Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On Writing with Walker Mettling and Jenn Morea

Join Us Wednesday, May 26th at 7pm for our final Conversation on Creative Practice with Walker Mettling and Jenn Morea:
On Writing

It's the finale of the 2010 Conversation on Creative Practice series with awesome guests Walker Mettling and Jenn Morea. It's going to be a Story Night extraordinaire and a conversation that promises to be dynamic and illuminating.

About the conversationalists:

Walker is a writer and performer and independent curator in Providence. He has assembled writers, wallflowers, musicians and drawers into a number of Story Nights around this town and other ones and has also taught writing and bookmaking at 826 Valencia in San Francisco. He is a chef for a vegan restaurant project and is currently compiling several publication projects in collaboration with other writers, drawers, printers, and the USPS.

Jenn Morea is a poet, writer, and educator. She has worked as a teaching artist in the Chicago Public Schools since 1996 and has edited more than twenty-five anthologies of writing by Chicago youth, including dream in yourself (Tia Chucha Press, 1997). Jenn teaches with Project AIM at the Center for Arts Partnerships/Columbia College Chicago and with Young Chicago Authors. Her poems may be found in the online journals High Chair, Slope and Wicked Alice. She is currently at work on a number of writing projects while researching an exquisite and mysterious underground flower.

Walker and Jenn will lead the group in writing exercises both tiny and gigantic. We will get to try on their writing practices and see how the world looks from there. We will also get to work and play with an amazing helping cast of musicians, illustrators and food makers including Art Middleton, Mickey Zacchilli, Amil Byleckie and Karen, the Vegan Ice Cream Truck Lady as well as others. We will follow with a conversation between all in attendance. We hope that you will be there to help make it the best night so far.

Conversations on Creative Practice take place at New Urban Arts, 743 Westminster Street Providence, RI 02903. Events are free and open to the public. The Conversations Series is curated and hosted by Arts Mentoring Fellows, Emmy Bright and Kedrin Frias.

*New Urban Arts Conversations on Creative Practice Series is made possible through support from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Rhode Island Foundation, and the RISD Office of Public Engagement.*

Friday, May 21, 2010

Illustrations and Zines by Graduating Senior, Emely

Whenever I talked about my years at New Urban Arts, I always seemed to focus on how much I loved the studio, the people, etc. and how big of an impact being there all of these years has had on me. I pretty much gush about how awesome N.U.A is. But have I ever stopped to think about how it's affected me as an artist?

Well, it never really did until now (in case you were wondering). During my freshman year at Feinstein High school and first year in the studio, I was devoted to all things manga and anime-related. I was stubborn; refusing to try new styles that were outside of the box I had become so fond of.

But, when I was here, something changed. Maybe it's something in the air at N.U.A. or some sort of magical magnet built under the studio's floorboards that attracts such awesome people. They [students, mentors, and staff!] were all so nice, welcoming and encouraging (and not to mention talented).

Because of them, I felt inspired to try and experiment more.

I began with comics, then watercolor, and self-publishing. I began to love sequential arts, painting, storytelling, book-making, zines, cartoons, comics, animation, screen-printing, and I yearned to find a way to blend those together.

To this day, I continue to try to find a middle ground between my love of manga style and my infatuation with cartoon style. It's been like that for like... a year?

With me, things were usually 'either...or': either manga or cartoons (and for a while between my sophomore and junior year, I was on an uber cartoon mix and manga began to disappear...or so I thought.). I could never fully shake the manga off. But who says that's a bad thing? I don't.

I enjoy the challenge and the possibilities of experimenting to find a happy medium between the two. I feel like this exploration made me mature. I was willing to accept that, yes, I was changing but I was also willing to roll with those changes and continue to expand my creative horizons. It's weird writing this, looking back on what I used to be and what I am, (reliving that very, VERY awkward phase of my life would be a nightmare!). It's kind of eerie. But...it kind of warms my heart at the same time, thinking about how I’ve grown here, all the awesome people I’ve met here, all of the memories made here; it's amazing.

That feeling of amazement/love/encouragement/etc. is what fuels me and inspires me continually. The thought of making all of those people who had made me feel that and had done so much for me feel that way by looking at something I made really drives me. I know I still have a ways to go as an artist and reach that goal, but looking back, I feel like I’m on the right track to getting to see that.

So thanks dudes, for the awesome four years. You have no idea how much I’ll miss this place. How much I’ll miss each and every single friend I’ve made here. I could write for the rest of my life and it wouldn't begin to describe how grateful I am to you. N.U.A.....thank you.

I know this isn't a 'good bye' (I’ve been reassured time and time again this week that I’ll be back (which is true because I can't imagine myself without this place)) but a 'see you again soon'.

Things won't end here, they'll just be different. I’m stoked to be going to Hampshire this September, I’m excited to be graduating from high school soon (FINALLY!), and I’m glad to be writing this. This here, right now. This is my last artist statement as a high school student/ N.U.A. student.

Emely Barroso

Friday, May 14, 2010

Then it was my turn...

So, after listening to everyones various tributes, I was invited onto the stage to tribute a graduating senior...to tribute a friend. It is a strange moment to be thrust into... There is a tension between the task of conveying to the audience how incredible and inspiring this person is and communicating to this individual how much they have impacted your life.

It is a humbling honor.

Fragments of Mentor Tributes from their Students...

My mentor helped me pursue my dreams...
He is a chill person...
She is kind of spunky...
Always encouraging me to read my poems out-loud even when I don't want to...
My mentor is really humble...
On friday's the studio is quiet and we talk, I really like that...
I thank her for spending time with me working on my portfolio...
They are someone I can truly count on...
My mentor is like a mad scientist...
She gives me unconditional support...
He thinks what I say is funny, I look forward to seeing her in the studio...
It is always good to come by and catch up even when we are not drawing...
She is uplifting and encouraging...
My mentor is a cool local designer...
After working with him I saw improvement in my artwork...
She opened me up to more options...
I look up to the way she talks to people...
My mentor is like one of us....

Difficult to Describe

I find myself totally struggling to even take in the fullness of the Art Party... in previous years I have solely been here as a participant in the spectacle... and now I am tasked with trying to convey to you dear readers the amazing onslaught that is the annual Art Party. Considered me daunted by the responsibility. You should know, you would be immersed in the pride and happiness is oozing throughout the studio.

How do I begin to capture everything that is going on? It is all going on at once... Ever other person who walks through the door is smothered in hugs, People are being dragged around the room to see photos, assemblages, drawings, sculptures... Secretly little last minute touches are still being applied under the cover of the exuberant chaos. Comprehending these simultaneous moments is... well splendid, energizing and comforting.

Art Party 2010

Hello, Hello... the clouds have lifted and it is a glorious Friday afternoon. Tis 5:12 and already the studio is bustling with visitors to this years Art party.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Summer Employment Opportunities for Alumni

New Urban Arts is now accepting applications for part-time summer positions dedicated to providing alumni students with summer work opportunities. These positions are contingent on available funding.

Job Title: Open Studio Mentor
Program: Open Studio
Schedule: Monday through Thursday; 4:00-7:00pm
Start/End Date: July 12 - August 12, 2010
Hourly Wage: $12/hour

Job Description: The Open Studio Mentors support the Summer Studio Coordinator and Studio Manager in building relationships with current and prospective students who attend Open Studio hours during summer programming. They engage high school students in developing their creative practice through introducing new media and techniques, providing instruction on use of the darkroom and silk screen studio, and encouraging students to design and implement long-term projects. They model effective use of a community based studio environment, promoting respect and responsibility for studio space and peers using the space. They build relationships with youth participants, responding to the diversity of backgrounds and experiences of our students. The Open Studio Mentors maintain a well-resourced, efficient, inclusive and values driven studio space capable of supporting a growing, self-directed learning community for young people. They strive to foster a rewarding workplace that is stimulating, trusting, and results-oriented, where the mission of New Urban Arts can thrive.
Position Requirements: These positions are designated for a graduate of New Urban Arts yearlong arts mentoring after-school program. Preference is given to candidates who were active participants as high school students over multiple years. A strong desire or interest in arts education, arts administration, teaching or community organizing is preferred but not required. Strong candidates demonstrate sustainable creative practice, leadership and communication skills, are self-motivated and work well in a rapidly changing environment. Priority is given to alumni who can demonstrate skills in darkroom photography and/or silk screen printing.

How to Apply: Please send a cover letter and resume via email or mail by Friday, May 28 to: New Urban Arts, 743 Westminster Street, Providence RI 02907, sarah@newurbanarts.org, phone: (401) 751-556. Alumni will be contacted for an interview in early June. Orientation training will be held in late June.

Roots & Rituals: A Creative Day for Creative People

Come support and participate in a youth-planned, cross-organizational arts day: "Roots & Rituals: A Creative Day for Creative People."

Young people from the Providence Youth Arts Collaborative (New Urban Arts, AS220 Broad Street Studios, Community MusicWorks, the Carriage House, and Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth) have joined forces to organize the first-ever youth arts day at AS220, generously sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts!

Join us for this FREE collaborative arts and media day where you can make cool stuff, learn about local youth arts organizations, and see expressive performances. Don't leave your personality at home, bring your SKILLZ, experience different art practices in workshops, or just hang out. There will be an open mic – show us what you got! Get ready for a day you won't soon forget! You will have an awesome time!

Saturday, May 22
Located at AS220, 115 Empire St

FREE and open to the public

doors at 11:30
workshops 12-2
performances 3-5

For more information, contact Jori Ketten

Monday, May 03, 2010

Creative Conversation: On Deep Connection

Wed. May 5th, 7PM at New Urban Arts.

We hope you’ll join us for our upcoming workshop and Conversation on Creative Practice: On Deep Connection with theater director and educator Ellie Heyman. Ellie has directed plays in Chicago, LA, Boston, New York, and most recently, her play Diventare was honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and I am so excited to bring her to Providence. For the past many years, she has also taught and raised younger people as part of Northwestern University’s National High School Institute for Theater Arts. She comes to us from BU’s Theater Conservatory where she is achieving her MFA while educating actors in ways of embodied knowing, emotional connection, and play making from that place.

“Connection” is one of New Urban Arts five core values. In connecting with a mentor, we believe that we can become our best selves, and these connections happen in all kinds of iterations between students, mentors, staff, our friends, and larger communities. Contrary to the Romantic notion of the artist at work alone in a studio, deep connection can be an important part of a rich creative practice. Our stories are about personal and artistic transformations grown from connections amongst people and in this space. And there is a certain morality in this way of thinking; even extending out from the studio and into wider living. I think finding and fostering these authentic connections allows us to be more open, more fully in love with the world, with our work in it, and with each other.

Ellie’s practice is about helping performers connect deeply with themselves and with each other, such that their experience resounds with an audience and out into their world. She approaches her work with an ethos of embodied connection, a love for the physical, a yen for the imaginary, and a trust in the gut sense of emotion. She describes one of her plays unfolding, being always rewritten in the process, “In the beginning, it didn’t make a lot of intellectual sense at all - but it followed a kind of heart logic. So these actors, you couldn’t talk about it; there was nothing really to talk about! You had to do the scene to do it! And each time we returned from doing it, we had more information about it.” This idea of “heart logic” and doing it, really doing it, in order to discover “it” really resonates with me. I think Ellie articulates a kind of faith involved in doing work from emotional and not-knowing places in our selves, in our creative practices, in our relational practices, and perhaps in any of our learning endeavors.

I hope you will join us for an evening workshop and word-swap on Wednesday, May 5, 7PM at New Urban Arts. Since we will be working from heart logic, and gut places, Ellie will first lead a workshop around movement and connection where we will all “Do it, really do it, in order to know it.” So its not just talking, but moving too. From there, we can put our heads back together and talk about these practices. What is it like to move and work from these embodied places? How we can build safe containers for ourselves and others to play with emotions? How might these practices translate from theater to other disciplines, and to our practice as people in the world? And even better, we will spend time with the questions that you bring and that you discover. And also because we are made of our own bodies, I promise wonderful snacks. At least some home made, either crafted in a Secret Kitchen or perhaps my own unnamed one. I hope, very much, to see you, speak with you, and connect with you, on Wednesday evening.

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