In 1991 and 1992 I created and organized two public art projects in Seattle that focused on children.
In Public: Seattle 1991
I was one of 25 national and international artists chosen to participate in a public art event called “In Public: Seattle 1991”.
My project dealt with children and some of the agencies who work for their benefit. The idea of art being seen as a verb was the core of the project. I hoped to convey the thought of the artist being a creative, involved member of the community.
I acted as Artist-in-Residence at Yesler Community Center in Seattle and developed an arts program for the children there. I worked with kids from Big Brothers of King County. The artwork from these programs was exhibited at the Pacific Arts Center and the Children’s Museum. Most of the pieces sold and the proceeds went directly to the children and their families.
Project money was used for clotheslines of new children’s clothing that were installed at two Seattle Public Libraries and the Children’s Museum. Neighborhood House (an organization who works with low-income families) distributed the clothes to kids in the Yesler area just prior to the new school year.
Our project received a great deal of positive attention from the media which was beneficial for the children and the organizations involved.
Great Kids’ Art 1992 : Part 2
Kids Clothing Installation at Seattle University
As a result of the “In Public: Seattle 1991” project, I was given a Seattle Artists’ Award the following year. I used the money to do a continuation of the In Public project called “Great Kids’ Art: Part 2”. This took place at Seattle University during the summer of 1992. The Seattle Times acted as sponsor.
I worked with children from Yesler Community Center and BigBrothers of King County, as I did the year before. Their work was exhibited both inside and outside the school during the course of the summer. We also staged a talent show of kids from other community centers and we did another clothing installation at Seattle University. The clothes were purchased with money from my grant and were given to the kids before school started. Again, public response was very positive.
Long-term relationships were developed in both projects as a result of organizations and individuals being brought into contact with each other who would ordinarily not have had that opportunity.
And through their art the children were able to present themselves as imaginative, creative individuals.
1997 Seattle Digital Art Project
In 1997 I was one of 25 Seattle area artists chosen to participate in a digital art project via the Seattle Art Museum.
The artists had an open hand in deciding what to do. The project I decided on was to work with Safe Crossings which is affiliated with Providence Hospice of Seattle. It is an organization that helps children prepare for the death of someone they love.
I worked with them to build a website of projects and information for those children. The site is no longer up but from what I understood was a resource and was used by the kids and families.