About this project
Collaborating with students at Cuerton Elementary in San Jose I wish to conduct a workshop series exploring community and identity through photography and digital pattern design. The synthesis of the project will be dramatic street banners hanging along Alum Rock Avenue reflecting student ideas on community. The project website will share the various steps of the project so that it can be replicated in other towns. http://youareherefabrics.weebly.com/engage.html
There are banner posts on the light poles in this part of San Jose but currently only two banners are displayed: salsa festival and holiday banners. I am hoping that with a process in place and a round of student created banners installed, a new tradition will emerge in which the street banners become a public canvas for the exploration of collaborative art projects extending to other groups and schools.
I believe that in order to appreciate our wider world and to have empathy for others across the globe, we must first have an anchored sense of self in our surroundings. Art is a powerful way to have students think about identity, visual vocabularies and the relationship between ourselves and the broader communities we are a part of. I want to share my growing knowledge of pattern design and digital freeware tools as a way to engage in this conversation with students. The resulting street banners will carry that conversation out into the community in a powerful way.
I am a working artist who loves to collaborate with children and believe passionately in the value of our unique imaginations. I am drawn to sharing my art in Alum Rock, an area on the edge of Silicon Valley, as it echoes a recent agricultural past just as my Hawaii Japanese plantation roots do. I believe that it is important to engage these students into using art technology tools as a way to expanding their computer literacy, for they have little exposure to the cyenergy of art and technology which drives Silicon Valley.
The money I raise here through Kickstarter will go directly towards digitally printing and installing the street banners, workshop development, purchasing single use cameras for students, ordering of CD’s and prints, fabric and fabric transfer paper to print studies. Any additional funds will go towards an artist reception for all participating students, T-shirts with student designs printed on them, extension workshops and talks. It would be wonderful to be able to purchase some of the digital fabrics for the students to keep themselves and display at their school.
This pledge campaign will end at the end of March 2011. I’m envisioning roughly two months of prep. The bulk of the project will begin in May and end in mid June with student collaborative banner presentations to the Alum Rock Village Business Association and to San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs. Banners will be printed and installed in July. The accompanying Blurb book will be completed in September as I will want to include photos of the installed banners in the book.
Thank you so much for reading this far and please keep in touch!
I'll be posting updates and photos frequently on the project website: http://youareherefabrics.weebly.com/engage.html
Please visit my artist site to get a feel for my past work and projects: http://www.okadadesign.com/
and here a site documenting the dipping of my toes into public participatory digital textile project last year: http://techfusionfabrics.weebly.com//
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