Category Archives: Brass Rings

Reblog: Taking An Art Break With Oakland…a photo essay

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This post is a reblog from Larissa Louise at The Clocktower Studio/Gallery at Oakland, California’s historic Cotton Mill Studios. Larissa was the Artist-in-Residence for Art Break Day 2013 at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in beautiful downtown Oakland. I was honored to be the photographer for this event. Enjoy!

 

Taking An Art Break With Oakland…a photo essay

On September 6, 2013, people at 19 sites across the world were invited to take an Art Break. Art Break 2013 was the 3rd annual event organized by Art Is Moving. Artists were chosen in each participating city by application and jury process. AIM supplied each facilitating local artist or, in some cases team of artists, with supplies including: paper, paint, crayons, markers, pencils and pastels. Artists and partnering entities provided tables, chairs, signs, direction and lots of HEART. Passers by were invited to stop and take and Art Break.
Oakland was fortunate enough to have two Art Break sites. I was fortunate enough to be a facilitating artist at the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza site. Fellow Oakland artist, Rtystk and Pro Arts were partners on the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza team.

When I arrived at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza at 8AM the square already had many people milling about. Some were talking on benches. There were students, people on their way to work, people on their way to job interviews, and those just enjoying a morning stroll. Oakland was stretching it's arms, drinking it's coffee and greeting it's day. As I set up the tables, chairs and supplies a few curious folks stopped to inquire what I was up to. It was interesting to hear people laugh uncomfortably. With skeptical eyes fixed on me, almost everyone asked who I was with and why I was doing this. When I told them it was FREE they seemed really confused. For me making Art is as natural an activity as breathing. I sometimes forget that it's not the same for everyone...BUT I certainly think it should be. Engaging the creative part of the self has benefits and effect beyond the production of the end product. Art is as much in the process as it is in the product. When creativity is engaged through the vehicle of Art self discovery, connection, and community happens. It was beautiful to watch this happen for every single person regardless where they were coming from or going to.

When I arrived at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza at 8AM the square already had many people milling about. Some were talking on benches. There were students, people on their way to work, people on their way to job interviews, and those just enjoying a morning stroll. Oakland was stretching it’s arms, drinking it’s coffee and greeting it’s day. As I set up the tables, chairs and supplies a few curious folks stopped to inquire what I was up to. It was interesting to hear people laugh uncomfortably. With skeptical eyes fixed on me, almost everyone asked who I was with and why I was doing this. When I told them it was FREE they seemed really confused. For me making Art is as natural an activity as breathing. I sometimes forget that it’s not the same for everyone…BUT I certainly think it should be. Engaging the creative part of the self has benefits and effect beyond the production of the end product. Art is as much in the process as it is in the product. When creativity is engaged through the vehicle of Art self discovery, connection, and community happens. It was beautiful to watch this happen for every single person regardless where they were coming from or going to.

Don’t let the main stream media fool you. Oakland is a diverse and thriving metropolis full of interesting people doing interesting things. Oakland is far more than the reports of guns. It is a City bubbling with Art, culture and GROWTH! Every participant I spoke with was excited to take an Art Break.

This father and son enjoyed some quality family time while taking their Art Break.

This father and son enjoyed some quality family time while taking their Art Break.

Young women from a near by Arts High School painted, laughed and made new friends.

This guy took an Art Break from his skate board.

These folks kept saying how much they LOVE ART and even braved grass allergies to sit and paint for a while.

These women came out especially for the day's festivities!

These women came out especially for the day’s festivities!

The day was full of sunshine, Oaklanders and ART. I was left with a deep gratitude for my City and my own Art. Making Art with so many people reminded me of how important Art is to a healthy community. The responsibility of artists is great. I am honored to serve.

Art work created at Art Break Day 2013 will be on display at The Clock Tower Studio/Gallery in December and January for Kids From 1 to 92: through the child’s eye. Thank you to Valerie Gurley for taking such wonderful pictures of the day’s event. Thank you to Art Is Moving for making it all possible.

 

You Deserve a Break…

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Abby & Lilly

Summer 2013 has been my Summer of the Babies…deep cleaning & childproofing our home, helping our daughter prepare the nursery in her home, the birth of Pixie Princess Abby (July 31, 8 lb. 13 oz., 20″ long), Fairy Princess Lilly’s 5-day extended sleep-over at Nonny & G-Pa’s, and another 4 days as Nanny-Nonny at our daughter’s home to help the growing family settle into their new routine… and then a Family Day at the Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus at month’s end to celebrate. And Lilly’s 2nd birthday is this Friday…If I had known that being a Grandmother would be so much fun, I’d have done it sooner!

But if I don’t refocus my energies onto my own projects soon, I risk becoming one of those dreaded meddlesome know-it-all grandmas…

Here’s a novel idea…

On Friday, September 6th, the world is invited to take an Art Break at one of 19 international locations.

For free.

That’s right… FREE.

This annual event is the brain-child of Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton and Lisa Rasmussen, two artists who studied Transformative Arts together at John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley, California. Art Break Day is just one of the programs offered by Sharpton & Rasmussen’s non-profit, Art is Moving. In their own words:

Art is Moving wants everyone in the world to have the opportunity to experience art. Art matters and is a necessary component to a healthy society because it is an exquisite tool for learning about oneself, expressing one’s emotions and thoughts, and offers the opportunity for a community to come together and grow. There are several ways to experience art and feel its positive impact. You can make it, talk about it, look at it – all are essential and Art is Moving exists to ensure that everyone is provided the opportunity to do all three without fear.

Art is Moving’s annual Art Break Day involves several cities from around the world coming together to offer FREE art making to anyone and everyone. It is easy to join in the fun. You can donatesponsorvolunteer, or become an artist in residence and host your VERY OWN Art Break Day!

Daily interactions with art, the art world and today’s artists are encouraged through our other community art programs like ARTcart!I am an Artist, and Our Conversation Based Blog. ~~Art is Moving website.

This year, I’m a photographer at the Oakland locations. What an opportunity– catching people in the act of art-making. What would this city be like if everyone could take an art break every day?

What would YOUR life be like if you took an art break every day?

~~Peace, Love & Pomegranates~~