have saved a huge pile of the best art that the little kiddos made while I lived in Madagascar. I have pictures of most of the kids who drew them, so I'll have some framed kid art on display also, with their photos and a short blurb about them, beside each one.

- I might give a little talk and/or have a slideshow running of my Mada pictures.

- Of COURSE, there will be Malagasy music good!

- I might invite the UofO Peace Corps Recruiter to come and have a little table there if they want.

- Food, drinks, duh!

- No cover, but a donation jar for $$$ for PSI.

-Try to pick a venue that is on the First Friday Art Walk in Eugene, so lots of people come!

So, that's it! I must do this, no?  I've been chipping away at the series, slowly....painting when I feel like it....but I think this needs to happen soon, while Mada is still sorta fresh in my mind. Yay!!