Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Nature of Language: A report back from Visiting Artists

The Nature of Language at CCA

 By Jeane Cohen

During our stay as visiting artists, my collaborator Carl Elsaesser and I ( Jeane Cohen) began a project that explores the union of 16 millimeter film and painting. Born out of our similar interests in concepts of narrative, and formal principals of beauty and light, this project brakes down the barriers of each medium in order to identify the isolated similarities between them. We conducted numerous creative exercises to educate each other about the others' medium. We then began an exploration of combining the two mediums. We painted on filmstrips, wove film into canvas that was used as the grounds for a painting, and filmed painted images. We made a breakthrough discovery of the possibilities of creative projection, using projected light as a kind of painting and formation of space. We played with imagery projected, as well as surfaces projected on, such as paintings, skin, and saguaro cactus.

During our stay we were in residence in Michael Schwartz studio at the Citizens Warehouse Artist Collective. Michael introduced us to many community members in the collective and in the greater Tucson community. Towards the end of our stay, we presenting a sample exploration of our work to the group. We stopped in to the Tucson Mural Arts Program  Mural Club and talked a little bit about our project, the nature of collaboration and our roots.

In thinking about next steps for this project, we hope to continue to be able to generate time and space for developing this collaboration. We would like to think about the products we generate as a body of work that is flexible, yet concise. We are excited to continue with the work where we left off, and to incorporate new ideas along the way.

I went on to do a small mural piece, The Nature of Language, at Central City Assembly (939 South 10th Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701), where the staff were very supportive and encouraging of the project. Central City Assembly is a shelter, in addition to a place of worship, and they hold free meals three times a week. The flow of people past the mural during its construction generated conversation and engagements with the design and the mural production process. I completed the mural with much help from artist Alice Glasser, and a little help from my uncle, Ron Proctor. Michael Schwartz organized the project and materials to make it come to fruition. Jerry Peek came to the sight to document the mural making process and posted the photographs on his blog:

The mural image depicts a sleeping person, and is designed to fit in the context of the shelter and services Central City Assembly provides. I attribute the significance and meaning of the bubble both to a dream-like expression but also to the agency of speech and the significance of individual expression that is so frequently overlooked. It stands for a universal appreciation of listening to the language of others, regardless of a difference of life experiences. Lastly, the image is about the beauty of speech as well as its abstraction in visual form.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Youth Mural Club Updates

New mural underway at Central City Assembly on 10th Ave.

and brushing up on our mural painting skills.
The new mural club for youth 8 - 18 continues to meet each Saturday, 3-6pm at Citizens Artist Collective 44 W. 6th St. studio 13. The space is bustling with energy and projects. There is a painting and film project by visiting artists Jeane Cohen (Phili) and film maker Carl Elsaesser (Chicago) in progress, tiles for Treat Walkway, mural designs and painting studio areas.

Students have been discussing a variety of ideas including an "anime" mural and working on the "Together We Thrive" mural on 4th Ave. in addition to our existing projects.

More updates to come soon!

Mural Club continues

Youth creating tiles for the Treat Walkway mosaics.
Saturdays 3 - 6pm
through - May 16
Ages: 8 - 18
Cost: $20. per session all materials included

Location: Citizens Artist Collective
44 W 6th St, Tucson, Arizona 85705
Studio #13 (enter from 9th Ave, near railroad tracks)

Each week students have ample time to draw, paint and explore materials in open studio environment.  Lessons includes looking at, talking about and creating works of art. The second half of each class is spent in the community working on projects including murals & mosaics or going on a field trip. This exciting new studio based program has an emphasis on the tools and techniques employed in visual arts and civic engagement.

Students should bring a set of paint clothing, shoes, pants, shirt and hat. We are using acrylic mural paints.

You can attend one, or all sessions. Registration forms are filled out on your first session.
To register or for questions contact: or call 520-791-9359

Visiting Artists Jeane Cohen (Phili) and film maker Carl Elsaesser(Chicago) present their work in progress to students.

We are busy designing new murals...

Youth artists fine tuning mural designs.

Lessons include this one, an observation negative space drawing with white chalk on black paper. Beautiful works!