Early this summer, NVAM Education welcomed teens from IMPACT Family Center who participated in a Creative Community workshop with veteran artist Stuart Hall. IMPACT and NVAM Teen Council members worked with Stuart to learn more about his art practice and what inspires him to make art. Primarily, they learned about his art intervention work called fleurs de guerre (flowers or war) and participated in making these poppy inspired flowers as well as consider where they would place these flowers as symbols of peace. IMPACT shared what they did with their flowers after the workshop as well as a film they made that reflects their experience at NVAM and with Stuart.
I place this flower at Impact Family Center because peace brings unity and Impact Family Center has a way of bringing people together as community.
I put this flower on my couch. The reason why I have put this on my couch is because this was a couch my grandmother gave to my family, and she passed away. I cherish this couch, and value it.(JPG 51-215 Sent in Previous email)
Every individual deserves to live a prosperous and healthy life full of blessings; the lighting was too bright so I couldn’t take a picture with the words showing. (JPG 7209)
I decided to place my Poppy at Robichaux Park , located on 9247 S Eggleston. In July a neighborhood friend was shot at this park 2 days before his college orientation, and died. I have a lot of friends that still go to this park , along with little kids. This is why I placed my Poppy here. This is a place where peace is needed.
I place this flower here for peace because we need better lives and better people that’s not killing each other over they most craziest things in the world.
I put this flower on my couch. The reason why I have put this on my couch is because this was a couch my grandmother gave to my family, and she passed away. I cherish this couch, and value it.
My flower will be placed at Altgeld Park, on the West side of Chicago. I practice football here in the mornings and there is a large homeless community. When I walk from the train, you see a lot of them in the stands of the football field just waking up. I place the flower here for peace in these peoples’ lives as they struggle living every day.
These flowers represent the love that we need to share the world because in order to be peaceful, you have to be loving and spread love to everyone and everywhere.
I put my flower on the stairs to show my steps to greatness.
Stuart is a fantastic person to work with. He’s so passionate about his work and what he does. He taught about appropriation and installation. I never had so much fun doing work before until I met Stuart. He’s easy to talk to and chill with because he is a chill person. At times, he can be a little too goofy but he’s still fun. I enjoyed being with Stuart. He has left a long lasting impact on NVAM Teen Council.
Over the past two weeks NVAM Teen Council has had the time to work with the featured artist, Stuart Hall, on his ongoing body of work entitled “Fleurs De Guerre”. Stuart has been an Artist and Curator in the Chicago Arts Community for over four years and spent 2 weeks with our Teen Council sharing his art practice with us but also teaching us how to make art that re-appropriates and activates spaces around us. Following our Fluers De Guerre project (which you can also read about on our blog) we developed an installation that would be set up in Humboldt Park. We divided into 3 groups. Each group focused on a current event or issue that they felt passionately about and came up with a gesture that represented and symbolized this cause.
1–A figure with a watering can:
“The watering can represents water usage and natural resources. The message of this piece is to represent the many ways people use water as well as the excessive use of water and the need for increased conservation of our natural resources.”- Erin A. and Chris F.
2– A figure holding signs over their face- each representing a different Social Media website
“We chose to make our silhouette represent social media because it is a big part of the world today. Also because a lot of people are letting it control who they are and how they behave. Our silhouette is holding symbols from different social media sites that cover the face to change our opinion of who he/she is.” -Daryl G, Asia J and Keunte W.
3– 3 figures with their hands up showing innocence, out to the side showing vulnerability and one pointing its fingers like a gun representing Gun Violence
“My group did a silhouette about gun violence. These silhouettes show how guns are used to hurt many people. Cops are killing colored teens and kids while gangs are killing other kids their age and harmless bystanders.” – Keon C., Jalean, Sema’J Y., Jessica T, Jessica D, Kayla, and Chris L.
We cut out silhouettes of these gestures and in only 3 days made 6 cut outs and over 200 flowers to install in the park! It was a lot of fun to set up the art outside and to experience how people walking around the park repsonded to the art. Most of the people we talked to really liked the work. It was very windy so we learned a lot about how to fix problems on the spot! The art work was left up in the park for 2 weeks.
This summer is off and running with a new set of expectations and challenges!
First– WHERE will Teen Council be taking place??!! We have outgrown the space we used last year and the main gallery space needs to be utilized as, well, a gallery space! So now what?? While visiting an empty store front where NVAM will be hosting the After School Matters Cross-Regional Art Exhibition on Aug 14 (save the date!) it occurred to me that this was a lot of unused space that would be AWESOME for filling with art in the making! Thankfully, the building owner agreed! As he put it– if we never say yes to crazy ideas, where would we be?
The move in was…challenging…but now, with 2 weeks under our belt, the impact of this new space is starting to be felt! New and developing art is on the walls in our open critique space, we have an inspiration wall and our social contract hung proudly for all to see and we are utilizing an old chalkboard wall to keep our schedule on display (so we never miss break time!). The teens are moving past their initial shy phase and are making meaningful observations and making big plans for the rest of summer! Starting next week, we begin a 2 week collaboration with veteran artist Stuart Hall. The potential is tremendous. I LOVE SUMMER TEEN COUNCIL!!! (Stay Tuned!)
It is finally spring! Well, sort of. Ignoring the random bouts of snowfall in Chicago, The Great Artdoors is too excited to get back outside for art-making! This week we are thinking about aerial photography and the “birds eye view” perspective, looking at examples taken from helicopters during Vietnam or more modernly videos captured by drones. We decided to create our own sort of weather balloon/kite/drone device that looks like something straight out of Up, using balloons, a point and shoot camera, fishing line, and lots of tape! Check out the Gallery through this link for photographs taken by the aerial balloon contraption we created!
Tell Me a Story I DON’T Know!
NVAM Education workshops at the Chicago Childrens Museum at Navy Pier
The art in the National Veterans Art Museum collection showcases the memories, experiences and histories of our nation and the veterans who have served to protect it. Each work of art shares the unique stories of the individual who made it and provides the opportunity to start a conversation resulting in a deeper, more meaningful learning experience. The art brings history to life through the eyes of those who lived it. For our younger audiences, the museum is careful to select age appropriate art from our collection that allows children and their families access to understanding and exploration of veteran voices through art.
In March, NVAM was excited to have the opportunity to work with young artists and their families at the Chicago Children’s Museum. The Tell Me a Story I DON’T Know! workshops invited museum visitors to share stories while creating a portrait of one another. The workshop theme was inspired by the 100 Faces of War Experience and the process of meeting and speaking with each veteran the way Matt Mitchell did over the course of his 9 year project.
This is my moving collage. It is a mixture of a piece from the NVAM permanent collection and a piece of art work made by me. I designed this on a whim and a thought about how I can express my artistic life through colors. It shows the way that it was so simple and monochromatic to the time currently when I accepted other things and mixed it in together.
The idea behind my accordion book has a lot to do with how I think life works. Different aspects of life (in this case, my book has dots that are made up of a bunch of different colors) add up and come together to form a single idea, thought, or symbol that mean something. In my pamphlet, I drew flowers, hearts, patterns, etc., things I draw or think about on a day to day basis.
This is the cross regional photo and media art exhibit. In it were the following programs; NVAM OUT LOUD, Elevarte: Community Studio, Seeking the Hero Within: digital photography with Monica Cruz & Orlando Comacho, and digital photography graphic design with Peter Chechopoulos. We put this all together both separately and together. Each program made their pieces within their own program but when it came to the big day we all came together to make it happen.
In it were various pieces ranging from clay sculptures, woodblock photography, sketching, painting, digital artwork, videos, installations, and many more. We also had some art that we gave away…things like buttons or zines that were made to link with our final art pieces. We wanted other people to try comprehending and understanding our work the way that we see it. Therefore we all put together this art exhibit and made it open to the public so that they can see it our way. We feel the show was a great success because each piece told one of the artists stories, and were all appreciated by all of whom may have looked at our pieces because it brought them closer to understanding who we are.
Throughout the exciting times I’ve had at NVAM, I have to say that I was not prepared for this. When I first entered the Cultural Center where Destination Chicago was being held I immediately got lost in the artwork on the first floor, but then i realized that the show was actually being held on the second floor. So as I walked up the stairs I simply fell in love with the building’s architecture, entered through a long hall,was greeted by some nice people who directed me to my table, then I helped set up.
During the time that I was helping with our own table I never looked up once, but when I did I was so surprised… Never have I ever seen so many Art types in one place made by people and teens you interact with almost every day. I was so happy to be a part of that environment because I was filled in a room of people like me who shared my interest in art as well as their own opinions on what they believe art really is.
When the show officially started, things seemed to just keep getting better. First, there was the first wave of people coming in, and their excitement in our displays was so great. It was honestly a new feeling to me because these were children younger than me who respected art for what it is and not just a picture or random object.As the show continued more and more people came, but that wasn’t as exciting as one of the main visitors that came in and took a leisurely stroll around viewing our artwork. It was Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and he really did seem busy, but even so he took the time out of HIS day to look at OUR art which is one of the reasons that he gets respect from me, because showing your appreciation in art like he did just makes me so happy to be an artist as well as a respected human being. Hopefully more memories like this will be made…and if I’m lucky they will come very soon.
Well that’s how my experience at Destination Chicago went….(not to mention i got lost downtown looking for the building and i was directly across the street from it) even so good memories come in different shapes and form. This is just one of mine.
It’s been a quiet week here at NVAM. I came in Tuesday in a rush to get things done by 1pm only to realize that the program had ended and I wouldn’t be greeted by the usual sounds of rummaging through art materials, shaking of spray cans and all the smiles and laughter I looked forward to every afternoon. *sigh* The work space is still filled with all the residual art making bits and pieces– sketches and practice pieces, folders of notes and idea maps. I MISS OUR TEENS!!
The good news…… August 14 we will it will be #25memories part 2 as we showcase all the amazing art made by the teen apprentices at the Destination Chicago event at the Chicago Cultural Center from 11am-3pm!! (come by and visit us! We are showing tons of work and the blog right next to our partners YouMedia!)
AND!!! Teen council will start up in September! Woo hoo! Stay tuned for details! (and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you or someone you know is interested in signing up!)
These past four weeks at NVAM we have being working on drawing our memories and talking to veterans about their experiences in war. My favorite piece that I made in the past four week is The Green Land because I was free to us my hands or forks instead of traditional mediums.
Meeting Ned and Walter was a great experience. Ned was more cheery and cracked many jokes, while Walter spoke a little more serious, yet was still able to keep the conversation light. From Ned I learned that no matter what you go through, you are still able to think positively about the rest of your life. Walter taught me that it was OK to contradict everyone else, even if you are alone. I would like to hear from them again.
Served in U.S. Army, Vietnam
Alabaster and Bronze
“P.O.W”, or “Prisoner of War”, is a scuplture that shows how frightening and tough it was being a Prisoner of War was. It shows the troubles of P.O.W. from the tightness of the rope to the blindfold. Both restrained the man from his freedoms of being a human being and kept a captive. With the ropes around him, he is being restrained from being to move freely , in which takes his freedom of movement away. The blindfold takes the man’s sight, which takes the man away from the light of freedom and puts him in the dark. I can sense the emotions of pain, sorrow, and fear being protrayed by the sculpture. The pain is expressed by the ropes being so tight that it makes an indent into his ribcage and the blood trickling down his back and shoulders. The sorrow is from him being restrained from his senses and the pain he went through. The scuplture may seem as if he is not scared, but deep down he must be filled with fear of might happen because he is a prisoner. I can relate to this situation, having fear deep down and not trying to express and keep it in. “P.O.W.” was an amazing piece of Veteran’s Artwork.
June 27, 2014
This week we made exquisite corpse drawings, sculptures, and picture collages. We also experimented with abstract art to let out our emotions without thinking. I felt that the exquisite corpse drawing was my strong suit because even though, we only had five minutes to do our part of the figure, I could insert details and use my favorite medium: markers.
This week was also the first time I tried sculpting. I enjoyed it because I could make the separate parts and then put them together so they were proportional. I did not like the abstract paintings because I had no control and I could not add details.