Last night was the unveiling party for my “Verry Big Project” – a public art project I did for the Curtis Children’s Justice Center (CJC) in Vancouver WA.
Here is a photo of the essential installation crew – who helped me put the artwork on the wall in the lobby of the CJC about a month ago – the full photo here shows all of the artwork the previously posted pic only showed part of the artwork.
The crew who installed Sue Clancy’s artwork in the Curtis Children’s Justice Center – we had just finished installation
Then we covered the newly installed artwork with white paper and kids artwork to hide it until the party. It looked like this for almost a month while the CJC arranged for publicity and invited people for the party.
Then last night about (and I’m guessing) 50 or so people came! (“About the right size crowd” someone said.) The CJC director talked a while. Then I talked for about 3 minutes. And the wall looked like this (without the white paper covering the art).
Going Places, Getting There (two panels of a diptych together in the lobby of the Curtis Children’s Justice Center in Vancouver WA)
After all of the talking was done we stood around drinking punch, chatting and eating cake. I got to meet a lot of wonderful heroes and say “thank you” to each of them! Then we all went home.
A link to a great newspaper article in The Columbian about this project is here: http://www.columbian.com/news/2016/feb/08/child-abuse-survivor-hopes-her-artwork-calms-others/
For more information about what Dr. Bob Hoke taught me (referred to in the Columbian newspaper article) see my book “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit”. You can get a print version via my website here http://sueclancy.com/this-artist-studio/ or an eBook version here https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit
Getting even closer to the unveiling party for my “Verrry Big Project” – a 4 foot by 8 foot public art project I’ve done for the Curtis Children’s Justice Center! So here are some photos of me creating the artwork and a downloadable pdf file for people interested in the full details of my working process on this project.
About creating the Reception Area artworks
creating a dog character out of cut handmade paper for a public art project
creating a cat character out of cut handmade paper for a public art project
Here is an additional link about this project. http://wp.me/p5wztb-e8
Pictures of the art installation are here: http://wp.me/p5wztb-da
This public artwork is dedicated in memory of Dr. Bob Hoke – see also https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit
On Wednesday I had a meeting with the executive director of the Curtis Children’s Justice Center (CJC) to discuss the logistics regarding the Feb. 8 unveiling of the artwork I did for them. As we talked the director said something that I’ve been thinking about ever since. She said, and I wish I could remember her exact words, that a local arts association had offered to list the artwork at the CJC and that the director hadn’t thought a whole lot about a connection between an organization dealing with child abuse and the local arts scene. She went on to say we do have to learn to “see the helpers that are all around us”.
My predominate thought has been “Of course there’s a connection between organizations that work with children, especially abused or ill children, and the local arts! How could there not be?” In my mind a children’s center has original art on their walls for the exact same reason they’d employ a therapy dog; for the care and comfort it may provide.
Children’s centers with multiple works of fine art for therapeutic purposes can end up with public art collections almost without trying. Any collection of public art that serves a community function, whether to reflect a communities history (like the Vancouver Land Bridge), to visually represent a city (like the Salmon Run Bell Tower and Glockenspiel in Vancouver’s Esther Short Park) or to comfort a segment of a community’s population (like the artwork in the CJC) is a part of the “local arts scene” by virtue of its existence in a particular place. Whether an organization like the CJC, because of its kind of work, allows their collection to be listed in an art association’s public announcement is separate issue.
Art for the purposes of therapeutic comfort – or for relaxation, which is a form of comfort – is nothing new. In fact it is one of the “helpers all around us” that most of us don’t notice. Did you have a rough day at the office? Celebrating a birthday? You might seek comfort or relaxation in any of the following; listening to music, watching a movie, reading a novel, attending a play at the theater, seeing art work in a gallery or museum, going to a comedy/storytelling event, or going dancing. Chances are good that most of us have done these things, gotten comfort/relaxation from them without thinking “I’m doing this for therapeutic reasons” or even noticing that it elevated a mood. And you probably didn’t think “I’m participating in the local arts scene” while you were tapping your toe in tune with the jazz band.
Public art and even the local arts scene can easily become part of the background of our lives, an unsung part of our ability to go on and live well.
Yes indeed there are helpers all around us and isn’t it nice that sometimes they are noticed?
Here are some sketchbook pages I did as I thought about all of this. (The ‘feed the good wolves’ note written on the bottom of one of the sketchbook pages refers to this post)
It’s getting close to time to unveil my “verrrry big project” the 4 foot by 8 foot artwork I did for the Curtis Children’s Justice Center! As part of my preparations I’ve updated my website with a “public art” tab. And I’m working on my 3 minute speech. I’ll have to come up with something besides “Isn’t it awesome that a place like the Curtis Children’s Justice Center exists?!!!” But that’s pretty much the gist of it.
If you’re just joining the party here’s some links to catch you up:
See also http://sueclancy.com/2016/02/01/feeding-good-wolves/
And because the Internet likes pretty pictures here is a photo of the wonderful therapy dog at the Children’s Justice Center – who is featured in my artwork that will be unveiled Feb 8th!