Anywho, #10

Dearest g.g.-

Hi! In 2015 I was accepted to create a design for Tacoma's Traffic Box Wrap Program. In August 2016, two of the 44 boxes chosen for wraps were covered with my design. Here is the one on McCarver & Ruston:

Tacoma News Tribune Arts Reporter, Rosemary Ponnekanti, wrote this article and created this video about this Tacoma project...and I'm in the video!

http://www.thenewstribune.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article94435687.html

Much love,

mindy jo

 

Anywho, #7

Dearest g.g.-

Wow, how fast a year swings by. Hope 2016 was good to you! It was full of personal development and challenge, but also great love and understanding.

As a recap, January of last year I got on a plane and landed in Nome, Alaska to teach reading to 7th and 8th graders at Nome-Beltz Jr/Sr High School. Super steep learning curve for me, but, heck, I thought, I can hack being on the hot seat for 5 months, right? Right! I did it! It WAS hot, but as with all things uncomfortable, I learned a ton.  About myself.  About Alaska and native culture (was especially blown away by some of my student's dancing). About teaching. About 13 thru 15 year old humans. About public speaking. About how much teachers dedicate their whole lives to teaching, not just the hours they are in the school building but also through their weekends, evenings and vacations.

One such teacher is Teriscovkya Smith, aka 'Smitty', writing teach extraordinaire. I've known her since high school, I consider my sister, and is the one who got me out to Nome. She told me about Nome Beltz's heavy need for a substitute teacher to step in for a teacher going on maternity leave. She housed me, drove me around, advised me, supported me, introduced me to The Walking Dead and backed me every day. What am I trying to say? Pretty much, if she hadn't been around, I would have not climbed that curve and would probably have been burned by the heat.  Thank you, T!  

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Here she is in all her cuteness and me, well, forgive me, I was COLD! That's supposed to happen when you snowmobile for hours, right?

What was my favorite part with my students? The last two weeks of school and the art each student created for an assignment Teriscovkya designed for both her classes and mine during that time. My room was full of art supplies, left from past art classes, so I let my students experiment and come up with art pieces that illustrated what they wanted for their futures, along with writing from 'Smitty's' class about music.

Here are some of the results:

 A street in Nome:

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The 2016 Iditorod, which finishes in Nome:

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And a little photo series I call "Reclining Nome Nude" which I did with fellow teacher, I mean, model, Susanne Thomas.

This one is "Reclining Nome Nude On Pallet"

"Reclining Nome Nude On Ice"

"Reclining Nome Nude On Log"

Thank you, Nome!!!!!

Anywho, #3

Dearest g.g.-

It's Friday the 13th and it is a very drizzly day here in Tacoma. Water is streaming down all of the windows, it's quite dark out even though it is the middle of the day and the wind is whipping through the streets. After the super hot summer we had in the Northwest, I had almost forgotten what our standard weather really looks like. So thankful I have somewhere to keep dry and warm. My thoughts always go to those without such shelter.

So today I am indoors working on designs, but Wednesday I was out helping a fellow artist, Diana Leigh Surma, with a public works mural she designed on Martin Luther King Way. I jumped at the idea because I love to paint and if I go for a spell when I'm not wielding a paint brush I get antsy.

Painting by number was a perfect remedy!

Diana, as with many of her projects, asks the community to come out and participate by helping her paint. She called this event: Color By Numbers Painting Party. A fantastic idea--and so well planned out! Her whole design was numbered and color coded so volunteers could easily figure out where to paint.

Here are the containers of colors, numbered:

And her design, drawn out into the wall and numbered. A detail photo:

It was a fun time. Met a gaggle of nice volunteers and had many enticing conversations from people walking by. I love the Hilltop of Tacoma!

Some of the other fellow friendly volunteers:

I did take pity on these brushes, though, since I could hear them crying. No, really! Ok, not really but..kind of? I still own, use and take care of the same brushes I've had for 22 years of business, so I could see these little beauties needed a bit of loving.  But before I added water to their mix and submerge them to soak, I admired their colorful random arrangement:

That's all for today--hope you are staying warm and dry wherever you are!

Much love,

mindy jo

Scenic Painting

Director, KL Cullom, asked me to paint a backdrop for her next play called The Drunken City at Theatre Vertigo (http://www.theatrevertigo.org/) in Portland, OR.  The play takes place on a city street, with lots of tagging, graffiti, grime and layers of posters. Here is the result:

Can't wait to see this play! It will be running October 23-November 21.

 

New photos of the NEW Roosevelt house's mural

The house is finished!

This is the house that replaced the little house; a house I lived in and used as an art installation (see section 'public works' then 'Roosevelt House Mural Project' for the full story). Designed and built by BUILD LLC:    http://www.buildllc.com/

Front view of new house. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Front view of new house. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Kevin and Erika Eckert, owners and co-owners of BUILD LLC, found a wallpaper design they loved but discovered that it wasn't appropriate for the areas that needed covering: from the roof top on the third floor through to the basement.

So, they asked me to contribute to their new home for several reasons: in honor of the previous house and the art installation I had competed inside and also to custom hand paint this tree image onto the lengthy core wall so as to connect all of the three levels.  Of course, I was delighted to participate!

Kitchen and stairway before I started painting.

Kitchen and stairway before I started painting.

Living room view before I started painting.

Living room view before I started painting.

First, I painted a layer of 'shadow tree' images then another layer of more distinct tree images over the top, finished with several layers of flat sheen, water-based varnish as a protective coat.

Photos of the final look:

Entry on the second floor. The image continues below these stairs to the basement and above through the kitchen to the top of the rooftop staircase. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Entry on the second floor. The image continues below these stairs to the basement and above through the kitchen to the top of the rooftop staircase. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Up to the rooftop. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Up to the rooftop. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Image continues into living room. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Image continues into living room. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Artist statement: collaborative mural on 11th and Market, Tacoma, WA

Humans, Join Us!™

By Mindy Barker and Kristin Giordano

Hey you! Yes, you, "driving" by in your car, texting. Notice the air quotes around "driving?" Don’t you know the dangers of texting while driving? I think Werner Herzog just did a documentary about it. You don’t know Werner Herzog? You should really look him up on Netflix™. The Criterion Collection® put out an entire box set of his films. You will not believe the scene with the tiny monkeys in Aguirre, Wrath of God.™

Sorry, I lost my train of thought for a sec. I was talking about danger, texting, and driving. Because there are alternatives. Have you ever considered the pleasures of bipedal locomotion? We have! The best way to begin walking is to find yourself an excellent pair of shoes. They should be comfortable, but please--try to be a bit stylish. You’re in public now. It is not okay to wear your pajamas to the store, and slippers are not shoes. You know who you are.

But seriously, have you ever seen a cuter bunch of baby chickens? One of them is wearing a helmet. By this time, you have probably gotten distracted and clicked on the YouTube™ cat video your cousin put on Facebook™. You really need to stop messing with your phone while you drive. You're becoming a menace. And you really shouldn’t hold a No-whip Mocha Frappuccino® and an iPhone™ while operating a motor vehicle, especially a stick shift. That's probably why the baby chicken has to wear a helmet all the time.

I see that you are now scrolling through the photo gallery on Flickr™ of cute animals in mugs. I mean, a baby hedgehog IN A MUG! That is literally the cutest thing ever. OMG, totes adorbs! Wait, no way, there’s one with two baby bunnies IN THE SAME MUG! WATCH FOR THE PEDESTRIAN!!!!! Jeez, you really need to focus.

If you take a break from looking at the hilarious thing George “Sulu” Takai just posted to Twitter™, you might notice that there is a large lemur on a skateboard on the side of a building downtown. That is horrendous! Oops, I meant to type “hilarious.” Stupid auto-correct! You know, you really shouldn’t try to post it to Instagram™ while you’re driving. But, oh, wait, never mind, you just did. No worries! But you should really pull over if you want to get the one of the meerkats in sneakers. It could totally go viral. For, like, 2 seconds.

 

 

 

Mural: 11th and Market

Last June, Tacoma put out a call for artists to submit proposals for the Artscapes Program:

Spaceworks Tacoma and Downtown On The Go (DOTG) are teaming up to facilitate new Artscapes for the building walls at 11th and Market in downtown Tacoma.

We are seeking artist(s), artist teams and/or community groups to transform the current “Chalk Walls” into temporary 2-dimensional, site-specific installations (Artscapes) with a theme of transportation. Artists are asked to submit proposals that will create a space that adds to the livability of downtown and positively reflects living, moving, or being downtown Tacoma.

Here's a photo of the "Chalk Walls" project. The wood panels are the surface to be painted for this call:

Kristin Giordano and I decide to tackle this challenge. Here is our initial proposed idea: 

We are accepted!!! 

The city also accepts Jeremy Gregory's design and decides to have us share the building, giving one side to Kristin and I and the other to Jeremy. We are tickled! 

Jeremy graciously takes the hilly side of the building. Thank you! 

Here's our new revised design for the Market St. side of the building:

At this point of the design process, the design didn't have the "ground" indicated but on the actual final mural it will be added. 

After our specified basecoat color was painted, this is what the site looked like before we began:

Time to measure. And measure. The polar bear and the "Humans, Join Us!" became the center to measure from:

After hours of working with FedEx on 19th (thank you manager Vicky and the super fantastic Jeremiah...thanks for not shouting, "No more! We never EVER want to see you both again!". Kristin even brought them donuts as a peace offering but both Vicky and Jeremiah were not working. Nice thought, though, Kristin!) to produce our images and hours of gluing these images together, here is where the application of our design began:

First to be painted, "Humans, Join Us!" second, the polar bear is adhered.

Next the meerkats...

A high (Hi!) fashion/Tacoma action shot of Kristin!!!!

The team. An attentive passerby noticed I was standing in the middle of the street with my camera and tripod, running back to Kristin to get a photo of us together once they were set. She kindly offered to take over. Phew! She only got one honk of warning from one impatient car driver. 

The cats are added.

photo: Lisa Kinoshita

Painting in the "ground".

photo: Lisa Kinoshita

The "ground" is now in place.

More to come...