Over the years, I've had the privilege of working annually with talented inner city kids thanks to the MOCA north Miami, and the I.C.A museum. Through a residency, I spend part of the summer doing customized workshops for kids in an effort to empower them by showing them how to tap into their creativity while understanding their own identity better.
One summer in Brownsville through a miami-dade grant, I worked at a community center on an educational concept. After building a miniature city out of wood, I took the pieces apart. Each student was given a piece to paint on their own. Everyone created their unique name and character on their panel. They didn't realize that each piece went together to make a city. Upon completion, I put the city back together, and invited them into the gallery. The object was to show them that their work plays into the context of community.
Cushman - Through an Artist residency grant, we created the idea of a mural together. The teachers and I assigned every student in the middle school to create their own tree of life. The roots are represent your history, and background, the trunk is what you are currently learning, and the branches, and fruit are your dreams. Musician Sekajipo Genes created a song about the tree of life to go along with the project.The idea is when you finally reach the top of the tree, you realize the journey itself is the key. As students developed their work, and presented to class, I integrated some of their common ideas into the main tree painted in their courtyard. Using school values and student ideas as well as my own, the tree came to life.
"Conserve" was created to grab people's attention from bird road, and show them a post apocalyptic scene. This project was made possible by a grant from the Miami-Dade Parks and Recreations Department. It was previously located at A.D Barnes park on the Northeast corner of Bird rd and 72nd Avenue.
The word "conserve" is meant to address our out of control consumption of natural resources. The hand made birds nest was functioning as long as I kept bird seed in it. This grant was awarded to five local Artist's to create original works in five different parks throughout Miami-Dade county. One goal of the project was to offer the Artist an opportunity to expand beyond the realm of their usual medium.
A special thanks goes to James Bowers and his family for helping with this project