Loisaida Inc. presents

The Cultural Memory Project 3

My ​Creativity ​and ​I

by: Blanka Amezkua



Project Description:

We ​are ​all ​born ​with ​an ​innate ​desire ​to ​express ​ourselves ​and ​art ​encompasses a ​wider ​range ​of ​activities ​than ​you ​may ​have ​ever ​imagined. Some ​say ​that ​creating ​relieves ​stress ​that ​it ​encourages ​creative ​thinking, ​it boosts ​self-esteem ​and ​provides ​a ​sense ​of ​accomplishment, ​it ​also ​increases brain ​connectivity ​and ​plasticity, ​and ​finally ​it ​is ​said ​that ​art ​increases ​empathy, tolerance ​and ​feelings ​of ​love.

My ​Creativity ​and ​I ​are ​a ​series ​of ​arts ​and ​crafts ​workshops ​made ​to ​invite our ​participants ​to ​work ​within ​a ​variety ​of ​materials ​and ​techniques ​in ​order ​to find ​a ​particular ​way ​of ​expressing ​and ​sharing ​their ​deepest ​yearnings. ​The workshops ​will ​increase ​awareness ​of ​themselves ​and ​their ​untapped ​creative capacities. ​They ​will ​take ​that ​which ​was ​created ​and ​reconfigure ​it, ​sew, embroider, ​through ​the ​use ​of ​humble ​materials ​such ​as ​pipe ​cleaners, construction ​paper, ​styrofoam ​plates, ​and ​felt. ​They ​will ​shape ​forms ​that ​were never ​imagined ​in ​hopes ​of ​attaining ​a ​better ​understanding ​of ​themselves, ​their community ​and ​the ​world ​around ​them.

These ​workshops ​can ​be ​imparted ​in ​different ​order. ​Many ​more ​workshops ​can be ​added ​as ​well.*

*This project and its curriculum and activities have been conceptualized in a way as to allow for modification and input from the particular senior center and community that choses the Loisaida Cultural Memory Project as their Art Therapy or SU-CASA program.


WORK PLAN & SCHEDULE (Subject to Modification)

The Project curriculum will be presented by the artists to the seniors over 15 approximately two hour contact sessions.


Schedule (Sessions 1-6):

1st & 2nd Session: Flowers; ​deconstruction ​of ​silk ​flowers ​in ​the ​creation ​of ​our ​own. ​Initial conversations ​about ​ourselves ​through ​the deconstruction ​and ​making ​of new ​silk ​flowers.

3rd & 4th Session: My ​heart; ​how ​is ​our ​heart ​these ​days? ​How ​are ​we ​all ​feeling? ​Through the ​use ​of ​construction ​paper ​and ​glue ​participants ​will ​create ​their ​heart; a ​paper ​collage ​will ​be ​created. ​And ​conversation ​will ​take ​place ​dealing with ​how ​they relate to their ​hearts being.

3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th Session: Painting ​The ​Flower ​that ​I ​am; ​Participants ​will ​select ​a ​metallic ​flower; they ​will ​draw ​it ​and ​then ​paint ​it. ​They ​will ​be ​introduced ​to ​the ​basics ​of acrylic ​painting. ​Discussions ​about ​the ​significance ​of ​flowers ​in ​our ​lives and ​how ​they ​alter ​the ​way ​we ​feel ​when ​we ​are ​presented ​by ​these ideas.

Objective:

  • Coach and exercise basic skills for expression
  • Adopt different art mediums as a canal to express memories
  • Develop the Character into a Mask
  • Bring alive a significant memory through earth arts

Benefits:

  • Introspective and comprehension process through arts
  • Self-exploration
  • Exercise imagination and creativity
  • Basic development of motor skills
  • Learning simple and efficient manual techniques
  • Healing emotions and feelings
  • Reducing pain, anxiety and tension
  • Improve mental, emotional and physical states

Outcome:

  • Creation and development of artwork that represents a significant memory
  • Obtain a variety of drawings, painting and sculptures from the process of creation
  • Each participant will acquire a material artistic result from their own memory exercise

Schedule (Sessions 7-13):

7th, 8th & 9th Session: Patterns ​in ​my ​mind; ​Basic ​printing ​techniques ​will ​be ​introduced ​and prints ​will ​be ​created ​through ​the ​use ​of ​basic ​materials ​and ​printing ​ink.

10th, 11th & 12th Session: Portraits; ​Participants ​will ​learn ​about ​portraits ​and ​will ​then ​be ​guided ​in the ​creation ​of ​their ​own ​portrait ​through ​the ​use ​of ​felt ​and ​thread.

13th, 14th & 15th Session:(OPTIONAL) Wire ​webs;​ This ​is ​a ​collective ​piece ​that ​will ​be ​created ​by ​each participant ​and ​then ​united ​to ​create ​a ​larger ​piece. ​Participants ​will ​learn about ​installation ​art ​and ​collaboration ​in ​the ​creation ​of ​this ​piece.

Objective:

  • Impact on seniors center and surrounding community
  • Create audiovisual material from the process of the workshops
  • Generate an exhibition showcasing the participants artworks
  • Record the process of creating artwork basing it off the participants memories
  • Create a report of the process and outcomes of the program

Benefits:

  • Getting audiovisual material for the participant to keep
  • Preservation of our seniors most significant memories
  • Involving the participants in a curatorial process
  • Experience for the participants to express themselves in an artistic and creative way

Outcome:

  • An Art Exhibition made in collaboration between artists and participants
  • Documentation of the creative process and final product

Artwork Exhibition

The artists and the seniors will curate, install and host an exhibition that will portray the final outcome of the program. This will include the objects, drawings and paintings made during the workshops.  It will be a special opportunity for the seniors to share their memories and experiences and impact the surrounding community in a creative and positive way.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Blanka Amezkua: Blanka is ​an​ ​artist,​ ​cultural​ ​promoter,​ ​and​ ​educator.​ She ​was​ ​formally​ ​trained​ ​as​ ​a​ ​painter,
studying​ ​in​ ​Florence,​ ​Italy​ ​and​ ​received​ a ​B.A.​ ​from​ ​California​ ​State​ ​University​ ​Fresno. Her​ ​work​ ​and​ ​projects​ ​have​ ​been​ ​shown​ ​in​ ​the​ ​United​ ​States,​ ​Mexico,​ ​Belgium​ ​and Greece​ ​at​ ​MoMA-P.S.1,​ ​Exit​ ​Art,​ ​The​ ​Bronx​ ​Museum​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Arts,​ ​El​ ​Museo​ ​del​ ​Barrio, Queens​ ​Museum​ ​of​ ​Art,​ ​Mission​ ​Cultural​ ​Center​ ​for​ ​Latino​ ​Arts​ ​in​ ​San​ ​Francisco,
Movimiento​ ​de​ ​Arte​ ​y​ ​Cultura​ ​Latino​ ​Americana​ ​(MACLA),​ ​Casita​ ​Maria​ ​and​ ​The​ ​Taller Boricua,​ ​among​ ​others.

Recipient​ ​of​ ​the​ ​BRIO​ ​award​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Bronx​ ​Council​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Arts​ ​in​ ​2007,​ ​Blanka ​began​ ​an artist-run​ ​project​ ​in​ ​her ​bedroom​ ​called​ ​the​ ​Bronx​ ​Blue​ ​Bedroom​ ​Project​ ​(BBBP)​ ​in​ ​2008. She ​currently​ ​oversee​s ​AAA3A​ ​(Alexander​ ​Avenue​ ​Apartment​ ​3A),​ ​an​ ​artist​ ​run​ ​project space​ ​which​ ​offers​ ​gregarious​ ​living​ ​room​ ​occurrences,​ ​face​ ​to​ ​face exchanges,​ ​food, dialogue,​ ​workshops,​ ​and​ ​art​ ​in​ her ​living​ ​room.