Today marked the first official day of my summer gig with ArtWorks, the Cincinnati-based creative machine for regional transformation. The non-profit organization employs 14-21 year-olds to work as apprentices on various projects (lots of murals) in nearly all of the greater Cincinnati area neighborhoods. Luckily for me, they employ Teaching Artists, too. This summer, I'll be working under local artist Scott Donaldson with a team of 8 teens on the very first ArtWorks mural in Bellevue, Kentucky.
Pictured at left is Scott's 2008 mural in Camp Washington, which towers at 45 feet and is aptly titled Campy Washington. You can check out more of his incredible work (I love his portraits) and read all about him here.
Today was just the orientation, but I am already ridiculously excited, even though most days, we'll be facing brutal sun and thick, heavy heat as we work at the wall. I got to meet all of our apprentices, but I look forward to really getting to know them in the coming weeks. Collaborative art-making is such an exquisite (and unfortunately these days, rare) pleasure, which forges deep connections that can't be achieved through mere conversation. Art reaches into our depths and touches us at our most human level. I like to call it the Great Connector.
And really, anything that gets me out of my studio/hobbit-hole/head and interacting with people (what are those?!) is a good, good thing. Stay tuned, friends, as I chronicle the journey.