By zwackart on July 2, 2014
This is my third year teaching art classes to the students in the Cornell Upward Bound program. Today we worked on figure drawing and some portraiture, in charcoal on large format paper, with a model.
And the model is a young woman who took private art lessons from me when she was 7, and now she is 19! She is just home from her first year of college. I recognized her at the grocery store and struck up a conversation. Turns out she is still into art! Yay!!
A very positive experience all around!
By zwackart on April 3, 2014
Posted in News & Events | Tagged 1st St. Mosaic Project, art, ceramic tiles, community, Community build, education, foraging, Ithaca, New York, NY, public art, Science Center, Sciencenter, tile making, wild edibles | Leave a response
By zwackart on February 6, 2014
I am excited to announce that I have received confirmation of my selection by the City of Ithaca to create a design for the location markers along the walk and the anchor sculpture to go in front of Southside Community Center.I am in the process of getting input from the community. Here’s a really nice interview I did with Maya Cueva, a reported with WICB’s Ithaca Now program, talking about the project and the importance of community engagement.
And on the 1st St. Project
I also received a confirmation from the Tompkins County Tourism Bureau for a Neighborhood Celebrations grant to hold tile making events in Ithaca’s Northside neighborhood in preparation for the 1st St. Mosaic Project. Mark your calendars for Saturdays April 12th and 26th for the 1st St. Mosaic Project’s tile making events. The project has also secured approval From the New York Foundation for the Arts as a tax deductable giving opportunity through Artspire.
Posted in News & Events | Tagged 1st St Mosaic, art, City of Ithaca, engagement, First Street, GIAC, Martin Luther King, Maya Cueva, MLK Freedom Walkway, mosaic, New York, NY, public art, Southside Community Center, Tompkins county, Tourism Bureau, WICB | Leave a response
By zwackart on October 5, 2012
“Feels Like Home” was installed by the Ithaca Department of Public Works and wrapped in a big blue plastic tarp for the unveiling. It only took them a few hours to hang all 6 panels in their stainless steel frame. JJ and I were on hand during the whole process, and watched with delight as more than a year’s planning and work came together on the wall of the Seneca and Tioga streets parking garage in Ithaca, NY. We had a lovely unveiling ceremony and the work is now on view 24 hours a day, rain or shine. Enjoy!
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 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 May 24, 2011
This is the second year in a row that I have had the privilege of working with students at the Elmira Alternative High School on an arts in education project where they read a book and use it as a point of departure for their own poetry and visual art. This year the book they have been reading is the intense true story of Kevin Davis called Zebratown. It is written by Greg Donaldson and set mostly in Elmira, New York. Elmira is home to a maximum security prison that houses inmates from all over New York state. From the prison, Kevin Davis looks down on the town of Elmira and thinks it looks peaceful and imagines living there in freedom one day. Eventually he does. Zebratown focuses on a part of his life where he moves in with a white single mom and their struggle to make their lives and relationship work.
The book was hugely engaging and I read it in three days. But when I finished, I felt thoroughly depressed. I sat down and started making notes about the values of the main characters in the story, making thumbnail sketches to represent these values and try to make sense of this work of tragedy. I was thinking about representing a person by showing the layers of experience, the goals, dreams and values, as well as an image of their physical presence; a personal palimpsest. When I met with students on the first day, I asked them to make some simple sketches of their values and I gave a lesson in drawing faces using charcoal. Later we would combine these images using paint on canvas.