Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Green Youth Project Art

Here is some artwork the young men at Juvenile Hall have been working on in our classes on Tuesday nights. They will be finishing them tonight, and I will share more photos. The assignment was to use images of President Obama to create the artwork, and then to use words and journaling to describe their own Yes We Can message... changing it to a Yes I can... Some of them were hesitant, and started in with, "Well, he never went to juvenile hall, or jail..." and I asked them if they were going to let the circumstances and things that happened to get them incarcerated define who they will be for the rest of their lives... "Well, no..." they agreed... I asked them, "So what do you want to do when you graduate from Juvenile Hall University? What are your dreams? Talk about them in your books..." I am excited to see what they come up with, and was pleasantly surprised with the work they have done so far. When I asked what they liked about Obama, they said he was "real" They especially liked the photos of him with his family, and shooting hoops and pool.... they all agreed they hope he can "Keep it real" during the tough challenges ahead of him in his presidency.

Monday, January 19, 2009



UPDATE!!!! I have chosen all the winners, and I will be contacting them and announcing them tonight. I have had connectivity issues here at home, and hope to have them resolved today so I can make the big announcement. I will post the winners name under the photo of what they have won here on this post. Comments are now closed on this post. Thanks to all of you for visiting me, I will be making the rounds to all the bloggers who posted to mine here in the coming days. I love this event, and have met so many incredible people as a result.

2/17/08 Finally I am able to access internet and post the winners. Thanks to everyone for your patience. All winners have been contacted for addresses... I have posted the winners below each photo.

Vicki Priebe is the winner of the paper bag album...

Jennifer Bowen is the winner of the CD book

Ozylynda is the winner of the garland heart.

Kate Tracton is the winner of the heart ornament

and awtemnymf is the winner of the bottle fairy...
Congratulations to all of you!! Thnks so much for visiting and participating in this awesome event...
It is that time of year again! Last year I participated in the One World One Heart giveaway event. You can learn about it here. Surf a bunch of blogs, and get to know some fantastic people in the process. I will be giving away some prizes here on my blog for the giveaway. To enter for the drawing, just leave a comment on this post at the bottom. You will be automatically entered to win one of 5 prizes I will be giving away. The drawing will be held on February 12th and I will announce the winners on the 13th after 8am PST. Please be sure you post your contact info in your post so I can get hold of you when you win!
As many of you know, I am the "Art Junk Gypsy" I travel far and wide for good "art junk". With my friend "The Dumpster Diva" scrounging cool things to make art from garbage, we are creating the reuse center of our dreams... All of the things you will win are things that have been created with dumpster diverted materials. A bottle fairy made from an old Sake bottle, a heart ornament made from garland and old jewelry, and a little photo album made with CD's, scrap papers and old 1950's jewelry... A paper bag album, a glass heart decorated with metallic trims and an old earring.

My goal with this giveaway is to have people look at garbage in another way. We are on our way with the reuse center. Watch my blog for info about Trashopia... the reuse center located inside Facchini Salvage's new location on w. 4th street in Antioch. It will be a one stop recycle shop, for all your reuse and recycling needs. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, or are visiting, you gotta come see us... You will be AMAZED at all the beautiful things that can be created with garbage. If you are a reuse crafter, please post links to your favorite reuse centers and flea markets... and browse my blog to see the ones I have visited... Thanks so much for visiting, and joining in this awesome event....

Monday, January 12, 2009

Altered books altered lives

The class last night went well... I am not allowed to take a camera into the hall, so I will photograph some of their work later and post it here...

It started out with 8 volunteers. Some of the guys I had met at a christmas luncheon a few weeks ago. One boy was kicked out for bad behavior. He tested me from the get go. I knew if I didn't stand up to him and deal with it right away, I would have problems with the rest of them, and him for the next 6 weeks of class. After he was kicked out, I told the rest of them... "Look, I am here volunteering my own time, using my own money and supplies to create this program for you. I thought it would be fun to do art, and learn about something other than studying for your GED. I don't want to butt heads with anyone. I don't want anyone here who doesn't want to BE here... So if you don't want to be here, please excuse yourself, so the rest of us can get on with the class." They were all quiet, and one kid says "Uh, I am down with it, and I wanna be here for the whole 6 weeks... I can't wait to learn.." Now THAT is what I like to hear. One of the boys even came in early to help me set up the next week, and apologized for the other kid and said he hoped I wouldn't hold that other kids behavior against the rest of them, because they were all excited to be there...

There is incredible potential in these young men... kids who many consider the "throwaway" members of society... Some are poets, some are incredible artists, some are so good at speaking in the group, they could be politicians... I look forward to watching their growth as we move forward in the class... I am excited for the day I can get them to really create art, and not just collages with bottles of Patron Tequila and Kim Kardashian as the focal point... One step at a time... we will get there.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Holey Moley

How long has it been since I came here to post? I just blew the dust off of everything, and took a look around.. BOY is this place sadly neglected.

I am here briefly, to tell you about the adventures of the youth art program, reuse center and my work with the kids at juvenile hall.

Christmas was a hectic time. I helped make gift bags for the 400 residents of juvenile hall, the girls home and the boys ranch on top of all my mom duties, work as an elder care provider to an 87 year old woman with alzheimers, volunteer manager at the thrift store, carpool driver, craft boutique coordinator, fundraiser and all around general work horse for the art program.

I have met some of the kids there at the hall, and am learning my way around the building. The most touching thing, was watching a young man open his bag, getting a wallet and saying to the guy next to him "Man, a wallet... I ain't never had a wallet before." and even more touching, the reply of the boy next to him, softly saying "S$#%, I ain't never even had a Christmas Present before." You would have thought these kids were given gold... instead of Axe body wash and deodorant and socks and a few little candies. It takes so little to touch a persons life. Truly, I am humbled and I grow and learn every day working with these kids. They frustrate you, they humble you, they make you laugh and cry... but every day is a new surprise. I start my altered art journals class with them tonight. I can't wait to start showing some of the work here on my blog. Some of the art they create is incredible, and the poetry they write brings tears to your eyes.

I have been selling some vintage wallpaper on ebay to raise money for the program. It is going really well. Check out some of the auctions under ksimoni on ebay and see what pretty things we have for sale. Some of these papers are perfect for altered art but many of them have flowers... I keep a lot of them back for art projects. But as the therapist told me, "remember they're guys... they don't wanna do doilies and flowers..." So I hope I can keep it fresh and interesting enough that they will feel inspired and want to create some awesome work.

I move ahead into the new year refreshed, with a new purpose. Many of the old issuse that have plagued me are hanging on, but I just keep persevering. I know it will all be resolved, and I will come through this year gloriously triumphant... I am holding on to that thought... We just got word, through my friend and soon to be new partner RC aka the Dumpster Diva that we are getting the space for our center finally.... In a one stop recycling shop to be located in an old abandoned glass factory in Antioch.... YIPPEE!!! I will have full details Friday after I tour and photograph the place....

Happy New Year to all !