Celebrating it's 11th year, Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair is both an exhibition and a sale for handmade arts and crafts made by independent artists. This event is sponsored by the Washington City Paper. The event is held for 2 days and you still have tomorrow to catch it. It is held at Union Market in DC, 1309 5th Street, NE. (just by Gallaudet University) For more information check out their site: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/craftybastards/
Why am I telling you about this oddly named Arts & Crafts Fair? Well, of course it is because there are some really cool artists who are UpCycling! Check out Margie Criner of Red-Belly Studios. In chatting with Margie, I complemented her on her color choices and arrangement of materials. She said that after years of being a graphic artist, she likes to think of her sculpture arrangements as working with 3-D graphic design. You can see more of her unique work on her website: http://www.red-belly.com/
The next artist I came upon was Monique Roberson-Langley, creator/designer of Nik da Pooh Designs. She creates upcycled light bulb terrariums, dioramas, sculptures and much more. Her stuff is super cute. I am only sorry that I did not get a better picture of her terrariums. But, that should be incentive for you to come out the the Crafty Bastards Arts & Craft Show tomorrow to see her work in person. You can find Monique and her art at: http://www.nikdapooh.com/
Rebound Designs is a creative artform for well-loved books. Caitlin Phillips creates original Book Purses and other functional art out of old books giving them a second chance and purpose. Ahh, I did not get a picture but if you want to see more of her art, check her out at: http://www.rebound-designs.com/ or you have one more day to catch her at Crafty Bastards.
The Broken Plate Pendant Company has a very self-explanitory name. They make awesome jewelry out of expired dish ware. They will do custom work too. So, if you have broken that special plate, you can ship pieces to them and they will make functional art out of it. For more info. check them out at: http://ibreakplates.com/ Yes, I forgot to get a picture again. I was having a really good time just looking around.
UpCycle's first of many community Fur-Vor events took place at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter this morning with photographer Greg Knott leading a participatory photography workshop with furry friends as the subject of our shots. We will be using many of the images captured this morning to inspire future dog-inspired, creative reuse artwork in the community and back at our studio.
A shelter volunteer brought out three of the dogs for us to photograph: an adorable Bassett hound puppy, an old soul adult dog named Abe Lincoln and a spunky terrier mix named Peking. It was hard to tell what we enjoyed more--photographing or petting the dogs!
Greg provided a lot of insight into capturing great images, including filling your frame with your subject and using light to capture your subject aesthetically. We discussed how the right background, camera angle, and even the use of props result in compelling pictures that lead to pet adoption.
We went into the shelter's yard, where Greg showed us how to use a reflector screen to cast light on your subject, and he showed us how it could also create a shadow on your subject when you are taking pictures outside. We also took pictures inside the shelter's educational room, using their white backdrop.
As with any subject (human or canine), we learned that letting your subject warm-up to you, get comfortable and settle down was important. We also saw how our group size impacted our ability to capture images of the dogs. We were very distracting! It worked much better when just two of us took pictures at a time.
A special thanks goes to Greg Knott for sharing his expertise as well as the Animal Welfare League staff and volunteers for supporting us and making this workshop possible!
Here are some of the images captured today:
This week in playgroup, we opened with clay again. But, this time it looked different. It was nice to see many friends plunk down and enjoy exploring clay again this week.
In our studio, we added a light box to the lenses so that we could explore more properties of this material. Filling and pouring was also a familiar pastime. One friend worked for a long time to fill a large vessel. When other friends ventured over to this center, we were able to narrate the encounter so that everyone became involved.
We also added containers with lids to the building area after observing children taking marker lids off and putting them on last week. There was a fascination with the markers last week, and we noticed the lids and contents of the containers kept friends busy this week. Many were successful in twisting the tops off the containers!
Other studio activities included tape, cutting discarded greeting cards, and mark making with oil pastels and water color paint.
The 12th Annual Alexandria King Street Art Festival was held on September 13th and 14th. While checking out the wide variety of art, we came across a number of artists who use cast off goods in their art.
Meeting Patti and Bob Stern was a lot of fun. They put a lot of their personality into the art they create. Patti points out "we transform wonderfully old architectural artifacts into truly one-of-a-kind art pieces." You can find Patti and Bob at http://www.theperfectview.com .
Sarah Bean creates custom carved books. Using books as her media, she creates a three dimensional, hand carved and illustrated work of art. Sara and her work can be found at www.artandpoems.com .
Above are some of the pieces made by Tiffany Ownbey. She says, "My work is a study of human interactions, relationships and memories...sometimes humorous and sometimes tart. Scale and proportion are intentionally manipulated for emphasis. Using paper-mache I make figurative sculpture out of antique sewing patterns, vintage books and found objects." She can be found at www.tiffanyownbey.com .
Sandhi makes paper mosaic portraits. She makes amazing images with advertisements, junk mail and message that she receives. Sandhi says, "I express my vision through a variety of images - mostly portraits - and have changed the way I make art and the way I see the world around me...for good." Sandhi and her art can be found at www.schimmelart.com . Look for Sandhi inspired art our Art on the Avenue Kids Korner booth! October 4th from 10 am - 4 pm on the Mt. Vernon Field in Del Ray.
Some of the work we are doing this session is inspired by our grant funded project, Fur-Vor. Today we gathered around dog books, and we listened to some interesting ideas about dogs:
"My dog is older than me."
"I bet I have better handwriting than this dog does."
What would a dog write about?
"Grass. My dog likes to eat grass."
"Dogs can't speak."
"Maybe they could. You just can't hear them. We need better ears."
In our small groups we drew dogs using a view finder the frame our composition. We also did some found object printing. Enjoy the pictures!
Find us in the Kids Korner at Art on the Avenue to prep and use junk mail to make dog-inspired collages.
Date & Time: Saturday, October 4 from 10 am - 4 pm
Location: Mt. Vernon Recreation Center Field, 2701 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria, VA 22305
Ages: all are welcome
Art on the Avenue is an annual regional multicultural arts and music festival that takes place in the Del Ray of Alexandria neighborhood the first weekend in October.
Fur and Photography
Join Torpedo Factory Artist Greg Knott to explore the fundamentals of photography and how it leads to successful pet adoptions. As a kick-off event for UpCycle's Fur-Vor project, we will photograph the animals at the shelter for inspiration and future creative reuse art projects. Bring your camera, iPhone or iPod. Participants will share their images at the end of the workshop for feedback and fun!
Date & Time: Saturday, September 27 from 10 am - 12 pm
Location: VOLA LAWSON ANIMAL SHELTER, 4101 EISENHOWER AVE, ALEXANDRIA, VA 22304
Ages: 5 and up; children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult
Fee: Your $5 donation will support UpCycle's Fur-Vor project
RSVP: Space is limited, please register at - https://squareup.com/market/upcycle-creative-reuse-center/fur-and-photography-event
Our materials playgroup began this week. We welcomed new friends and enjoyed seeing our old friends, too.
We gathered around clay, which was a new experience for many. It was nice to see everyone happily engaged in clay, enjoying its properties and sharing techniques for changing it.
In the studio, we offered a cutting station of VCR tape, a sensory bin of lenses, attaching with tape, mark making with oil pastels and markers, and a collection of balls, tubes and tunnels.
Pictures from Tuesday's playgroup:
Pictures from Thursday's playgroup:
We welcomed a new bunch of kids to our Kids Workshop today. We gathered around clay, which was a new experience for some. It was nice to hear children offering one another feedback about what they were working on. Working with clay was quite a social experience today.
In one small group we talked about upcycling and using materials in new ways. Sometimes we alter a material to use it to create, and today we deconstructed damaged books so we can use the pages for our project work this session. In our other small group, we worked on a large, five dog mosaic. One group took some pieces off of the mosaic that were not functioning right in terms of the overall aesthetic of the piece. We talked about how artists often create, assess their work and make adjustments. After we removed the pieces that weren't working, we painted a back ground for the mosaic. We had to work carefully to paint the background and not inside the dogs.
We did not have time for free exploration today, so we will be sure to include it next week!