Recently, I haven't been spending as much time in the studio as usual because I've been working on a special project. The Arts and Science Council here in Charlotte commissioned me for a public art project (see Central Ave.) that will take place in 2 phases: phase one is a 6 week artist residency at Garinger High School going on right now and phase two is creating and completing the actual artwork.
More on the actual project: The ASC and another organization, the Knight Creative Community Initiative , have deemed the stretch of Central Ave. from Eastway to the Briar Creek Bridge as the "Eastside International Corridor." There are many different cultures that live, work, own businesses, etc. in this area, but it doesn't have a cohesive "identity or brand" that would represent the area as a whole. I've been hired to work with the students at the local high school in the area (which happens to almost be in my back yard, so it's really exciting to be working on a project in my immediate community) to help with coming up with design ideas for the identity of the area. The actual art making, for me, will happen this late summer/fall when I start working on completing tile mosaics for all the public trash receptacles along this corridor- 12 in all. There are also plans for a large mural and maybe some cut metal banners for the light posts in the works. Overall, this project will add much beauty to the area.
So, in the classroom, we've been working on several projects- a drawn design idea, a paper mosaic to emulate what the mosaic design may look like on the trash cans, and we're starting a clay project today. As a group we'll decide on a design and complete an actual ceramic mosaic prototype that will be installed at the school. Here's a picture of my paper mosaic example I used in class:
This is one of the student projects. I'll post more when they complete them.
While the ultimate design is up to me, I'm excited to have some input from all these students. They've been great to work with and have come up with some nice ideas, as it's a challenge to come up with one image that represents such diverse cultures. I'll be excited to be surrounded by images of their work in my studio to be inspired by.