By zwackart on September 30, 2012
Please join the Van Etten Elementary School community to celebrate the completion and installation of these two mosaic benches depicting the life cycle of plants. They were made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts, administered locally by the ARTS of the Southern Finger Lakes. We will hold a dedication ceremony Monday October 17th from 5:50 to 6pm at the playground to recognize the creative success of student and community artists, and Van Etten teachers and staff.
Posted in In the Classroom, Recent Projects | Tagged art, arts, arts in education, collaboration, education, grant, life cycle, local, mosaic, New York, NY, plant, public school, school, science | Leave a response
By zwackart on September 18, 2012
This Saturday in Ithaca the Food Justice Summit is happening and I will be there at the Watershed Wall to talk to folks as they do a Walkathon that winds it’s way through downtown. I will also have a table at their street fair where you can come and make a food related tile. If you choose, you can leave your tile with me to be fired and it can become part of a community created mosaic! The Street Fair will be at 210 Hancock St. in Ithaca from noon to 6pm.
By zwackart on August 24, 2012
I want to share these images of the American Visionary Art Museum which is a beautiful inspiration to me. It was new at the time that I was graduating from art school in Baltimore (at MICA) and I got to see its inaugural shows. I love this place! And if ever I am in Baltimore, I check to see what is the latest vision is.
By zwackart on May 11, 2012
Thank you “Ithaca is Community” volunteers!
A city wide day of volunteering was inaugurated this year by Ithaca’s new mayor, Svante Myrick, on a rainy Earth Day. On the Commons, in Ithaca, a fantastic team of volunteers gathered and helped me grout one of the panels of the “Spirit of Ithaca”, the public art mosaic I’ve been working on since last summer. I plan to have it installed this summer on the exterior wall of the parking garage at the corner of Tioga and Seneca Streets.
By zwackart on October 4, 2011
Glazed ceramic tile, fresh out of the kiln at Zwackart studios. Latest installment of work on public art mosaic mural to be installed in Ithaca, NY in Spring of 2012.
By zwackart on August 14, 2011
Spirit of Ithaca Mosaic
Back in January, the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County, New York and The City of Ithaca Public Arts Commission put out a call for design submissions for a mural on a parking garage at Tioga and Seneca Streets, in Ithaca. They were applying for a grant that’s deadline was quickly approaching. Based on the commission’s suggestions of themes, and my own ideas about what is important in life and how I see Ithaca, I pulled some photos together in a collage in Photoshop, created a budget, and submitted it. In March or so, I heard back that I had been chosen as their artist and now we would wait to hear if we received the grant monies. In early August, I heard from City of Ithaca Common Councilor, and member of the public art commission, Edward Rooker saying that “Yes! We had gotten the grant” and could proceed. During the time I had to muse on this project, my heart settled on the idea that instead of using paint I would like to try making this mural out of mosaics. Last summer I purchased an electric kiln. I have gotten more confident in firing it & I feel that I now have the tools at my command to be able to do a ceramic mosaic of my own design, creating many (most?) of the tiles I will use by hand. I am really excited to do this! First, I needed to create a scale drawing. The space I will use measures 6′ x 13′. Next, I made a pilgrimage to Susan Jablon Mosaics in Vestal, NY. Emily Jablon, Susan’s daughter, & a mosaic artist who has done many public art installations, was there and was very generous in her donation of materials. I came back to my studio, absolutely thrilled!, and set the glass tiles from Jablon out on the scale drawing. This helped me wrap my mind around how many square feet (out of 78) I would need to construct by hand from clay. Next, I headed over to my friend and fellow artist Deb Youngling’s house to roll out some slabs from a heavy grog, high fire, white clay body. Here are some examples of the tiles I’ve been making.
By zwackart on April 15, 2011
This past Wednesday, I met with four classes of third graders at Van Etten elementary school in Van Etten, New York. We talked about the fact that both scientists and artists need to use their skills of observation in their work. We used pencil, colored pencil, and crayons to draw plant specimen that the students had brought in from home. These will be the designs for the clay tiles that they will be sculpting next Wednesday.
This project was made possible in part through a Local Capacity Building Grant administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.
By zwackart on March 3, 2011
As you may have noticed on the calendar, I’ve been teaching a drawing class at the local Middle School after school. I was inspired by the snowy landscape here in rural central New York state. Sometimes the skies are much darker than the earth all covered in snow. The bright white of snowy ground is emitting more light than the sky itself! Perfect to draw in charcoal. I love how charcoal smudges. It can be intensely dark or sublimely faint and subtle. Charcoal is as old as fire, and is a completely non-toxic art material. Our first class together I had students make gradations from the lightest marks they could make to the deepest dark they could muster with many smoothly blended steps in between. They then cut these up and made the value matching tool you see in the pictures. They observed the landscape outside their school and made these sketches.
By zwackart on February 7, 2011
I have a friend who makes maple syrup from the trees on her land. Recently, she had a baby girl. She asked me if I would make a wall hanging in black and white of a tree to hang over her daughter’s bed. I have heard that the high contrast between black and white is one of the first visual distinctions the human eye is able to perceive. “A Maple?” I asked? “A tree.”
I am working on it. I took a piece of black linen and smoothed it over a cotton muslin, natural in color, not bleached. I drew a tree in brown pastel and pinned the 2 layers together. Then sewed, changing the path of the branches as needed.
This is just the first few moments in the making of an image to hang over a crib. I thought I’d record the spareness of these few elements before I move on.