Monday, January 27, 2014


(Not a single person under 18 knows why a sign that says BRIDGE PARTY would draw interest from  more than a dozen passers-by over the age of 50).

A BIG part of this whole project is to BRIDGE young artists to each other;
united we stand (and make it through their adolescence still creative, still individualistic, still loving art and making things... even without art in school),
divided we fall (dumping their artistic selves like so many of us adults did at 13).
So as a way to keep Bridge students engaged in a community of young creatives after their 7 weeks in the program, AND to connect kids across schools, we have one monthly free art party for all Bridge students - past and present. I only met with Searsport Bridge days before the party, and many parents heard the invitation for the first time when I called them the night before... even still, two Searsport artists joined us at Waterfall.
Thanks to Waterfall staff for trusting is to meet in the profoundly inspiring gallery where Abby Read's amazing installation served as our backdrop. We could have spent the whole two hours just checking out the countless treasures and mysteries arranged flawlessly in this piece. Everyone loved it.

I had a bunch of stones prepared with several coats of gesso, to make for boldly-colored stones artists could paint with acrylics, with Public Art in mind. We looked at some images on Pinterest, and hit the materials - a rainbow of acrylic paints, a few dozen brushes, some punch-with-blueberries, and some tunes.

I think when you don't get to use paint often, having to paint tiny, somewhat strategically is fun for about 5 minutes... Painting the tablecovering, paper, and of course hands was inevitable. I mysteriously foresaw this, and had a big piece of matte board on an easel ready for the wandering brushes in search of room to bust out.

The Searsport contingency got this thing started...

I didn't bust out any Trust Falls at this party to force bonding. I think voluntary physical proximity is a Win, here.

And then, there was FLOAM. I'd brought a couple of cans of this bizarre sculpting substance mostly used in early childhood as a sensory thing, even though it really does have amazing sculptural possibilities... if you can get past the super weirdness of the stuff. here we see a "raw hot dog being cooked by the Earth on fire." (The painted tarp was just something I found in the supply closet for floor-dwellers to sit on).

The two hours flew by - we didn't even get to our second art project - another public art piece slated for another day. But we did get in a rousing game of markerboard Win Lose or Draw, or Pictionary, or "charades, only with drawing," depending on your age, apparently. I felt old when suggested items to be drawn were things I had no idea about. Minecraft and Hunger Games references. We had trivia questions for prize-winning tie-breakers. "Starry Night" for the win.

I hope all had fun. Seemed like it. No one was ready to leave!
Till next time...

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