Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Community Works Insitute, West @ Otis College

Last week I had the opportunity to be a part of the Community Works Institute, Service Learning West Coast workshop. This was an intensive 40 hours of presentations, dialogue, reading, discovering, and interaction with people from all over the world! Here are a few snippets from the week.

First day, getting to know each other a bit. Together we created a quilt with our squares.

Paula from LAUSD gave a great talk about gardening and making it happen and connecting each other. The next day we went to the LA 'River', where I learned so much about the past, present and future of this land. Just crazy! We had the great fortune to get to see this side and then to venture to a part of the river that has flourished!

Below is an image from our first presentation, Christina Sanchez with The Conina Abierta Collective check out some of the great work they are doing {here}.

What can I say about this... SPARC! Which is the Social and Public Art Resource Center!
"The seed of SPARC’s vision is the Mexican social mural movement, especially as expressed by David Alfaro Siqueiros: “We repudiate so-called easel art and all such art which springs from ultra-intellectual circles, for it is essentially aristocratic. We hail the monumental expression of art because such art is public property.” What follows below is an abridged form of an article by SPARC’s Artistic Director and Founder, Professor Judith F. Baca, written in 2001, entitled Birth of a Movement. In the article she describes how the ideals of the Mexican social mural movement inspired Los Angeles muralists in the 1970’s and how her work painting murals with at-risk youth formed the basis of the first city-wide mural program and eventually led to the creation of SPARC." -SPARC website {here}

What was real exciting for me was just being there. As an undergraduate of CSU, Monterey Bay's Visual and Public Art program, it was like coming home. This is so exciting to be here, in LA, and an MFA Public Practice Grad student at Otis College.

It was an amazing week and one of the ideas that stood out to me, is that service learning is a way of life. I want to make the world a better place utilizing art. I want to connect communities and people together, no matter how small or large. Thank you so much CWI and Otis. This is an exciting time to be, right here.

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