Greeting everyone, I finally was able to find time to post the last part of my over-the-top Artist-in-Residency at the nationally acclaimed visual and performing arts complex, The John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheyboygan Wisconsin in 2009.
My every wish as an Artist-in-Residency was met by the John Michael Kohler Art Center Staff. I wanted to out-reach to as many community and education groups as possible, (it almost kilt me), but that’s what they made happen for me.
I titled my creative exploration workshops the UTOPIA LAB.
One of the many highlights of the John Michael Kohler Art Center is the Open Studio Space called the Artery: This is a Free interactive open studio for all who visit the Center. In this space is where I conducted my Utopia workshops.
This is the "conceptual community house" that was built for me by the Kohler Centers installation crew out of cardboard and pinewood; I called this house the in-side-out-side house built by the community.
This is the inside of the conceptual house. The inside of the house is the outside. With artificial grass, The art students from one of the local high school painted the inside of the house with the sun, clouds, ribbons in the sky, trees, fruit & vegetable gardens, a garden elf to protect the garden, and a floating factory building.
And a profile of President Obama for the Economic Stimulus Funding that funded this residency.
The Utopia Lab was created to inspire the Mother of Invention in us all, to abolishes the idea, that lose of a job means, lose of the ability to work in a fulfilling capcity and maintain economic, social and cultural stability for yourself, family, community and so on and so forth.
This is a Fact: “If you dig deep enough into your imagination, there is no telling what lost treasures you will find”
That’s what this workshop and the traveling exhibit RE-POSSESSED is about.
Cultural DELIVERANCE & REDEMPTION in the aesthetic of Funk.
(Community Hands): This is a detail view of wallpapering collage on the outside wall of the house. The high school students covered the outside walls with beautiful wallpaper all patchworked together to make a wall collage.
As some of the young people from another workshop and from a local community center were cutting out images from newspapers and magazines…
I photographed their hands, printed the images cut them out and collaged them to the wallpaper to symbolize community hands.
This young artist is from a local elementary art class that ventured inside to the outside of the house. He is wearing his “Thinking Hat Crown”. He and a few other children found some loose rubber gloves in the “ARTERY”.
They thought these rubber glove could be used as a “cool” Art Project…. (So that’s where my cleaning gloves were…).
These charmers stick together like they came from the same peapod…
See… What did I tell you… am I right or wrong?
This young man is very clear that he wants to be a magician… as he shows off his magician crown that he thought out so very well and created... “Great idea,.. Every business needs a good hearted magician/wizard”, that’s what I always say…
The exercise for the crown project is to enhance our human nature and hold on to it for a lifetime. This is a very important kid-power trick that is lost on the road to adulthood. This ones tower of powers is definitely in her hands.
These guys found some really great discount coupons in the magazines as they were making their collages… Great looking-out guys!!!
Can’t you see the Adventure Seeker under all of this character in this Lad…? He's displaying a real good grip of imagination at this point...
So, that's where my big clear tape was!!!
This “woman-child” has a very special clarity about her vision…
Very good place to grow from…
Me dashing from table-to-table. You can see the turquoise mountains with auras on the wall that were painted for the ambiance of the Utopia Lab. We did not have enough time, but I wanted to stencil crowing red roosters on each turquoise mountain peak to add to the spaces visual energy.
You can also see at the top of this image, some hanging color paper mosaic figures, that are hanging from tree branches painted turquise. The hard working high school students put this together.
This is the (what could be called) a fish eye view of the arts studio were the Utopia Lab a in full operation for 17 days.
This is the coordinator of the ARTERY, my new sistah-pal-co-worker, Yvonne Montoya, she is one of the most hardest working pleasantest people I have worked with.
Without Yonne Montoya, this workshop was would have not been possible, she was defenately the wind beneath my wings and her own wings on this project, because we were flying around to make things happen every single day.
This is a group of art teachers from Minneapolis; I am giving instructions on how to make newspaper roses.
Me giving an artist talk to a group in the gallery where the exhibit RE POSSESSED was installed
These beautiful photographs were taken by the talented staff photographer Jeff Machtig. He made my work look dazzling & beautiful.
Every time I install the exhibit RE-POSSESSED, I install it different, but I really think I like this wall of Cosmic Mandela that was created for the Kohler Center because of the high ceilings.
This is the Bag-of-Funk (The Big Dipper) and the cosmic debris.
I think I will do this wall again.
A partial view of the RE-POSSESSED installation in the gallery space, with the crochet creations Sistah Paradises Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent and the Cosmic Mandela.
View of Sistah Paradises Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent and the Ball of Fire Crochet Floor Piece.
Another partial view of the exhibit, Garment, wall mandela, Chandlers by Dorian Webb
Crochet workshop in one of the Kohler Centers many artist studios in the basement. This is an amazing space that draws amazing people to it.
The one day workshop was to quick and short, so we were not able to really get a project finished, we were mostly practicing crochet stitches.
And more practice…
The Brilliant Director of this Glorious visual & performance arts complex.
Ruth Kohler and me having a conversation during The Centers Annivesary Celebration.
Thank you so very much for the place in your history...