Collaborating with librarian Ann Schattle, I facilitated the building of two giant sprawling cities out of cardboard and recycled materials in the Fox Point library branch, in 2006 and 2007. Kids, parents, artists, young people and grownups all built part of a city over the course of a month...
2007. I worked with Andrew Oesch to build installations and produce screenprinted and photocopied raw materials. Our friends, community members, and gallery audiences used the materials to create... a participatory sculpture project? A collectively built city? A thousand miniature barn raisings all happening at the same time? An unacceptably messy pile of trash?
This has happened at:
Dirt Palace storefront window, Providence; Stairwell Gallery, Providence; Schiltkamp Gallery at Clark University, Worcester.
2007. A classic drawing game played out on a large scale, over the course of one long afternoon at a summer art & music festival in Providence. Two blank books and two cans of markers were passed around; each participant was offered a prompt to write or draw based on a previous person's drawing or writing. A portrait of a disorderly collective subconscious...
2008. Andrew Oesch & I assembled a couple hundred recycled boxes, covered some of them with screen-printed brick patterns to remind people of the cardboard bricks they played with as children, and then turned them over to a bunch of psyched kids and adults at a day-long street festival in Worcester, MA. Some chaos and some order ensued.
I mentored high-schoolers at an after-school arts drop-in studio for high-school-age and slightly older emerging artists during the years 2005-06 and 2007-08. My time at NUA deeply affected my personal politics, philosophy, and approach to artistic work and especially to teaching.
I'm proud to still be an active friend of the studio, and I find myself there every week or so, hanging out with high schoolers... it is a unique, challenging, and amazing place.