Arts/Cultural Organizations, Community Center, Independent Living, K-12 Schools, Library, Senior Center
I have been a visiting artist and/or an artist in residence at every school district in both Essex and Clinton Counties. Many projects were funded by Arts in Education grants as part of the DEC grants. Projects with students included making ocarinas, making and firing raku pottery, pottery wheel demonstrations, African and Brazilian drumming instruction and making tiles for permanent mosaic installations at schools and on public buildings. My involvement with these projects has focused on all aspects of planning, technical ceramic concerns, student instruction, firing and installation when required.
The last two projects I was involved with are the 2014 Lifetime Arts: Clay Forms and Handbuilding Techniques at the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay NY and the 2015 Community Art Mosaic for the Festival of Tibetan Art and Culture in Plattsburgh NY. For the 2014 Lifetime Arts project I had a portable clay studio that I would set up at the library for a series of 9 sessions for 10 seniors. The students learned how to make a pinch pot tea bowl, an ocarina and make slabs to create a dish, mug and wall hanging. For the Community Art Mosaic a portable studio was set up at different sites around Plattsburg as well as use of a community art center pottery studio. The result is a 10 ft diameter mandala made by over 300 people installed at a city center in downtown Plattsburgh.
During the 2014 Lifetime Arts program I found it very enjoyable to work with my peers. The atmosphere was much more relaxed and socially engaging than the residencies I'd done at schools. I tried to give students who had some artistic experience the freedom to experiment,while giving clear instruction and help for those who were new to clay. During the 2015 Community Art project there were participants ages 5 to 90. I took the portable studio to an Independant Living facility in Plattsburgh. One of the women who participated was a customer from years ago. I was so grateful to reconnect and give something back to her for the support she gave me when I was starting out. In our youth oriented culture we should take note of cultures who rever their elderly. Our seniors have so much to offer with their resilient spirits, wisdom and humor.