Choosing Change: Raw Green/Watercolor Workshop Part 2

July 20, 2012

Student painting watercolor inserts for handmade book. Lois Ehlert’s “Eating the Alphabet” used as inspiration.

“Find a way to be a benefit,” my son continually suggested, in response to my constant lament for the return of my lucrative career. I eventually took his advice. By combining years of nutritional research and even more years as a full-time artist, I developed the “Raw Green/Watercolor Workshop,” while applying for an after-school grant opportunity. Drawing upon my interest in watercolor painting, unrelenting enzyme research, and the science of healthy living, this workshop has potential as a universal benefit.

A girl and boy hammer nail holes into book spines.

A Book cover with student’s name and title.

In my previous post, “Choosing Change: Raw Green/Watercolor Workshop,” I described how one of the goals – to provide education about the important connection between raw food, enzymes, and great health – strongly connects to a newer goal – to make consuming raw green vegetables “fun.”  Smoothies, juices, and tasting with dips became sources of “fun.” In this post, art projects are presented as a “fun” way to become more familiar with raw foods.  One watercolor project, the handmade book,allows students to depict the artistic beauty of fruits and vegetables before tasting them. Then health benefits, researched and  printed on labels, are put into their books.

The “trump card”

For students, painting with watercolors can be as challenging as tasting raw green vegetables. They have to acknowledge and accept their beginner’s status. Offering fruit as a tasty “trump card” encourages persistence, especially when painting confidence wanes and students despair or “act out” as a cover up. Offering fruit as a reward, again a “trump card,” also encourages students to taste vegetables, especially raw green ones.

An unexpected outcome, of the workshop, was finding strategies to correct behavior problems. For example, in one class, a student became very frustrated. She first painted the required bright watercolors on a large sheet of paper and suddenly changed to wild erratic black strokes covering most of the colors. She loudly declared it “ugly.” I had instructed students to use the bright colors only. But I told her, “The black paint does not matter and “ugly” has nothing to do with anything.”

Nevertheless, she crumpled the painting, shot it in the wastepaper basket, and stormed out of the room. She eventually returned as we began our tasting session. She asked for more fruit. I requested that she retrieve the discarded drawing and proceed with the assignment to get more fruit and she complied. Luckily, the opportunity to taste raw vegetables, and especially the sweet fruits, helped her and many other students to focus and adjust their behavior.

The “Raw Green/Watercolor Workshop” is interdisciplinary. It incorporates biology, reading, writing, math, science, and visual arts, all while exploring composition, abstraction, page design, color theory, form, and foreground and background relationships in the handmade books.

Evelyn helping Maurice thread a needle.

Fine motor skills—such as painting, cutting folded pages, hammering nails (very loud, but they loved it), threading needles, gluing, and sewing book spines—are developed by various book construction activities. Once completed, the book becomes a resource to share with family and friends. Plus, until its pages are full, more benefits can be added. It reinforces the importance of consuming enzymes, a little known protein nutrient found in raw produce and destroyed by cooking food.

7 year-old Eugene’s book with strawberry and benefit label.

Enzymes can also be found in dried fruits and vegetables, raw nuts, uncooked grains, beans and other uncooked protein foods. Raw green vegetables are emphasized, because students, their teachers, and parents often refuse to eat them.

Combining visual art with tasting raw produce establishes a foundation to enhance creativity, develop self-confidence, and plant seeds for instituting and maintaining health. Consequently, the “Raw Green/Watercolor Workshop” fills in nutrition and art educational gaps, encourages future artists, develops art patrons, and promotes a healthy appetite for daily living.

“The Raw Green/Watercolor Workshop” was awarded a Milwaukee Public School Partnership for the Arts Grant. Matching community funds came from Alice’s Garden, Riverwest Artists Association, Walnut Way Conservation Corp, and Lena’s/Piggly Wiggly. For more information, please email me at terryevelyn@hotmail.com or visit evelynpatriciaterry.com.

– Evelyn Patricia Terry


Choosing Change: Raw Green/Watercolor Workshop

July 7, 2012

Watercolor painting before tasting fruits and vegetables.

“Skittles, cookies, potato chips, Snickers, licorice, Flaming Hots.” That’s how 2nd and 3rd grade students answered my question “What foods ‘raw’ and ‘green’ do you eat?” Little did I know they heard something other than what I intended.

The puzzle began to unravel when a 3rd grader, lining up to leave class, genuinely inquired, “Ms. Terry, why haven’t I seen you at Walgreen’s?”
Completely baffled, I responded, “Why would you see me at Walgreen’s?”
He said, “My dad takes me there all the time and you are never there.”
Speechless, we stared at each other. I thought, “Does he know how many Walgreen’s there are, and why does he think I should be in any of them?”
Then an epiphany occurred.

A discerning facilitator said, “He thought you were saying ‘Walgreen’s’ as you repeatedly said, ‘raw’ and then ‘green’.” That insightful moment, beginning the Raw Green/Watercolor Workshop series revealed the dearth of knowledge that workshop sessions must address about health. Special emphasis on the importance consuming “raw green” and other colored vegetables have on acquiring and maintaining radiant health is necessary.

Hosted by Barack Obama K-12 School (formerly Custer High School), YMCA Young Leaders Academy and Brown Street Academy, in Milwaukee, The Raw Green/Watercolor Workshop, became the perfect vehicle for me to provide beneficial after school activities to students. Implementing it this past school year, I made a serious commitment to lay the groundwork for eating raw green (and other colored) vegetables by planting seeds toward future growth.  But, one day, I was asked, “Isn’t there some way to make eating raw green vegetables fun as well as healthy?” “No,” I answered. “It takes discipline.” Nevertheless, the question lingered in my mind.

Student, with washed hands, juicing.

Thankfully, final student surveys suggested that I help them to “eat raw vegetables” by providing salad dressings. For future workshops, dips and salad dressings will be added to create “fun” for the taste buds.  For students, after all, the point is to get them to eat raw vegetables. They generally like fruit. By adding small amounts of fruits to juiced raw green vegetables, the possibility of “fun” definitely increases. Smoothies, already fun, can be made healthier, with blander tasting raw green vegetables added. Caroline Carter’s smoothie recipe with pineapple, collard greens, and bananas is a hit with everyone.

This workshop is timely. First Lady Michele Obama stresses health on a national level. In Milwaukee, Will Allen, a 2008 MacArthur Genius Award Fellow, founded the organization Growing Power to promote urban farming.

And just published last month, Karen Le Billon’s  French Kids Eat Everything discusses ten rules to accomplish this. One of them, based on French scientific findings, is that children must taste a food a minimum of seven times to accept eating it. She explains how she ridded herself of antiquated beliefs that her children wouldn’t eat healthy foods. And just think, this indulgence reinforces bad habits and ultimately leads to tooth decay, obesity and acute and chronic diseases. Teachers and parents must begin to offer raw fruits and vegetables instead of offering junk food.

With matching community support, Raw Green/Watercolor Workshop, an art and nutrition program, was awarded funding from the Milwaukee Public School Partnership for the Arts and Humanities grant. The grant is an allocation of $1.5 million approved by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, to support arts and humanities-related opportunities for children and youth in after school and summer programs.  Alice’s Garden, Walnut Way Conservation Corp., Riverwest Artists Association, and Lena’s Piggly Wiggly provided the required matching community funds.

Visual art, with watercolors, is covered in the second blog of a two-part series. For additional information, email terryevelyn@hotmail.com.

–Evelyn Patricia Terry

 


Snapshots of Heritage

May 31, 2012

750 Seventh Street

Late last year, I heard the first murmurings of a substantial dry plate glass negative collection at the Sauk Prairie Area Historical Society, the majority of which had not yet been scanned, much less identified, nor entered into the museum’s records. Around that same time, Jody Kapp, director of development at SPAHS, procured a grant through Heritage Credit Union that enabled the development of an educational photographic program for elementary school children as well as the purchase of a new scanner, with which the century-old negatives could be digitally preserved.

Ochsner bird collection at Tripp Museum in Prairie du Sac

To kick off the program, half a dozen groups of second and fifth graders visited Tripp Museum this spring to learn about the history of photography. They were first introduced to several types of vintage photo processes and taught about composition. Afterwards, everyone had an opportunity to compose drawings, using what they had learned in the presentation, and to design a cyanotype, which developed outdoors and was then taken inside for a quick bath. These are now on display.

Children (and adults!) who visit this summer are invited to use one of the museum’s digital cameras to take photos, which can then be emailed to the photographer and may be posted to the historical society’s Facebook page. “Our goal is to not only help people understand the importance of photography in capturing the stories of a people,” says Jody, “but also to interest them in learning how to make their own well-thought-out compositions so they too can help preserve the people, places, and things that are important to them through photography.”

School kids working on cyanotype creations

In late March, I began working with fellow society members and volunteer archivists, Jack Berndt and Verlyn Mueller, helping to scan, identify, and catalog the vast glass negative collection. We have thus far archived 132 images and believe that there are approximately 300+ left. Some of the photos had been previously printed, and it was a great pleasure to realize that the society has the originals, while the majority have not really seen the light of day in more than a century. Farm scenes, newly-built houses, social venues, and landscape portraits are common themes, and it was certainly expected that those sorts of things would be uncovered. Less expected are what appears to be an 1899 trip to New Orleans, photos of photos, and touching memorials for deceased community members.

Many of these images have been printed and enlarged, and they are on display now through November 17 in the Mueller Gallery on the first floor. The entire collection, as it is unveiled, will be presented as a slideshow that you can see when visiting. The public is invited to help identify the people, places, and events depicted in the images. In conjunction with this exhibition, there are a variety of vintage cameras and photo-related equipment on display, such as an old US Army projector, several magic lanterns, varied types of photography, and much more.

Verlyn inspecting a dry plate glass negative

Tripp Museum is located at 565 Water Street in Prairie du Sac and generally open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 am – 1 pm, or throughout the week by appointment. Call 608.644.8444 or email (spahs@frontier.com) for more information. While there, be sure to check out the Bradford Bison [Bison Occidentalis], on long-term loan from the University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum, which was discovered locally by then seven-year-old Joshua Bradford in 2005, and returned to SPAHS this year. There are also tickets available for the Bradford Bison Quilt Raffle, drawing to be held at the “Brunch with a Bison” community party on Sunday, July 1, 2012.

Ed Steuber gives a driving lesson near Prairie du Sac[Edna Graff and Edwin Steuber, Stella Carpenter and Leta Bernhard Stelter]

Jodi Anderson


India, Polio, and Itzhak Perlman

April 14, 2011

Dayle Quigley

Okay, it’s true that nothing in the above title fits into my goal of experiencing music in small town Wisconsin venues but life is never as neat as we would like. It has also been longer than I would have wanted since I lasted blogged but you will soon understand why.

Itzhak Perlman

The premier violinist of modern times, Perlman contracted polio at age four and overcame physical challenges to achieve international acclaim in classical music. He is the recipient of 15 Grammy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence.

Sometimes when life calls you need to answer even when it is inconvenient and messy, even when it is unplanned and unexpected. Sometimes, you just have to say yes. Back in October I heard that Itzhak Perlman was playing a benefit concert in Chicago with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Polio Plus. Rotarians around the globe have been working for close to two decades to eradicate polio and as Mr. Perlman would tell you, we are this close. I have never seen Mr. Perlman play in person and as a violinist, I was not going to miss this opportunity. I reserved my tickets for the March 7th concert in October. It was so far in advance, I couldn’t remember in January where I had put the tickets (turned out they were in the will call office.) And then in late December I got an invitation to go to India to participate in the National Polio Immunization Day campaign. Twice a year in India, they vaccinate every child under the age of 5 years old against polio. They set up stations for in every city and town across the nation for the first day and then spend the next 2 to 4 days going house to house, tent to tent, making sure that every child is found. During this time, they vaccinate over 200 million children. The sheer enormity of it is overwhelming. And so when the invitation came, I considered it an aligning of the stars and I said yes. Go to India, vaccinate children against Polio and then return to the States just in time to hear Itzhak Perlman, a polio survivor, perform. It doesn’t get much more cosmic than that.

So, I got my VISA, rearranged my schedule and flew literally half way around the world. I went to India with 35 rotarians from across the United States and helped cover Ghaziabad a town of 16 million people outside of Delhi. The first day 446,000 children were vaccinated in our town utilizing 2800 vaccination centers and 943,00 vaccinated by home visits. That’s over 1.3 million children vaccinated in just Ghaziabad. Here are the statistics for the week of 27 February 2011. 709,000 immunization stations, 2.5 million vaccinators, 209 million homes visited, and 169 million children under the age of 5 vaccinated. It is hard to fathom the number of people necessary just to organize this endeavor let alone carry it out.Some people would ask if it is worth it. Can it possibly be successful? But just look at the numbers ….In Nigeria and India in 2008 there were 1357 cases, in 2010 just 63 cases, and to date in 2011 just 1 case. We are this close.

Staff Benda Bilili

A Congolese soukous band largely composed of polio survivors, Staff Benda Bilili describes the impact of the disease in the group’s signature song, “Polio.” The band received a 2009 WOMEX (World Music Expo) Artist Award for World Music.

You might ask what this has to do with art, what this has to do with Wisconsin. Ask these questions of Itzhak Perlman and James DePreist. Both are outstanding artists and both, although very successful in life, would rather I believe go through life standing up. The last indigenous case of polio in the United States was in 1979 but it is only one non-stop airplane trip away. Any child not currently immunized in the United States is at risk of being a statistic, at risk for multiple corrective surgeries, at risk for permanent disability. We are this close.

I will tell you that the End Polio Now concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James DePreist, and featuring Itzhak Perlman was a raging success as was the reception afterwards. The hall was packed and the performers at the top of their game. I’m glad I said yes. Yes, to going to India to help our counterparts in their daunting task. And yes, to the benefit concert where I was encouraged to see people who are willing to fight to help people who live 4000 miles away. You see, we are this close…but as a friend of mine points out, close only counts when you’re dancing. We have the ability by working together to end a devastating disease. To wipe it from the face of the earth. What a legacy we can leave our children and grandchildren and our great-grandchildren, but only if we work not as a single community, or state, or nation but only if we work as one world.

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Fourth Annual Wisconsin Emerging Arts Leaders Conference

September 7, 2010

*Press release from Arts Wisconsin*

Join us for this exciting event, and, please spread the word to others who would be interested!

What’s Your Journey?: Wisconsin Emerging Arts Leaders 4th Annual Summit
a Creative Conversation for Wisconsin’s young arts and creative leaders

Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 10 am – 4 pm | RedLine Milwaukee, 1422 North 4th Street, Milwaukee
Presented by Arts Wisconsin with generous support from RedLine Milwaukee
With additional support from the Cultural Alliance of Greater Milwaukee, Milwaukee Artists Resource Network,
Wisconsin Arts Board and Americans for the Arts

EVENT DESCRIPTION: The newest generation of Wisconsin arts and creative leaders will gather with colleagues and peers at the Wisconsin Emerging Arts Leaders 4th Annual Summit, to be held at RedLine Milwaukee on Tuesday, November 9, 2010. Arts Wisconsin, the premier organization speaking up and working for the arts, arts education and creative economy statewide, will bring together Wisconsin’s young arts leaders to tell their stories and talk about the issues and hot topics in the arts, community and creative economy that they care about. The Summit will feature panel presentations, breakout roundtables and lots of great conversation and questioning, networking and learning. Attendees will also get the opportunity to experience RedLine Milwaukee, a unique arts and environment community space for inspiration and creativity.
For more information and to register, go to http://www.artswisconsin.org/ourservices/cc11-9-2010.cfm

EVENT SCHEDULE (subject to additions and changes):
9am: Registration, Coffee, Conversation

10:00am: Welcome and Introductions

10:30am: Panel discussion – It’s not the destination, it’s the journey
What does it mean to live and work creatively in these times? Artists, performers and creative entrepreneurs talk about their journeys making a life and making a living in the arts – expectations, realities, successes, challenges, lessons learned, and ideas for emerging leaders

12:00noon: Lunch and keynote speaker: Scarlett Swerdlow
Scarlett Swerdlow directs advocacy and communications at Arts Alliance Illinois (www.artsalliance.org),
the statewide arts advocacy and service organization promoting the value of the arts to all residents of Illinois. She’s also a member of Americans for the Arts’ Emerging Leaders Council, a national leadership council which identifies and cultivates the next generation of arts leaders in America.
1:30pm: Panel discussion – Resources for the journey
People, organizations and networks emerging leaders should know about and connect with along the way

3:00pm: Breakout roundtables on topics of interest

4pm: Conference ends/Evening begins

EVENT DETAILS: Registration fee for this event (including all conference materials, coffee, lunch, and refreshments) is $30.
Go to http://www.artswisconsin.org/ourservices/cc11-9-2010.cfm for the schedule and registration details.

QUESTIONS? Contact Arts Wisconsin, 608 255 8316 | akatz@artswisconsin.org.


Transitions

November 11, 2009

The uncertainty that has plagued my (non-art) professional life has made it difficult to focus on or execute things that I want to do with my art over this past year or so. As it settles down, (which it is now doing) I can start to put some of my attention back here where it belongs and ramp up my web site re-design and the creation of some new work.

In addition to the website redesign and determining what my next photographic project will be, here are some of the things I’m kicking around:

  • Running a scavenger hunt exhibit annually. It’s a big commitment but we really got a good response to the exhibit and the exposure I received was also very good. I’ve had several people who participated in the hunt tell me that they’d love to do it again and suggested we should do it annually. So I had a chat with Julie Wolcott, the director of the Central Wisconsin Cultural Center (CWCC), where the exhibit was held and she thought it was a good idea. We’re currently mulling it over.
  • Starting a podcast. I’ve been talking about this with Tammy Kempfert, our blogrunner here, and I just recently purchased some recording equipment to start playing with while I continue to let the podcast idea marinate. I’ll elaborate on my love of podcasts in a separate post.
  • Teaching more classes. I teach a Beginning Digital Photography class at the CWCC. It’s a class I’ve been teaching for 2 years now (I think, jeez, I can’t remember when I started it!) and I LOVE teaching it. I originally went to college to become a teacher, and while I never completed that degree I ended up teaching anyway!

One of the things I expect and plan to make a strong component of my overall revenue plan is the teaching that I do. I’ve had great success with the Beginning Digital Photography class and I’m now ready to expand my offerings.

I’m currently putting together a curriculum outline for an Advanced Digital Photography class (For point and shoot style cameras) and an Advanced SLR photography class that would cover film and digital cameras.

In addition to those classes I’d like to offer a class on editing and printing photos but I have to figure out the logistics since I don’t have a computer lab at my disposal.

Finally I’m starting to think about some guided style photography workshops. Wisconsin is ripe with places to go for these kinds of workshops so I’d just need to do some scouting for locations that I could build a full program around.

Combining my skills as an instructor on the front end with what I hope to build through my website in the backend will be my two-pronged approach to a sustainable revenue for through my photography. Those won’t be the only two prongs but I hope they will grow into the strongest.

-Spyros Heniadis


What I learned from John T Unger today

November 5, 2009

Just got off a conference call with John T Unger hosted by Alyson B. Stanfield of artbizcoach.com.

It’s amazing what you can learn in a half hour of listening. As I mentioned in my other post I think about copyright often, and while I’ve never had an issue with it, today I learned some very important things that artists should be aware of.

Full disclaimer, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Consult your attorney if you have questions regarding copyright law.

1. There are several layers of copyright documentation. The only one that allows you to take your case to federal court (copyright law is federal law) is to document your claims by filing for copyright with the copyright office.

You have a copyright claim by virtue of creating an original work, and placing a notification on the work helps a little, but without that documentation you limit your legal options to protect your work.

2. Filing for copyright is not that expensive. You can file for copyrights online at copyright.gov, and a basic copyright filing costs $35 (source: copyright.gov/eco) if done online. You can also file for copyrights of collections, so you don’t have to file a copyright for every piece of work you’ve created. If filing for copyright of a collection, all works in the collection must have the same publication date.

3. Document, document, document. Here’s an area where I fail. The better the documentation you have on your website, and of your work in general, the better recourse you’ll have if you need to act to protect your copyrights. So if you have a website, make sure images of your work are accompanied by title, date, size, medium and if it’s for sale, put a price on it! (Full disclosure, I don’t do this at all, a situation I plan to remedy very soon!)

4. Somebody can sue to remove your copyright (This is part of what John T Unger is dealing with). I had no idea this was possible, but it is, and this is possibly worse than dealing with an infringement issue. A suit to remove your copyright claim could result in revocation of your ownership of your work, stripping you of all rights and protections over it.

5. If you get sued to have your copyrights removed, you better show up in court. If you don’t default judgement goes to the plaintiff and you lose.

Like Martina said the other day in the comments, it’s really not worth agonizing over copyright, and when I think about it myself it’s usually an internal conversation about the merits of standard copyright versus the creative commons licensing model. What is worth doing however is taking some basic steps to protect the rights you have to your intellectual property.

If you are interested in listening to the call yourself it should be available on the artbizblog blog tomorrow. You can read more about John T Unger’s copyright battle at johntunger.com