Thursday, May 16, 2013

Love Affair with Native Plants

Card for Window on Broad Installation
Several years ago, I became obsessed with watching song birds. So in order to attract as many birds as possible to my postage stamp size city back yard, I started to plant only native species.  The image of the young lady hanging bird drawings on a wash line is a promotional card for an installation I created that was shown at the University of the Arts' Window on Broad.  A photo of the actual installation is below.  The purpose of the project was to bring awareness to the importance of planting native species to preserve wildlife and to demonstrate that, no matter where you live or how small your outdoor space, you can do this.  Aside from the clothesline and basket lined with bird drawings, names of species native to where I live were written on the walls and floor of the installation space (this aspect of the installation is a bit hard to see on the photos, but if you click on the last image, you can see some of this writing).

Now installation art does not exist until, well, it is actually installed so for my promotional postcard I had to stage something that went along with the exhbition, and also provided information.  The back of the card, besides having the pertinent details of when, where, etc. has a message about planting native species and provides the names of some plants native to Southeaster PA.

The lovely model is my daughter, then a college student who, like all college students tried to capatalize on anything asked of them.  So after begging her all summer to dress like me and pose for this photo, she agreed to do so if I paid her twenty bucks! 

Window on Broad, University of the Arts

Window on Broad (Detail)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Art Futures Project - Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush High School

These banners were made as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Art Futures Program.  The photo to the left is the final project as it was installed at the very fabulous Philadlephia Museum of Art. 

The students did a fantastic job creating multicolor reduction linocut prints using objects from natural history as inspiration.

This is a very technical process and I am delighted and amazed at  how quickly the fine students at the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush High School (in Philadelphia) caught on to, and mastered this process.  When the banners come down from the museum, they will be displayed for a brief period at the Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, whose foundation provides support for this project. Then the banners will be permanently installed at the school for all to enjoy. Below are some of the individual prints that are part of the banner.  They are by: Jackie,  Mike, Patricia, Jesus, Eric, Inez, Shane, Tom, and Lebron.