Hester Street Playground: A Community Visioning Success Story : Video

Pretty cool video on making parks for neighborhoods where language is a barrier, as well as game for choosing what people want in a park.

Hester Street Playground: A Community Visioning Success Story


Visualizing Complexity

As we get ready to think about adding the social nodes we might take a look at some of the network mapping selections on Manual Lima’s blogsite:


Many are a bit too complex for our project. However there are several that are directly related.

Jerome Meadows Presenting at SCAD

Public artist Jerome Meadows is presenting at SCAD, Feb. 10th, Arnold Hall, 2-3 p.m.

The Ever Shifting Landscape of the Inner Visionary

A Presentation by Jerome Meadows

Mr. Meadows, a full time artist living and working in Savannah, Georgia, USA, will discuss his artwork and present a wide sampling of images.  These works range from small collage and assemblage pieces, to singular, kinetic sculptural forms, to large scale indoor and outdoor, public art commissions and installations.  Part of the focus of this talk will be the diversity of materials and methodology utilized by the practicing artist and how that reflects and gives voice to one’s inner processes.

(The id: uncoordinated instinctual trends; the ego: the organized and realistic; the super-ego: the critical and moralizing role.)

From an artistic point of view, the most fertile valleys, the most lushly grown fields, and the most exuberant gardens all exist within the landscape of the human mind.  They are given potency by that which we call creativity, and compelled into existence by the ever present need for spiritual sustenance and personal expression.  They shift and drift along the tectonic plates of our contextual identity, and become flooded or barren on the basis of how we feel.

Jerome Meadows and Public Art

I have had the pleasure to talk to Savannah and Waters Ave public artist Jerome Meadows and I have been fascinated by his work’s ability to touch on a very personal, human emotional level. Mr. Meadows is renowned for his outdoor and indoor public art, sculptures, installations and assemblages. Less is known about the workshops, poetry readings and exhibitions that he has hosted for the community at his Indigo Sky Community Gallery. I found a couple of projects that he told me about very pertinent to our discussion about the revitalization of the Waters Avenue community and how we can learn about, give voice and maybe encourage the skills residing within the community:

“The Book about the World” Photography Exhibition

In 2007 Indigo Sky Community Gallery hosted an exhibition of photographs by 12-13 year-old girl scouts from the Hitch Village neighborhood, Savannah. Each girl was given a disposable camera and asked to take photographs of the neighborhood. Below is the exhibition’s invitation featuring a photograph by one of the girls. Each girl was given the opportunity to present her work and be treated as a real artist. Hitch Village (now demolished) “was one of Savannah’s roughest neighborhoods with a lot of crime, low income, unmarried, single parents households”, remembers Jerome Meadows. Art was probably not considered in these families as any possible expression for the kids. Through the workshop artistic expression was given voice and due respect.

"The Book About the World" Exhibition Invitation

Wind Chime Workshop

Indigo Sky Community Gallery hosted a wind chime workshop for kids from the Waters Avenue community. Each kid was supposed to make two clay wind chimes – one for him or herself and one to give away. The idea was that kids were not only given the opportunity to create their own wind chime, but also make a gift to someone else and contribute to the “chiming” of the neighborhood.

These two examples show a different perspective of a public artist’s involvement and contribution to the community. In this video Mr. Meadows talks about how his art has changed over time from creating permanent large scale works to more temporary, evolving and maybe more participatory for the community art projects:

Vivian Saad. Public Art for Awareness in Colombia

Vivian Saad is a Colombian photographer and dreamer that has always been inspired by the downtown area in Baranquilla, Colombia. She keeps dreaming of a perfect downtown area in chaotic Barranquilla, and this way, through photography, she is allowed to dream. She photographs buildings and using different media, she makes huge prints of the pictures so people can see what the building used to look like. Fortunately, people have been very motivated and attracted to the notion of the past, explored in the pictures. She pretends to preserve this cultural heritage through these photographs and to raise awareness in taking care of culture, taking care of how people relate to Colombia, and how they all belong to the same culture.


Sign Painting Workshop Idea

Last week after class and viewing the photographs I was struck by the beauty of some of the buildings. There is a pretty interesting sign painting subculture in the African American communities here and it appears randomly up and down Waters. It occurred to me that there might be the possibility of organizing a sign-painting workshop with neighborhood artists of all ages, sign painters, etc. I spoke to Derek and he was very interested in designing the workshop(s). This could be a way of connecting youth with mentors and has the possibility, over time, of using culture to effect destination. And…it is a direct result of our gathering, mapping and nodes process.

Ben Fry Visit and Lecture

It was a wonderful opportunity having Ben Fry visit our class yesterday. And, I know we all enjoyed his presentation. Following the talk I was able to chat with him for a few minutes. He commented on our project and said it sounded very interesting and should reveal quite a lot once we start putting it together. I mentioned that we would send him a copy when completed. I also asked him if he was familiar with artist Matthew Ritchie and he was. In fact, following a previous lecture a student asked him where he most wanted to live and he said inside a Ritchie painting. Then he mentioned Tim Hawkinson an artist whose process and art I enjoy. I am attaching links to Art: 21 episodes for both as well as an additional for Allan McCollum. I hope you will have the opportunity to view them.




Maps and more maps

This could be a jump too early and things people have seen before but its hard not to find them visually appealing. The first is more of data driven map towards comparing bicycle use link.

Another is a book for maps on vacant buildings in the Netherlands link, and a few others that show a lot of urban areas in an especially modern way link and link

The last is a fairly, maybe complex, detailed distribution of schools in Edinburgh link
Edinburgh Schools

David Berman’s “Do GOOD Design”

This is by far, one of the best books i have read. David Berman’s book “Do GOOD Design” is also about making a change. Not only about making a change actually…but about doing GOOD in the design field. Take a quick preview to his book. He was part of the speakers in the IDA Congress in Taipei. And his keynote was simply amazing. I can’t wait to hear him again in Ethos. This is a link for a preview to his book: http://books.google.ca/books?id=l1aq3UpWCbYC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false