Tuesday, July 29, 2008

River Art Project

Besides obsessing over ways to melt aluminum fast. I had a brief side project that I thought I would share with all of you.
For 10 months I worked in the Milwaukee Environmental office. Its a collective space that is filled with non-profits in Milwaukee that are dedicated to environmental issues and keeping Milwaukee safe and clean.
Any way I was approached by the Friends of Milwaukee's Rivers and was asked if I would come up with so me kind or recycled art project, possibly share it with a school and possibly make art from recycled trash.
With the help from a co-worker. We developed the River art Project. We were fortunate to find two schools that backed the idea. Hayes Bilingual and Fratney.
I spent several days with the students. We talked about Wisconsin folk art, drew photos and then I took the kids to the Milwaukee River Clean up in the April. We were able to salvage a crazy amount of trash from the river but unfortunately I didn't feel like it was safe for them to re-use and handle. So we altered our plan and the kids brought in recycled materials from home.
I spent 3 studio days with the students, the end product was pretty nifty. The kids discovered the art of improvisation through this project, they also got to show their piece at the FMR thank you event.
I decided that I need to finish my education degree. This project came at t very stressful time and each day I walked into Hayes Elementary and was greeted by my artist in trainging crew my focus and perspective shifted to something new and positive.

Hotel Progress 20 down 110 to go

After 8 months of stress, sleepless nights, stress and stress progress has been made. I have been able to make over 20 pieces in the month of July.

Side Note:
All of the pieces that I have poured have been a minimum of 5 feet long 16 inches wide and 4 inches thick. No cracks, no fishers. Plenty sturdy for the wall mounting system.
I couldn't have done any of this with out the help and advice from my Dad, Uncle Dan and Kim.

Hotel First Stage

This is an image from the very first pour November 1, 2007. It took place at the UW-Whitewater Sculpture studio with the guidance from my former professor Dan the Man and my friend and fellow metal junkie Christopher Gerber.