Saturday, November 3, 2012

beyond the wall

This past summer, 5 of our members at Artists' Own (grace benedict, glenn chang, cyndy clauss, sara vanderkleed, and andrea wellnitz) collaborated to create a children's book, entitled, Beyond the Wall.  They wrote, illustrated, and published it through (where you can preview it and pick up a copy).  Currently, this book is the feature member show at Artists' Own and next saturday november 10, is our unveil date.  We will be having a morning opening beginning at 10am.  We will have a reading and are looking forward to hosting families throughout the day.  We have books for sale and the original images for each page framed and displayed.

This is a children's book.  and with it, we want to invite young families to come to our gallery.  It is hard for families to bring kids to spaces where there is art.  This is trying to bridge that gap a bit by creating a space where children (and their parents) can feel comfortable in a space for art.  So i created an interactive, all-ages, installation as a part of the member show.  There are three components.  There is a graffiti wall.  There is a project where you add one element to a page.  And there is a book project.

The graffiti wall is simple.  It reads, "what is beyond the wall?"  and people have responded strongly to it with numerous little drawings.  This piece seems to be the one most people are willing to do.  It has scribbles, sketches, cartoons, and characters from an audience of all ages.

The monster maker machine is a collaborative drawing project.  Anyone can add an element to one of the random spray painted splotches to build a collection of monsters.  They are hanging on tiny clothespins on a line strung from side to side through the back corner of the space.  Every time i'm in there i find new parts and new monsters.  I add to them too.  Because it's fun.

There is also the storybook project.  This is a collection of audience written and illustrated books.  I've made hand-printed book layouts to be filled in.  It starts off with once upon a time and ends with happily ever after.  There are spaces to draw pictures and an 'about the author' portion at the back.  At the end of the show i will bind them all together and make a collection of short stories created by whoever participated in the project.

This installation is not just for children, however.  It is for everyone. i want adults to participate also, i just don't want to exclude kids. I think interacting with art comes off a bit peculiar to most people, but art can be in your life beyond owning a painting.  Interact.  It's fun.  I think encouraging an audience to make a bit of legal graffiti on the wall provided, helps them create a more compassionate view of the cultural importance of street art when they see it.  All of the projects I created were inspired by the way our members collaborated to create Beyond the Wall.  The monster maker is based in the way Grace had to draw a response to what Sara had created in watercolor.  The book project is inspired by my fascination with their fascination with wanting to create a book.  And the graffiti wall is way to get our audience to respond to the same question that the main character responds to.

Bring your family and come see the work.  Read the book.  Interact with the different projects.  Experience the art.

1 comment:

Publish Book Yourself said...

Those children books are really great.

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