Sunday, May 19, 2013

Art in the Park Installation along Brook Street, Wellesley

It was a beautiful sunny day for the first Art in the Park event in Simons Park on Saturday, May 18. The event culminated in an inspiring art installation that will remain along Brook Street for the week. The individual frames resemble paintings, drawings and sculptures. Together they form a large mural of our community's collective creativity.





Many thanks to those who came out to make art in Simons Park on Saturday, May 18th. We want to thank the following people and organizations for their support and encouragement: our Local Cultural Council, our Natural Resources Commission and other Town officials, our Municipal Light Plant, Roy Switzler and the Celebrations Committee, Friends of Recycling, James Hannon, School of Fashion Design, Boston , Green’s Hardware and Harvey’s Hardware. It could not have happened without the guys who built the structure that supports the installation, the enthusiastic student volunteers and interns from our schools and colleges, and the artistic vision and dedication of Wellesley Women Artisans, in particular Crystalle Lacouture who designed an amazing promotional flyer and banner for the event. While every frame is truly special, thank you to those who made commemorative weavings including the American flag, South Korean flag, a big red W for Wellesley, the Municipal Light Plant logo, Boston Strong, and Wellesley Free Library’s Tenth Anniversary. Wellesley Women Artisans and Wellesley Community Art Project sponsored Art in the Park in collaboration with many. We welcome community feedback.

Co-Chairs Abby Glassenberg and Laura Fragasso

The published version of the promotional flyer included the following credit to the Massachusetts Cultural Council however we did not have jpg version to upload to this blog. 
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Wellesley Local Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. 


Monday, May 13, 2013

Art in the Park (in Simons Park on May 18th)

Wellesy Women Artisans and Wellesley Community Art Project are hosting an event for the entire town of Wellesley on Saturday, May 18.

The event will take place at Simons Park, next to the main branch of the library, from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm and is free and open to all ages. We will be upcycling reclaimed picture frames (rescued from the Wellesley's Recycle and Disposal Facility) strung as mini-looms along with materials for everyone to weave (including fabric strips and ribbons). As the day progresses, we'll be hooking the frames together and suspending them between trees on site to create a giant installation piece. This event promises to be a wonderful way for people in town to bond and create something beautiful together, no art experience necessary! 

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Wellesley Local Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Creative Haiti at 45 Church Street, Wellesley Square

An enterprising group of students at Wellesley High School, Massachusetts has partnered with Cite Soleil Opportunity Council to help grief-stricken Haiti. Under the leadership of Wellesley High School teacher Mrs. Jane Lord, the class has been selling these amazing original works of art to support both the Haitian artists and Haiti Clinic. Cite Soleil Opportunity Council (CSOC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by Wellesley resident Dr. Larry Kaplan in September, 2010 as an outgrowth of his volunteer medical services in Cite Soleil after the earthquake. (See more about CSOC below).

The class has helped to build to reach a wider audience. All proceeds from the sales go to 501(c)(3) public charities such as Haiti Clinic working within the Cite Soleil Community.  With minimal overhead and administrative costs, CSOC pays the artists more than other American groups, and distributes over 95% of all sales profits to 501(c)(3) public charities such as Haiti Clinic and supports revitalization of the community with Haitian-generated projects including micro-finance loans, trade school grants, public work activities and civic empowerment groups.

About the Art
This unique art form was born in Haiti in the early 1950’s by a blacksmith, Georges Liautaud, who designed simple metal crosses for the graves in Croix-des-Bouquets cemetery near Port au Prince.  The art is made from scrap tin or recycled 55-gallon oil drums transported to the metal artists’ workshop by push cart or on top of taxis.  After the metal is set on fire to burn off any paint or residue, it cools and the flattening process begins. The drums are pounded into a flattened “metal canvas” of approximately 3’ x 6’ and the designs are drawn onto the metal sheet with chalk.  Using hammer, chisel and other simple tools, the artists then cut and pound various shapes and decorative patterns into the metal.  The art is either left in its natural form or painted.  The finished designs are signed by the artist and coated with a protective finish.

About Cite Soleil Opportunity Council
While working at Haiti Clinic, Wellesley resident Dr. Larry Kaplan identified a number of Haitian artists creating traditional, handcrafted tin art without benefit of a market for their remarkable artwork. Consequently, Dr. Kaplan realized that sales of the art could in turn produce income for the artists, giving them a sense of pride and purpose, and fund healthcare and other services desperately needed in the Cite Soleil community. Returning to the United States, Dr. Kaplan formed a joint venture with Wellesley (MA) High School’s Global Marketing Class to acquire and sell the tin art for the benefit of Cite Soleil residents.

February 2013: CSOC sent an additional ten Haitian men and women from Tecina to driving school, a ten-week course of study that leads to licensure and allows graduates to drive taxis and taptaps in Port -au-Prince. Typically, the driver will rent a taptap from the owner and drive the vehicle for 10-14 hours/day with the potential of earning $15-25. The students will repay the school tuition with their earnings. Since starting in 2011, CSOC has sent 45 Tecina residents to trade school and five children to elementary school, and funded five micro-loans for local business development.