2014 The People’s Climate March Maker/Speaker Party (Lawrence, KS) I was one of many who facilitated this project, an afternoon of ceremonies, prayers, artful sign making, speakers, and a march, in solidarity with the People’s Climate March in New York City in September, 2014. The event was produced by Lawrence Ecology Teams United in Sustainability, the United States Department of Arts and Culture–Lawrence Field Office, and Shield the People (a project of the Rosebud Tribe), and supported by environmental organizations, community groups, and church ecology teams. (photo by Michael Bradley)
2012-2013 Art Nights at Family Promise (Lawrence, KS) I am currently facilitating “art nights” with homeless children and families who are part of the Family Promise program. The art nights are funded in part by a grant from the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission. The homeless families stay in area churches as they work to secure jobs and housing.
2011 Drawing with Scratchboard and Clayboard Workshop at the Carnegie Cultural Center (Ottawa, KS) In conjunction with the exhibit Scratch, Sprinkle, Cut, I facilitated this workshop to a room full of participants eager to learn about the tools, materials, and techniques related to using scratchboard and clayboard.
1997-2011 Sketcbhook-Journaling (and other classes) at the Lawrence Arts Center (Lawrence, KS) Teaching the process of keeping and using a sketchbook-journal is never dull. As participants bring their inner world to the surface while gathering inspiration from the everyday environment, we share the creative process while receiving insights about our common humanity.
2010 All Ages Hands-on Art Making Workshop (Lawrence, KS) I facilitated this workshop at the Percolator in Lawrence, Kansas, in June. Twenty-five participants, from toddlers to adults, experimented with a wide variety of art materials. Participants made clayboard drawings, mixed-media collages, and mosaics. When I facilitate workshops, I often like to situate students on chairs working at tables as well as sitting on the floor on drop cloths all spread out. Some participants stuck with one project while others tried all three media.
2010 Save Our Schools (Lawrence, KS) I co-facilitated this exhibit at the Percolator in Lawrence, Kansas in February. The exhibit included art, historical artifacts, school assignments, photos and memorabilia from children, parents, and the school communities of Cordley and New York Elementary Schools in Lawrence, in light of budget cuts threatening schools. A day of creative sign making for children and families in conjunction with the show was led by artists KT Walsh and Dave Loewenstein. The exhibit was later shown at the Lawrence Arts Center with additional schools participating.
2008-2009 Art and Conversation — for women who have experienced sexual violence (Lawrence, KS) I co-led “Art and Conversation” with artist Sara Stalling — a friendly gathering of women who have had the experience of sexual violence in their lives. The workshops took place at GaDuGi SafeCenter. Each meeting was a facilitated experiment with the creative process through the making of art and writing. In the Fall of 2008 at the culmination of this 8-week session, we exhibited our art-suitcase art at the Lawrence Arts Center. The next 8-week session began in April of 2009, and we made mosaics.
2008 Family Collage Workshop: Art and Music (Lawrence, KS) I led this family workshop in conjunction with the Watkins Community Museum of History exhibit of the traveling Smithsonian exhibit called “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music.” We painted to the rhythms of roots music, then embellished the painting with cutout photos of musicians, notes, and other playful visuals.
2008 Glasco: Historic Downtown District, Artist Residency (Glasco, KS) I spent a weekend with Glasco community leaders learning about the history of the businesses that comprised Glasco’s downtown from 1890 – 1948. I painted five moveable mural panels in my Lawrence studio (see photo) to celebrate Glasco businesses throughout this period, as well as the first year that Glasco’s historic district was placed on the National Register of Historic Districts. The panels, exhibited in the town’s Community Center, will be placed in buildings along Main Street.
2007 Words and Pictures Together, Day-long Artist Residency (Glasco, KS) I led this whirlwind six-hour workshop with Glasco-area artists and community members. Participants first learned about collage techniques and completed collage-making exercises. They then interviewed each other on a range of topics — from “creativity” to what it’s like to be a twin to favorite seasons. We discussed ways to incorporate images with text, and finally completed a collage based on the interview stories.
2001-2006 Kansas Murals: A Traveler’s Guide (University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, KS) From 2000 to 2006, Dave Loewenstein and I researched Kansas murals, raised project funds, and wrote this book which highlights 90 public murals with a photo and narrative and lists over 600 others from across the state for travelers to visit.
2001 From Ideas to Artwork: Keeping and Using Sketchbook Journals, Artist Residency (Glasco, KS) I led workshops about the process of sketchbook-journaling with school kids during the day, and adult-learners in the evenings. Participants learned journaling processes and planned projects that were carried out outside their journals, as masks and large-scale paintings on paper.
2001 Langston Hughes Mural (Lawrence, KS) Artist Dave Loewenstein and I led this project with students from Lawrence High School. The participants brainstormed images based on the Langston Hughes poem Let America Be America Again, and then painted a moveable mural that was displayed at the Langston Hughes symposium at the University of Kansas, and at the Lawrence Public Library.
2001 Bathroom Mural, East Heights Afterschool Program and the Lawrence Art Center (Lawrence, KS) I led this weekly after-school art class with children who drew, made sculptures with wood, and created playful puppets with Styrofoam balls and found materials. During the last half of the program the children drew imaginative animals and playful creatures, enlarged them onto big paper, and then arranged them into a lively mural in the girls bathroom of East Heights Elementary School.
2000 Mural at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club (Lawrence, KS) Artist Jane Wegscheider and I helped children translate their small drawings into large-scale group compositions on four walls of the art room at the Boys and Girls club. The theme for this mural was mixing up “work” and “play”.
2000 Artist in Residence, New York Mills Regional Cultural Center (New York Mills, MN) During the days of this three-week residency I interviewed farmers and made art as part of my project titled The Experience of Farmers. I also led sketchbook-journal workshops with school-kids, eventually culminating in large-scale paintings on paper. I’ll never forget the tragedy that occurred at the end of my stay there — the director of the art center, her husband, and daughter were killed in a terrible car accident.
2000 Stories of Triumph, Celebrate! Mural (Women Tell Their Stories Conference, Bethel College, North Newton, KS) I invited conference-goers to mail in their stories and artwork about “triumph.” The response was overwhelming. The stories and images were visually, thematically, and emotionally diverse, ranging from stories of career successes to poetry about perseverance to a narrative about overcoming sexual violence. I then incorporated these into a moveable mural that was exhibited at the conference. (The photo shows a detail of the mural.)
1999-2000 The Experience of Farmers, Artist Residency (Glasco, KS and surrounding communities) I spent five intense days in the Glasco area interviewing farmers about their joys and struggles at a time when low commodity prices were forcing many farmers out of farming. These and other interviews formed the basis of a series of drawings and collages, eventually exhibited in both rural and urban locations.
1999 Silhouette Festival Calendar, Smoky Hill River Festival (Salina, KS) For the span of a day I documented festival goers, by age, on a giant time line wall by tracing around their bodies and helping them to print their hands within their silhouettes at the place where their hearts would be. The buildup of the hand prints on the wall over time, and the abundance of body outlines throughout the span of ages, represented the passage of time and the emergence of an aesthetically rich community portrait.
1998 Community in Conversation, Artist Residency (Glasco, KS) I interviewed Glasco residents about the history of Glasco, and then helped residents to paint silhouette murals of themselves on buildings around the community to draw attention to the importance of people in Glasco. The project was part of a larger dialogue about Glasco and it’s future.
1998 Weathering the Storm: Stories of Perseverance (Lawrence, KS) As part of my exhibit of drawings and collages based on stories of perseverance from friends and family (at the Lawrence Arts Center), I created an installation of donated winter clothing for free distribution to people in the Lawrence community after the show was over.
1998 Art Car with the kids of Van Go Mobile Arts (Lawrence, KS) These junior high kids participated in a series of brainstorming exercises, led by Jane Wegscheider and me, before painting their colorful designs on the sides and top of this huge, white, stretch-limo. The kids road in the car in our local art-car parade.
1995-96 Art Classes at the Community Kitchen (Bloomington, IN) One night a week patrons of the Community Kitchen (a local soup kitchen) participated in this art class that I facilitated. Among the projects made with donated supplies, were paintings, collages, batiks, candles and monoprints. The program was sponsored by the John Waldron Arts Center.
1993-94 “Art Lady” with Madison’s School-Community Recreation Parks and Playgrounds Program (Madison, Wisconsin) During graduate school, my summer job was to drive around from park to playground, leading art projects with children participating in a recreational drop-in program. We made books, sculptures, mail-art, bubble-prints, play-dough, and other projects that were easily stowed in the back of my little red Toyota pickup.
1992 Picture Your Vote, Pyxis Gallery (Madison, WI) I solicited art by mail and fax about the year’s presidential elections, and arranged the art into an evolving window installation. The integrity of the exhibit — to display all of the artwork no matter the content — was challenged by several observers who found some of the images vile. I moved around some of the controversial pieces, but maintained my commitment to show all of the work.
1992 Fax Art Response, Survival Graphics (Madison, WI) I invited artists and people involved in politics to make images about their cares and concerns. Participants faxed their art to me throughout March and April of 1992, and I displayed what I received each day juxtaposed against daily coverage of the presidential campaign in the New York Times.
1991 Conversation and Community, Humanities Building Gallery, UW-Madison (Madison, WI) I invited friends, student-colleagues, and acquaintances to have conversations with me about “community” and to document these conversations by making art as we talked. The art was exhibited in an animated and noisy installation, with subtle silhouette-painting on the walls and conversations written all over the floor.