Sep 22: The most successful session of the whole month was Sep 22nd’s public Graphics for the Commons Workshop. We had about 12 attendees, and most all of them were psyched to be there. It was scheduled from 4-7, a little earlier than our other Thursday Night Public Events. It began with a brief Intro to Beehive Process, which doubled as a sort of rough outline of the creative process that we were about to embark on.
Then we riffed off the list that the writing class had created in the morning with Metaphor Push-ups, naming more and more ideas and symbols, rapidly, popcorn-style, getting stronger and more interesting with every iteration. By now these students were more engaged than previous groups, and they came up with lots of good metaphors and characters who could tell the story of the MVP and those who oppose it. My favorite was “A car smoking a dinosaur bone.”
The second half of this section involved me helping folks to make simple stencils (whatever they wanted, we didn’t try to hem them in with instructions to work on one of the concepts we had just created, though with a larger group and more time that version is one of my favorite workshops!). And then they went outside and Emily helped them to Screen-Print several copies of their images onto fabric patches. Everyone had loads of fun!
Unfortunately we could not extend the workshop past 6:30 because of this idiotic troll who was speaking in the adjacent auditorium (this was a truly wacky moment, but that story does not belong here, and I refuse to encourage this jackass by saying his name or repeating anything about his ridiculous talk).
Damn election season. The following Sunday it was even worse – Chelsea Clinton came and spoke in our gallery and the Secret Service kicked us out of there for the entire day. I tried to go in there to fetch some supplies in the morning and this baller-tall, crew-cut, 60-year-old suit approached me rapidly and stood like 4 inches away glaring at the top of my head (they also chopped down all the shrubs around our gallery, for the sniper). We didn’t get anything done that day, needless to say. Anyway… back to the lessons!
Sep 23: Technically, the way we have been counting, Friday the 23rd should be the beginning of Week 4. I am including it here simply because we did a near repeat of the previous day’s workshop.
Thank goodness we had a small crew of students from the alternative Community High on the first day of Week 4! This group of about 7 students and 2 teachers were so different than our college students – excited, talkative, creative. We first gave them a whirlwind tour of the large gallery followed by a substantial and interesting Q&A, and then we repeated the stencil-making and screen-printing activity.
For Metaphor Push-ups we asked them to brainstorm symbols for “Values” because by this point we had a vague idea that the character opposing the Corporate Person would be some sort of defiant youth, and “Values” might be a way to help us imagine what that character might look like. They responded with enthusiasm.
Most of these students had done screen-prints before, so Erin easily mimicked the role she had seen Emily play the previous day (Emily had left in the morning), and the students all made really great designs, some of them espousing values such as “Kindness” (a heart inside a hand) and “Fight Back” (a cute cactus). It was super-easy and fun!
Moving into the “weekend” at the beginning of Week 4 felt good – in every moment of available free time I had been working diligently to finish out the Corporate Person as well as the funky Wall Text, and it seemed like we were finally building some momentum. This was in great part because we had begun to build relationships with some students in the third week, especially the environmentalists.