Community Outreach at Contemporary Craft

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Did you know that Contemporary Craft participates in a variety of community initiatives each year?? We do, and it?s been a busy spring! ?Each year we run our three flagship Outreach programs: Creative Aging, Dreaming Pillows, and the Museum School Partnership.? Additionally, we work to keep ourselves engaged with our local community, through a variety of other opportunities as they arise.? Just a few weeks ago, we were happy to participate in the Pittsburgh Public School?s opening of the All City Exhibition.? Pictured above is artist Gerry Florida, who represented Contemporary Craft at this event.? She worked with children to create talisman necklaces, similar to the Drop-In activity that coincided with the recent ENOUGH Violence exhibition at SCC. ?We were also honored to award three talented students from Manchester Craftsman Guild with scholarships to upcoming workshops at SCC, for their work in the?MCG Invitational. ?Those students were Austin Lewis, Jewel Strothers, and Nicolette Kier.

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With the opening of our newest exhibition, Transformation 9, we had the opportunity to share the work with our most recent group of Creative Aging participants.? These ladies are currently working with Paper Artist, Katy Dement, at Vintage Senior Center in the East End.? They have been making their own hand made paper and collages.? Creative Aging recognizes that the creative process can be just as vital later in life as it is during childhood, and helps to?restore a sense of beauty, dignity, and celebration to seniors throughout Allegheny County.? The Vintage group is pictured above, with Katy.

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The Dreaming Pillows program provides at-risk youth, homeless children, and families-in-transition, with art activities that foster communication and personal growth. Local Artist Amy DiPlacido, along with volunteers, work with children to create “Dreaming Pillows.” These are creatively embellished fabric pillows that invite the young artists to focus on dreams and possibilities, providing a tangible way to express hope for their future.? Pictured above is one of the pillows created at a recent Dreaming Pillows session.

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In addition to the aforementioned programs, we recently concluded this year?s Museum School Partnership, at Southbrook Middle School.? The Museum School Partnership has been happening for over 19 years, giving students in grades 6, 7, and 8 a week-long emersion with resident artists.? During the 2013-2014 academic year, the artists that led the activities were Tina Brewer (Fiber), Linda VanGehuchten (Woodworking), and Gerry Florida (Mixed-Media).? This year, students had the opportunity to make story quilts, wood turned bowls and pens, and talisman necklaces.? Above is one of the student wood turned pens in progress.

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Last but certainly not least, was a project sponsored by UPMC Dignity and Respect, here at SCC.? A Tile Quilt was created by community participants to represent an offering of strength to victims of domestic violence.?? Alix Paul, a local artist, assisted participants as they painted their individual ceramic tiles.? The project came together during Women?s History Month, as a result of the ideas of Candi Castleberry Singleton and Georgia Berner.? The Quilt is being donated to the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh.

It has been exciting to be involved in each of these community initiatives this spring, and we?re certainly looking forward to what the summer and fall has in store. ?Stay tuned to our Facebook page for opportunities to get involved!

Regards,

Rachel Saul

Education Program Coordinator