Friday, March 14, 2008

I Find All Kinds of Wacky Stuff Here...

Wait, how did this chair break???

Random Art

Day 1

Day 2

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mic Check!

Two of our students (Mary and Rebecca) recently performed their poetry at It's Hard Out There for A Girl, a part of UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS: Providence, "a week-long festival raising awareness and funds to bring the issues of violence against women and girls to center stage".The event was at Tazza and proceeds benefit the The Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund. They definitely blessed the mic, impressing the audience and event headliner (and a fellow New York native!), Suheir Hammad. Check them out:

Posted by Jason Y.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Top Ten Inspirations for Creativity

While the creative process describes the ongoing exploration and refinement of a work of art, or a body of work, New Urban Arts defines the creative practice as the way one fulfills the need to be curious, imaginative, and original. We asked this year’s artist mentors for the top ten things that feed their creative practice. Here is what they shared.

David Karoff – sculpture mentor

1. Going on a trip
2. Getting out of my routine
3. Drinking Coffee
4. "Empty" Time
5. Reading the New Yorker
6. Spending time at New Urban Arts
7. Riding my bike
8. Swimming at the "Y"
(laps are boring and my mind wanders easily)
9. Going to the Steelyard
10. Cooking

Adrienne Benz – portfolio mentor

1. Finding something that I can use as a tool to paint with (a stick, knobs, circular sponges, etc.)
2. Snow Tires
3. Seeing a rubber glove on a window sill in downtown Providence
4. Old crumbling dilapidated buildings
5. The smell of disintegrating leaves on the ground in the Fall
6. My flower and vegetable gardens
7. Finding a doll head stuck onto a piece of wire on a fence in Cambridge, MA
8. Rusty doors
9. How quiet it gets outside when there is a lot of snow on the ground
10. Flea markets

Kian Shenfield – writing mentor

1. Sleeping/dreaming
2. Scissors and Gluestix
3. My amazing friends
4. Performance (watching and doing)
5. Traveling
6. Zombie Flicks
7. Awkward dates
8. Word Puzzles
9. An echoey room where I can sing loudly and obnoxiously
10. Being in a band/collaborative art project/writers' circle

Gretta Johnson – drawing mentor

1. INK
2. Animals, sometimes animals mixed with people
3. Taking baths
4. Making mistakes / vulnerability
5. Figure drawing
6. Estonian Animation
7. Mysterious places
8. Companionship
10. Inefficiency

Christine Hochkeppel – photography mentor

1. Discussion
2. Media
3. Meeting new people
4. Do Make Say Think
5. Faces
6. Light
7. Love
8. Food
9. Song
10. Rest

Carrie Cannon – screenprinting mentor

1. repetition & layers
2. diagrams & instruction books
3. old magazines & photographs
4. walking/riding my bike
5. nostalgia/memory
6. myths/cultural logic
7. obscurity vs. clarity
8. accident
9. construction/intersection
10. music music music

Melissa Mendes – comics mentor

1. The Sunday funnies
2. Natural history
3. Breakfast food
4. Classic Nickelodeon
5. My mom and my sister
6. Deep-sea creatures
7. Nice pens
8. My students
9. 19th Century engravings

Michael Moretti – tape art mentor

1. Looking through books of other people's artwork
2. Food
3. Boredom
4. The Unexplainable
5. Weird curves and shapes
6. Arizona drinks
7. Nature
8. Sublime (the band and the word)
9. Bright colors
10. Procrastination

Jeff Hutchison – creative movement mentor

1. Trees and How They Grow
2. Wind
3. Compassion
4. Failing
5. Situations
6. French Philosophers
7. Baby Tigers
8. Rhythms
9. Habits
10. California

Erik Gould – photography mentor

1. Good food any time
2. Oatmeal in the morning
3. Dark chocolate in the evenings
4. Tea in the morning
5. Coffee in the afternoon
6. A long walk
7. Writing to feed my photography
8. Reading to feed my writing
9. Talking with good friends
10. Being left alone

Lauren Carter- film mentor

1. Conversations with friends about life
2. Coming to New Urban Arts
3. Watching films
4. Reading books
5. Writing down my thoughts
6. Walking through museums and galleries
7. Drawing
8. Going to artist lectures
9. Hearing my friends talk about their own work

Ben Fino-Radin, youth radio mentor

1. open sources / sharing circles
2. Craft groups
3. How-to home pages
4. Step-by-Step instructions
5. Mysticism
6. Intimate computing
7. Computer icons
8. Cultural icons
9. Pattern
10. The Internet

Stacy Magner – poetry mentor

1. My preschoolers
2. All the places I've lived
3. Going to graduate school
4. My New Urban Arts students
5. Eating
6. France
7. My sister
8. Confusion
9. You
10. Polaroids

Jean Cozzens- screenprinting mentor

1. Radical and populist printmakers
2. People who build their own houses (now and/or throughout history)
3. Paulo Freire's writing, especially about action and reflection being linked and essential to each other
4. Washing the dishes and cleaning up
5. Bike riding in the city
6. Collective living and decision making, in all its complexity and difficulty
7. Providence screenprinters and their work, existing mainly outside a "gallery scene" or art market
8. Labor and time-intensive "obsolete" processes:

  • Cutting rubylith & hand screenprinting
  • Architectural drafting by hand
  • Cooking food from scratch
  • Writing html code yourself!

9. Old buildings (of all eras) and their re-inhabitation & reuse
10. My community and the people around me in Providence and Worcester, local culture and shared art-making

Kedrin Frias – drawing mentor

1. Good music
2. People in my life that love me
3. Aneudy
4. My stupid car
5. My heroes (friends)
6. Found objects
7. My girlfriend's smile
8. Freckles
9. Baby faces
10. God and what he does through me

Bremen Donovan – film mentor

1. My family
2. Students
3. Movies
4. Books
5. Food
6. Michael Jackson
7. Classes
8. Limitations
9. Conversations with people I don't know
10. Boredom

McKenzie Burrus-Granger – sewing and photography mentor

1. Being in love
2. Traveling as a passenger
3. Being outside
4. The weather
5. Garbage / landfills
6. The seaside
7. Being inside
8. Listening to music
9. Eating home cooked meals
10. Magazines

Jason Brockert – painting mentor

1. JMW Turner (longtime hero)
2. Talk Radio (mindful NPR and mindless sports radio)
3. Coffee (obvious)
4. Teaching (feeling part of a community)
5. Anselm Kiefer (bigger IS better)
6. Uncertainty (just enough to keep things fresh and challenging)
7. Paper (working on paper as opposed to canvas or board is simply more satisfying)
8. Email (how else to feel connected to the world?)
9. Climate Control (it's hard enough without fighting the elements of a very cold or hot space)
10. Family


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

To Pawn Or Not To Pawn

"are you over 18?”

Saulo Castillo asked me (Jason Y.), Artist Mentor Fellow Andrew Oesch and Artist Mentor David Karoff. We asked him why and he told us about his moral dilemma. We encouraged him to write to Randy Cohen, the ethicist at the NY Times Magazine and he got a response (we have his permission to post this)!

Check it out:

Saulo Castillo wrote:

Dear Randy Cohen,

I'm 16 yrs. old and a Sophomore in high school in Providence RI. I
have a serious matter I need resolved at the moment. You see,I
found this bracelet; it's 14 carat gold, and I want to pawn it.
First off, let me start by saying I brought the bracelet to the
lost and found in my school a month ago. This was after I had asked
around to see if I could find the owner. A month later I lost my
notebook and went down to the lost and found and, sure enough,
there was the bracelet! It was still there a month later. That
technically makes it fair game in my school. Here's my dilemma; I
want to pawn it, but I don't know whether or not to make a final
attempt to return it to its owner. My idea is, if the owner didn't
look for it, maybe he/she doesn't want it. There's nothing quite
distinguishing about it, nothing that makes it stand out. No name
or address, nothing! Is it okay for me to pawn it? Or should I try
harder to return it?

Saulo Castillo, The Pawn Shop Kid

Randy Cohen wrote:

You're on the right track, just not far enough along it.

Truly lost property, which can not be reunited with its owner, is up
for grabs. But simply turning the bracelet into lost and found is
not enough to qualify the bracelet for that desired status. Before
you can rightly claim it, you must try a little harder to find the
owner -- put up some signs around the school, for example, or maybe
make an announcement over the PA in the morning.

Incidentally, I wouldn't count on a big pawnshop payoff. I'm no
expert, but this does not sound like a particularly valuable item.

In short, if it's not too late for that, you said it well: try harder to return it.


Saulo Castillo wrote:

Thank you! I know it must be hard for you to answer a lot of dilemmas. But thank you for answering mine. I'm actually taking your advice and I am posting fliers up. Next week if no one responds to my fliers I will pawn the bracelet. On a different note, I currently attend this after school program called New Urban Arts. They were the ones who encouraged me to send you an E-mail. They were wondering if you would be so kind so as to allow them to publish the E-mails on their blog. The sites they use are:

Once again Thank You!

Saulo Castillo

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Yoga At New Urban Arts

Some pictures from Jeff's Yoga class at New Urban Arts last Saturday: