Author Archives: Stephen Zacks

FPAP Art Education Program at STEAM Camp

Flint Public Art Project’s Art Education Program joins three organizations in Flint Community Schools’ STEAM Camp, July 24-28

STEAM Camp, sponsored by Crim Fitness Foundation, C.S. Mott Foundation, and United Way Genesee County, launches this week at Potter Elementary as a week-long camp at which 130 students from all nine elementary schools and one upper school work in grade-level groups with four non-profit partners: The Children’s Museum, Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint River Watershed Coalition, and Flint Public Art Project.

STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math) Camp is designed to follow the engineering cycle: problem, discovery, research design, data collection, and analysis. FPAP is responsible for providing an afternoon art curriculum to support the morning lessons given by the other three partners. Jessie Wilkie, a 2017 FPAP visiting artist, and Sandra Branch, FPAP board member and long-term supporter, will be two of the instructors for this venture. The week culminates in a presentation of the art work produced in response to the lessons provided by the other partners.

Art is only formally taught in just one of the nine elementary schools in the city, and in the other eight, teachers struggle to get through the Common Core literacy and math components, leaving little time for science or social studies, and no time for art. Most of us realize that art is a crucial in the development of critical thinking, but it is also integral in the development of self-esteem.

Since launching the experimental Museum of Public Schools project in 2013 with teachers at Mott Middle College, FPAP’s returned for the first time this past winter to providing art instruction in an after-school setting in partnership with Flint Community Schools and Crim Fitness Foundation. FPAP’s Art Education Program rolled-out as an after-school program during the second semester at Pierce Elementary and Doyle Ryder Elementary.

Based on the success of these programs, we ventured into a medium-specific curriculum at Doyle Ryder during the summer session. This program, entitled Looking, Printing, Sharing, focused on print making. The instructor, Symantha Foremen (B.F.A. U-M Flint) instructed 20 students, twice a week, for a five-week session, resulting in a beautiful body of student work, and culminating in an art opening at the school where parents could see the work produced and students could practice the social art of hosting a “gallery” opening.

“The success of STEAM Camp will allow FPAP to position itself for future programming within the Flint Public Schools,” says FPAP Executive Director Joe Schipani. “This is an exciting opportunity for students that will enhance FPAP’s sustainability and capacity building.”

Image:
Student work, Doyle Ryder Elementary. Seeing, Printing, Sharing (2017)
Gel printing, Foam Plate Printing, paper. Grades 2-5

Tomie Seo

Flint Public Art Project welcomes sculptor and media artist Tomie Seo to Stone Street Coop & Residency for two months in January and February 2017 to develop a project incorporating mythological symbolism, painting, electronics, kinetics, and photography as a form of social and political commentary and philosophical reflection. A graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Hokkaido College of Art and Design, Sapporo, Japan, Tomie Seo has participated in residencies at the DRAW International Residency Program in Caylus, France, the Wassaic Project, NY, Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL, and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. To view more of her work, visit her portfolio at tomieseo.net.

Featured image: Tomie Seo, Two Thousand Eleven, 2012

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Tomie Seo, The Shepherd’s House, 2014

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Tomie Seo, Ubiquitous Controller Press, 2014

Stone Street Coop & Residency receives support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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Amy Beth Katz’s Flint Dream-Work at Stone Street

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Visiting Stone Street Resident Artist Amy Beth Katz is a doctoral student in Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Depth Psychology program, specializing in Community/Liberation/Eco-psychology. As part of her Summer Fieldwork Project and in conjunction with the Global Dream Initiative, Katz is spending three weeks in Flint tending the dreams of residents and the artists who are helping to transform the city and its collective psyche.

Katz treats Flint as a powerful reflection of the wider world, and its dreams and visions as the doorway through which the seeds of the future are carried forth. Katz will explore the dream mythologies of the Ogibwe people who inhabited the banks of the Flint River. By sharing dreams and animating the presences that visit in both sleeping and waking visions, she argues, artists are able to expand their awareness, break free of creative blocks, access their full potential, and “host the muses.”

“Nowhere is it more necessary to have deep support like this than in places where the landscape and the people have been traumatized on a mass scale by disasters, such as the Flint Water Crisis,” Katz says. “What has the Flint River–and the Sacred River that runs through us–been trying to communicate?”

Free City 2017: Ecology & Technology

In August 2017, the fifth annual Free City festival will address themes of ecology and technology, inviting collaborations between artists, designers, scientists, ecologists, and engineers that explore environmental remediation, interactive installations, citizen science, organizing tools, wearable technology, DIY robotics, and other emerging fields at the intersection of art, ecology, and technology. Free City 2017 will be the last year of the event at the Chevy Commons prior to its final phase of landscaping, which will transform this former manufacturing site into a shared public space for the entire city. Flint Public Art Project is proud to have supported the City of Flint‘s efforts to reimagine this EPA brownfield for the use of residents.

Fazed Grunion
FIG Projects, 10 Instructions to Visit Flint
Peter Pawlicki, Beacon
Peter Fend, Great Lakes Rendering
Ben Gaydos, wind/ stone/ water
Sandra Branch, Gallery on the Go
AKOAKI & Detroit Afrikan Music Institution, The Mothership
Paolo Pedini, mural
Peter Halquist, Poke
Desiree Duell, A Body of Water
Jason Ferguson, Domestic Carnival: Flint
Oreen Cohen, Exploded Parts: GM Ignition Switch
Marisa Jahn, Bruce Lee Dispatches
Little Bang Theory, Laugh, Clown, Laugh
Hubert Dobler, 64TEETH Photo: Hubert Dobler

Free City is a large-scale public art festival that temporarily reclaims the former Flint-Chevy manufacturing site along the Flint River for public use. The festival features dozens of music, dance, and theater performances, and art installations – all free and open to the public – to reconnect residents to the Chevy Commons site and its future potential. A critical mass of temporary activities turns the abandoned industrial property into an active public space, highlighting the ongoing transformation of Flint.

Since the first festival, the Chevy Commons site has attracted nearly $3 million in grants to support its transformation into a year‐round public space. The festival has been covered by AbitareArchitect’s NewspaperArt in Odd Places, East Village Magazine, the Flint Journal, Next City, and WDET’s Craig Fahle Show. The event has attracted thousands of visitors from the region to activate the sprawling city-owned landscape at the curve of the Flint River.

Dates: Aug. 18-19, 2017

To send proposals for projects, email us by Mar. 1 2017 at info@flintpublicartproject.com with 100-word descriptions, sample images, and budgets including artist’s fee, labor, and materials of no more than $1,000.

Free City is produced by Flint Public Art Project and Amplifier Inc. with support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Greater Flint Arts Council’s Parade of Festivals.

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Warhol Foundation Supports Flint Public Art Project

Flint Public Art Project is gratified to announce support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in 2016-2018. The Warhol Foundation awarded a two-year grant for three programs: the Stone Street Coop & Residency, which hosts local and visiting artists for socially-engaged projects in Flint; the Free City festival, which activates portions of the former Chevy manufacturing site on the Flint River with temporary installations and performances; and events and exhibitions at the Spencer’s Center for Art and Architecture.

The Warhol Foundation grant represents a new threshold for Flint Public Art Project: it is the third time the organization has applied for funding, and the first time it has received support. Now in its fifth year, Flint Public Art Project began as an experimental program to activate vacant spaces, connect local artists and innovative contemporary practices, amplify the local culture, and transform the image and identity of the city of Flint. Flint Public Art Project has received support from ArtPlace, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ruth Mott Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and hundreds of individual donors and volunteers.

The Warhol Foundation’s objective is to “foster innovative artistic expression and the creative process by encouraging and supporting cultural organizations that in turn, directly or indirectly, support artists and their work,” according to its mission. “The Foundation is focused primarily on supporting work of a challenging and often experimental nature…The Foundation is committed to the precept that the arts are essential to an open, enlightened democracy. It therefore seeks to advance an inclusive cultural dialogue by providing resources to organizations that support artists reflecting a diverse society and by affirming that freedom of artistic expression is fundamental to such a society and must be vigorously protected.”

“We are thrilled by the announcement of support from the Warhol Foundation,” says Joseph Schipani, Interim Managing Director of Flint Public Art Project. “With its support, Flint Public Art Project will continue to offer space for local and visiting artists to pursue imaginative, innovative, and challenging ideas in Flint, carrying on Warhol’s legacy of advancement of the visual arts.”

 

 

Free City 2016: Motion & Play Call for Proposals

The 2016 Free City festival takes motion and play as its theme, inviting installations, sculptures, projections, and performances employing movement of objects and people through unexpected, unexplainable, and uncanny means. In its investigation of the phenomenology of motion, Free City 2016 invites artists and participants to ask: How do we move? For what purpose?

When: August 19 – 20, 2016, 6 – 10 pm

Where: Chevy Commons, entrance at Stevenson between Kearsley and University Ave.

Send 100-word proposals with images by May 20 to info@flintpublicartproject.com

Free City 2016 Crowdfunding Campaign

Flint Public Art Project (FPAP) invites you to help make the Free City festival possible by making a donation today.

The 2016 Free City festival takes motion and play as its theme, inviting installations, sculptures, projections, and performances employing movement of objects and people through unexpected, unexplainable, and uncanny means. In its investigation of the phenomenology of motion, Free City 2016 invites artists and participants to ask: How do we move? For what purpose?

When: August 19 – 20, 2016, 6 – 10 pm

Where: Chevy Commons, entrance at Stevenson between Kearsley and University Ave.

Our goal of $10,000 will support fees, expenses, and materials for emerging artists, providing them a platform to explore their work and give audiences in Flint unexpected experiences.

New Role for Founding Director

Stephen Zacks, founder of Flint Public Art Project, will shift his role from Executive Director to the new position of Creative Director beginning April 1, 2016.

Since sharing an initial proposal for the project in August 2010, Zacks began testing ideas for instigating art and design in the ruins of large-scale buildings, long-abandoned houses, and on green parcels left behind by rampant demolition. By 2011, the proposal evolved into Flint Public Art Project, with a mission to activate underutilized sites, connect people and places, amplify the local culture, and help transform the image and identity of Flint. Compelled by forces of change in the built environment, in 2013 Zacks and colleagues established the nonprofit Amplifier Inc., expanding from the FPAP model to connect other under-served groups and cities to the global art and design field. It’s the kind of art intended to look ahead, bring artistic energy to widely misunderstood places, and amplify the potential of art and design to influence patterns of redevelopment in cities rebounding from decades of economic upheaval.

With support from the Ruth Mott Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and ArtPlace, FPAP has demonstrated its social vision for change through programs like the Neighborhood Art Parade, engaging artists and residents in collaborations to bring art and design installations to under-served locations identified by stakeholders. The Free City festival, Stone Street Artists-in-Residence program, Neighborhood Art Parades, and future Spencer’s Center for Art and Architecture all attract local, national, and international artists to FPAP’s socially engaged programs.

Zacks’ new role as Creative Director has been planned and coordinated by the expanded Board of Directors of Amplifier Inc., which in December added nine local and southeast Michigan artists and community leaders. Begun as an advisory group to steer the executive transition, the expanded board includes artist and cultural strategistAshlee Arder, Ballenger Square Neighborhood Association leader Marijoyce Campbell, University of Michigan–Flint design professor Ben Gaydos, Capital Theater restoration manager Dave Johnson, Metawanenee Hills Neighborhood Association co-chair Wendy Johnson, University of Michigan architecture professor Catie Newell, photographer and graphic designer Jay Rowland, artist and designer Ariel Sammone, and theater designer Joseph Schipani. The expanded board has appointed long-time FPAP colleague and supporter Joseph Schipani as Interim Managing Director.

With support from the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, MacDowell Colony, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and New York State Council on the Arts, Zacks is completing his forthcoming book, A Beautiful Ruin: The Generation that Transformed New York, 1967-1987.

For more information contact:
Joseph Schipani: 810-820-0275
info@flintpublicartproject.com

 

Above: Inside the Genesee Towers, June 2011, Desiree Duell
Below: Artist Meeting on Oak Street, May 2011, Joel Rash

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Neighborhood Art Parade Video

Flint Public Art Project presents a series of Neighborhood Art Parades in Flint, Michigan for six months during the spring and summer that bring residents together to reclaim the streets, activate vacant buildings, connect people and places, amplify the local community, and help transform the image of the city. Video by Eric Hinds.