For the February Art Crawl in Monroe, LA I was invited to participate in a colorful and collaborative show at the Historic Isaiah Garrett Law Office. As expected, working with some of the most creative women I know, Brooke Foy, Kelsea McCrary, and Bethany Wilkins, proved to be spectacularly fun and inspiring.
The collaboration, titled You're Invited, featured the remnants and reflection of last year's One Mile of Love seawall project, of which I was the lead painter and designer alongside mastermind Brooke Foy.
These vibrant protruding sculptures are actually One Mile of Love "artifacts." We used small, clear, disposable cups to fill our portable paint containers that made the daily treck to the mural site. As we filled different colors, we simply stacked the wet paint cups. As they dried and created these colorful little lopsided towers, we knew that we absolutely MUST create something with them!
Just get a load of all of the fabulous color and drippy droppy texture.
Since the seawall project was a huge community effort and involved volunteers of all ages and skill levels, we replicated the experience for the gallery show using a large canvas drop cloth traced with bit and pieces of the original mural designs, all overlaid on top of each other to create a unique abstract composition. Anyone who visited the gallery was allowed to grab a brush and some paint and fill in the areas of the painting.
Of course, by the end of the night we had quite a bit of a mess to clean up, but everyone had so much fun getting involved in the art. We had kids and adults of all ages put their own spin on the project.
And of course all of us had to get in on the action. Left to right, Bethany, Brooke, me, and Kelsea, gettin our paint on!
A big part of the OMOL project was collecting original drawings from children all over the parish to be featured in the mural. We took this drawings and compiled them into a cohesive design and projected it onto the wall using and old fashioned overhead projector and transparencies. We held onto these transparencies and transformed them into little small abstract compositions laid on top of wooden panels painted with the original mural colors.
Here's a closer version that shows how you can pick out some bits and pieces of figures and animals and carnival scenes that the kids drew.
We also had an installation dividing the space and lending even more color and tactility to the show.
Silly group shot.
Also, we had tons of stuff going outside. Fresh beignets and s'mores around the fire, the kids loved it!
Overall, it was definitely one of the most fun art crawls I have had the pleasure to be involved in. Here's the final version of the community effort painting. It was such a great experience to watch it transform with the help of so many. If you are in the Monroe area and have not experienced a Downtown Gallery Crawl, do it! It's so much fun.