public art comforts

A Creative Life, public art, visual story

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)

Papillon172 Papillon272

verrry excited!

A Creative Life, public art

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:

http://sueclancy.com/2016/01/23/verry-big-party/

http://sueclancy.com/2016/01/14/a-verrry-big-day/

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!

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Verry Big Party

A Creative Life, books, ebook, fine art, public art, visual story, words and pictures

As mentioned here – my Verrry Big Project artwork (4 feet by 8feet!) has been installed and now we’re waiting for the “unveiling party” on Feb 8th.  But I’ve been told that I can now spill the beans as to who this public art project is for:  The Arthur D. Curtis Children’s Justice Center (CJC) in Vancouver Washington. Here are some links: http://clarkjfc.com/ and https://www.clark.wa.gov/childrens-justice-center

Why it was important to me to do this project:

I have some personal history with dealing with violence in my biological-family home as a child growing up. Not getting into details just now because more will be revealed as publicity about this project unfolds; let it suffice here to say that as a young person I had the great good fortune to meet Dr. Bob Hoke and his wife Penny.  Yes, I mean the Dr. Bob of whom I write about in “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit”.  (Access to both a print version and an ebook version is here http://sueclancy.com/this-artist-studio/) That little book contains so much help, solace and artistic inspiration for me – and is the backbone of why I do the kind of artwork that I do.

Epic saga short, Dr. Bob and Penny became “Dad” and “Mom” for me and we’ve remained family for each other for about 30 years now. Over the course of years Dr. Bob Hoke, Penny and I have talked about how “life is a journey” and how stories affect the ways we picture our world and our responses to difficulties encountered on life’s journey. Stories (and non-verbal visual artwork that communicates stories visually) can affect us positively, can be a source of comfort and encouragement…. (and I hope that my artwork for public places is a source of comfort…)

Fast forward a number of years and I’ve relocated from Okla to WA and had the good fortune of marrying the love of my life, Judy, so I wanted to do something for the WA community that had so warmly welcomed us.

Since I’m an artist with a history of creating large public artworks for children’s centers of one sort or another it made sense to look for such an opportunity. Through friends I heard about the CJC and the kind of work they did. So I discussed the CJC’s mission/methods with Dr. Bob and Penny and Judy, we all decided that the CJC would be a good recipient of my artwork – if the CJC agreed.

I met with the CJC director, made my pitch, and set about designing visual artworks that would help the CJC tell their story. That included creating symbols and imagery that would communicate visually the idea that “life is a journey – with many stops along the way, some good, some bad – and occasionally we all need help going places and figuring out how to get there.”  I also did a depiction of one of the “forests” that we all metaphorically journey through…  And you bet I discussed my potential symbols and metaphors with Dr. Bob (a psychiatrist) and his wife Penny (a mental health nurse).

Here are some of the early “mock-ups” of the art that I presented to the CJC, that was discussed in meetings and later with changes made (the changes are not pictured here) approved by the committee at the CJC.  These rough mock-ups are small, about the size of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

I did two sets of large finished artworks for the CJC… each is 4 feet tall by 8 feet wide. Please note that these photos are of the mock-ups and NOT the final artwork with the changes …so there is still to be revealed – at the unveiling party!! (and yes, I’ll post stuff here too for those who can’t make it to the party)

Going Places Getting There

mock up of the Going Places Getting There diptych

Into the Forest

mock up of  the Into the Forest diptych

 

 

 

 

why Humpty Dumpty fell

A Creative Life, fine art, illustration, public art, visual story

As mentioned on my blog here I’m in the middle of a “verry big project” – the art has been installed and now we’re waiting for the unveiling party to happen. In the meantime I’ve begun some new art projects and over lunch today I wondered, as I’m sure you did, about why Humpty Dumpty fell off of a perfectly decent wall. Here’s my illustration of what may have happened:

Why Humpty Dumpty Fell

Why Humpty Dumpty Fell

 

a verrry big day

A Creative Life, fine art, public art

As they say “it takes a village” to put an artist’s artwork out into the world safely. Especially a “Verrry Big Project”. My public art project is 4 feet tall by 8 feet wide. It took a whole community. The top photo is of a few of my “village” people. The ones not pictured are as important – they’re just quieter. All are deeply appreciated!  The the other pictures this post shows us in action…more details and an unveiling party is still to come. Stay tuned!  For more info see also the posts on my blog here and here. (and you get a gold star if you’ve guessed that my verry big project is for a children’s center of some sort…)

AllofUs KevinJudySueDiscussing SueKevinJudyInstalling SueWiping

 

 

verry big progress

A Creative Life, fine art, public art

I met my Christmas deadline (details here) on my “Verry Big Project”, backed away slowly and while my project dried I had a very restful Holiday! Hope your Holiday was good too. Tomorrow the executive director will visit my studio to see and approve my project, discuss installation, paperwork etc! Wish me luck! Here are a few pictures, taken just before Christmas of my work-in-progress:

Painting whiskers on the cat

Painting whiskers on the cat

Using my "Verry Big Brush" to tamp down the newly applied wet-with-dye papers

Using my “Verry Big Brush” to tamp down the newly applied wet-with-dye papers

As hinted above there is plenty more to do on this project before it gets installed in the public lobby of an organization. So more will be posted later – but first let us all have a very Happy New Year!!

If you’re just joining this party other links about my verry big project are here: http://sueclancy.com/2015/12/22/deadlines-and-verry-big-projects/

and here: http://sueclancy.com/2015/12/17/caution-artist-at-work/

Caution: Artist At Work

A Creative Life, art commissions, fine art, public art

Here are assorted photos of me working on my huge hairy fire-breathing deadline – mentioned in earlier blog comments – also known on my Facebook page as my “Verrry Big Project”.

Dying paper green

Dying paper green

Dyeing paper yellow

Dyeing paper yellow

Cutting dyed paper into a shape

Cutting dyed paper into a shape with an Xacto knife

Cut paper shapes have glue on them and are being "rolled" flat

Cut paper shapes have glue on them and are being “rolled” flat

This project is a public art project and the organization that it’s for will do publicity at the appropriate times.  So I’m using “Verry Big Project” as a pseudonym for this project on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sueclancy.thisartiststudio/ and on this blog.  That pseudonym name came because I needed a new “big brush”. I got one from a local art supply (Dengerink Art Supply http://www.dengerinkart.com/).  The tag on it says “Verry Big Brush” – and that became the name… More on all of this later. I’ve got to get back to work!  But now you know why I’ve not been posting much here.

A "Verrry Big Brush"

A “Verrry Big Brush”

 

art accepted happy dance

A Creative Life, art exhibit, fine art

I’m not “back” on social media yet. Still busy with deadlines and such. I just popped onto email as I was expecting to hear about an art exhibit opportunity result. I’m excited now and wanted to share with you…and the result is: 2 of my artworks have been accepted for exhibit in Boston Mass! Can’t tell more details, confidentiality agreements and all. Now I have yet another deadline to return 15 pages worth of paperwork not to mention packing up the artwork!!!  But first I’m going to take a short break and do my happy dance…

HappyHour72