A project I completed over a few weeks to garner support for the Fresno for Parks Campaign (Vote Yes on Measure P.) Fresno city residents had the opportunity to approve a new sales tax to generate funding for parks and arts in Fresno. There is a lack of parks in Fresno and the parks that we do have are often unsafe or run down. The area where we live is a “park desert” with no parks in a reasonable walking distance.
I came up with the concept of giving a voice to the trees who stand along the edges of the parks and look at people as they drive by or walk into the park. The eyes were in your face, almost idiotic like most political advertising. I visited 14 parks in Fresno and hung eyes on almost 200 trees. I really enjoyed visiting the different parks and chatting with people in each one. While many people were in support of the measure and had their eyes on the parks, we did not get a 2/3 majority and the measure did not pass. The campaign created a lot of support and we are all hopeful some version of it will pass the next election cycle.
Kitchen Scraps I is a quilt of cardboard collected from our family’s recycling bin. Inspired by the quilts made by sewers in Gee’s Bend, measurements were not exact and I conserved as much of each cardboard scrap as I could. I discovered that the majority of the food we eat and products we consume are packaged in blue packaging which is why you’ll see colors alternating with stripes of blue. Each piece was trimmed, matched with a similar size and hand lashed to the next to form long chains. Although I am commenting on the crazy amount of stuff we consume in our lives, I hope you can see that I also love stuff. I love little plastic pieces and random patterns on paper and everything that’s colorful and wonderful. But I’m trying to work on that love and figure out how to eventually turn that into a love of things that can be consumed and disappear. I realize that there is no use for a cardboard quilt and that someday, it will probably end up in the recycling where it belongs :) My family doesn’t have a surplus of cotton fabric like the families long ago. We have packaging. So much packaging. Maybe someday we can do something productive with it.
Location: The Fresno Fair. It was important to me that the quilt was seen by other quilters so I entered it into the local fair.
I bought a package of NatureSweet SunBursts Tomatoes (click to see packaging) which is shaped like the sun! :) I saved that and starting collecting any circle packaging I could find to make more suns. All of the suns are made with plastic, cardboard, and paper + leftover yellow paint. I love to use whatever I can find in my stash to bring my idea to life. The day we moved, I hung it in the woods in Van Cortlandt Park in Riverdale, NY. Riverdale will always hold a special place in our hearts!
Early Spring Trees
Early spring windows for a toy store at Ridge Hill Mall in New York. Springtime in New York often is barren trees with bright green grass on the ground. I installed fake grass and brought in giant tree branches from my neighborhood which are suspended as trees. Small toys + colored hemp twine decorated the branches with worm toys on the ground. A month or so later, I made tissue paper leaves and giant butterflies to update the display.
Playground Rainbow Dash
For Alta's 5th birthday, she wanted to have a Rainbow Dash party. I transformed the cement horse at MacLaughlin Playground (aka the Horse Playground) into Rainbow Dash using washable sidewalk chalk paint and a rainbow wig. The kids helped add "cutie marks" with chalk. Such a hit!
Symbols of Peace
January 27, 2017 , the day that Trump announced the travel ban. My heart was bursting with sadness and sympathy for those hurt by this executive order. That night, I cut and painted doves to hang out on the fence on our street. A symbol of peace in the midst of something so sad. The doves were all ripped off by college kids (darn college kids!) but we recreated the project again at my daughter’s preschool. The kids helped paint the doves and we talked about the importance of equality and love in our country.
My oldest daughter pointed out these holes in the stone wall in our neighborhood. We had some plastic fairies that we painted and placed in the holes to see what would happen to them. Whenever we passed, we talked about whether they had made friends with the spiders and birds. By the time we moved from New York, all but one was gone.
Snowflakes at the Irish Cafe An Beal Bocht by our apartment in Riverdale, NY. They were based on the arrow snowflakes you can see sketched below. I painted them with white watercolors on their windows for the holidays!
Upcycled Flower Wall
My kids love the applesauce squeeze pouches and I fell in love with the little plastic lids, especially the GoGo Squeez leaf lids. I started to hold on to them and asked my daughters' preschool to help collect them. I collected and built as many flowers as I could and hung them at Yo Burger in Riverdale, NY. The installation coincided with Earth Month (April) and served as a reminder that plastics should be recycled and reused.
Birthday window for Dave, made from leftover neon cardstock. At the time, we lived on the 22nd floor in the Bronx and I still wonder - did anyone from down below look up and see it? I hope so! Later, the triangles became a dress.
A series of prints I created in 2015 using leftover paints and stamps. I submitted a few original pieces for an art auction to raise money for a Bronx arts program.
I designed a series of notebooks inspired by the values the LDS YW program. (I grew up with the values and always loved the colors and what they stood for!) I worked on the notebooks for almost a year and ran a Kickstarter to fund their production. One of my favorite projects full of many challenges and learning experiences :)
Stuffed Animals in Love
A Valentine's Window display featuring Apple Park stuffed animals. The animals were suspended with fishing line plus watercolor paint on the windows.
I made this rainbow web from a bag of jersey scraps purchased years ago at the DI in Utah. The web is hand tied and mostly, symmetrical :) Old buildings bring color and life to communities and I was looking to add a reminder with this web. Superette was run by Bill Crocker and his wife Shirley for years and they were a staple in this community. Here is a photo of him in front of the store.