Wildwood Hosts Annual Quad-School Poetry Slam

Wildwood hosts its annual quad-shool poetry slam on May 15 at 10:30am. The slam is the culmination of four individual slams that were held at Baker, Chenal, Roberts and Robinson elementary schools. Poet Chris James has spent a week in residence at each school through Wildwood’s Arts in Education program. He mentored students as they wrote, edited, and performed their own poetry. 25 students will compete at the final event in Wildwood’s Cabe Festival Theatre.

The poems of all finalists have been collected into a book that can be downloaded via the link below.

Quad-School Poetry Slam Anthology

 

Wildwood Hosts a Public Performance of “The Bremen Town Musicians” on May 17

Wildwood’s touring production of The Bremen Town Musicians will have a public performance on May 17 at 2pm in Wildwood’s Cabe Festival Theatre.

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The Bremen Town Musicians is a children’s musical theatre performance based on the Grimm folktale of the same name. The performance is ideal for children in Pre-K through 5th grade. It will visit elementary schools on a state-wide tour as a part of Wildwood’s Art to Go! program. Bremen_13

The May 17 performance is open to all members of the public with a suggested donation of $5.

You can learn more about the tour and the Art to Go! program here. Bremen_40

Art in the Park: An Interview with Sofia V. Gonzalez

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See more of Sofia’s work at sofiavgonzalez.com

How do you describe your subject matter or the content of your work?

The subject matter of my work always seems to return to exploring my sense of place and how others define and relate to their own sense of place. By using traditional textile techniques and mixed media, my practice creates a space of meditation and reflection for myself when I make.

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What mediums do you work with?

I work primarily with textiles, using traditional processes like crochet, embroidery, and natural dyes. I have strong feelings about collecting my own plant and vegetable materials to be used in dye. I want to have an emotional connection with the colors and materials I use. The process is important to me: observatory walks around my neighborhood, collecting materials like hulls or leaves, and subsequently making the dye.

Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

I spend my days at Wildwood Park for the Arts as our Educational Programs Coordinator. I also facilitate and curate our Art in the Park exhibition program. I have taught a few workshops in natural dye techniques, but would love to get more into teaching. I am passionate about creating community events and arts education opportunities for all ages that relate art to our environment.

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What are you presently inspired by— are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work? 

Since moving to Little Rock from San Francisco last year, I have become completely enamored with the variety of birds and their differing songs. Recently I’ve used this obsession as a means for inspiration. I have started a new practice where I wake up early each morning and spend 30 minutes to an hour recording the bird sounds outside my house with quick markings in charcoal on watercolor paper. I am interested in how I can translate the songs and patterns into marks on a page. I’m calling these new sketches “soundscapes.” I am interested to see where they will go.

What do you hope your work will accomplish? How do you want people to be affected?

My biggest hope for my work is that it will cause pause or reflection in the viewer. By using natural dyes to create the colors I use, I hope to encourage a more observant and respectful way to look at the environments we live in. It’s important to me that in my work the connection between the artist and the materials is able to tell a story.

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How do you navigate the art world? Do you have a motto you live by?

I try to navigate the art world by creating genuine connections and conversations with other artists. I am always excited to hear about other artists’ processes, and I think collaborations and opportunities are born out of this mutual relationship.  Recently, I realized that if you build opportunities for others, opportunities will come back to you. I live by the words on the necklace I wear every day which was given to me by my grandmother before she passed away last year. It reads, “Dar mas y pedir menos,” or “Give more and ask for less.”

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Art in the Park: An Interview with Barbara Cade

Meet Barbara Cade, exhibiting artist featured in Symbiotic: Art, Nature & Spirituality April 2 – May 10

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Learn more about Barbara at http://barbaracade.com

How do you describe the subject matter or the content of your work?

My landscapes celebrate Nature.  I define “landscape” as anything that exists in the natural world.  Sometimes I make traditional landscape scenes and sculpture, but also close-ups of ordinary things such as leaves, rocks and tree bark.

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What mediums do you work with?

I make handmade felt to construct my artwork.  I also work with clay in a limited way to make rock/rattles.

Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

I am a full-time   studio artist.  However, a few weeks a year, I work in the schools under contract with the Arkansas Arts Council as an AIE artist.  

What are you presently inspired by – are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

Inspiration for the landscapes is Nature—natural forms are fascinating.  Nothing is ever the same. 

What do you hope your work will accomplish? How do you want people to be affected?

In this busy world, I hope viewers find some peace and serenity when viewing my work.  I hope viewers feel some of the mystery, beauty, drama and amazing variety of animal and plant forms.  Ultimately, I hope my landscapes inspire people to take care of the earth.

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How do you navigate the art world? Do you have a motto you live by?

Goethe wrote:  “A master he who bridles his ambitions.”  The only way to navigate the art world is to persevere.

Art in the Park: An Interview with Artist Lisa Krannichfeld

Meet Lisa Krannichfeld, exhibiting artist featured in Symbiotic: Art, Nature & Spirituality April 2 – May 10

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How do you describe your subject matter or the content of your work?

My focus is mostly on women. I find them to be so complex, playing so many roles throughout their lives.  The women I paint aren’t necessarily specific people but rather specimens of emotions that relate to viewers in different ways based on their own life experiences. Putting the emphasis on the emotional expression in my work is also kind of therapeutic for me, since I’m such a naturally reserved person. 

What mediums do you work with?

Currently, Chinese ink, watercolor, and resin are my main mediums of choice, although I love trying to mix new materials in when I can.

Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

I teach art full time in addition to making my own art. Sometimes it fuels me, and sometimes it just wears me out! 

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What are you presently inspired by— are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

I find the most inspiration from my failures, ironically. The process of trying something and failing at it is the best way to find new doors to walk through.  

Learn more about Lisa at http://lisakrannichfeld.com.

Interns Sought for Summer WAMA Sessions

Interested in sharing your talents with our WAMA students? Become an intern!

Fill out the form below if you are interested in learning more about WAMA’s many intern opportunities in both the Instrumental and Vocal Program. After submitting the form, we will contact you with the complete 2015 WAMA Intern Application via email.

Program Guide for WAMA 2015 Released

The Program Guide for the 2015 summer session of Wildwood’s Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts (WAMA) has been released.

WAMA is designed for students ages 6-18, who are interested in studying music. The Academy’s mission is to bring access to the highest standards in music and arts education to students of all ages and backgrounds in Central Arkansas. In 2015, WAMA’s vision grows to include a vocal program in addition to the instrumental programs which are comprised of all instrument groups: strings, winds, brass, percussion, and piano. Through orchestral, large and small ensemble, and solo experiences, participants will be provided with educational and performance opportunities supported by a musically nurturing environment and professional faculty. Our distinguished faculty are chosen for their excellence as role models and arts educators. Additionally, student groups will have access to workshops, master classes, and multiple artistic genres. Through rehearsal and performance experiences, WAMA students will be inspired and challenged to grow through the arts.

The 2015 WAMA Program Guide may be downloaded here: WAMA Program Guide.

Interested students may apply for WAMA by clicking here.

 

Art in the Park: An Interview with Artist Joli Livaudais

Jolie Livaudias, a recent transplant to Little Rock, explains how easily her process is informed by the world around her. 

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How did you find yourself in Little Rock?

I came for the faculty position here at UALR. I lived in Monroe, Louisiana before we moved here in July. I had a gallery in New Orleans, but I lived in northeast Louisiana.

 

Had you visited Little Rock before you looked into moving here?

I’d passed through. I hadn’t really visited for a long period of time until my interview at UALR. I was really impressed with the area as far as the fact that it’s going through some exciting changes. It seemed to me like there was a lot going on. From talking to folks, it sounds like this has all been going on in the last decade so it feels like we are on the brink of doing something really exciting.

 

Do you think the city as a whole is on the brink or more so the arts community?

Of course, I’m all about the arts community. I think there are a lot of options in this city, culturally whatever you are into, like the Clinton museum, for example.

 

Does the art scene in Little Rock feel similar to that of Louisiana?

The culture is similar from northern Louisiana to Arkansas. The art scene here is better. We had some things going on Monroe, but it was a smaller town.

 

What has been the most exciting thing you have found here in Little Rock?

Because it is my first semester at UALR, I haven’t done as much exploring as I would like or as I will do. I haven’t gone out as much as I should, like to Crystal Bridges. Everyone says I have to go. So far it’s been discovering the faculty here; there is a lot of talent here and some interesting people. I am interested in finding some like-minded people and creating opportunities for local artists to show.

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What have you found to be the most effective way to connect with your audience and other artists?

If you go to events that sure helps. You meet folks and you find the network that is definitely out there. It strikes the conversation. I have my students attend at least two art events each semester because I think it’s so key.

 

How long have you been teaching?

Not all that long. I was a professional commercial photographer, and then I went back to school to get my MFA in 2011. I graduated in 2013. I taught while I was in school and then adjunct for a year before coming here. I am still new to it, but I’m not new to photography.

 

How do you think teaching has affected your practice?

Well, I haven’t been able to make as much, which I hate to say, but it’s true. But, I still think that this was a really good decision because I feel that the teaching helps me. It’s all about the quest. I am trying to teach my students to see and to make, and so art is always top of mind. Although I don’t have as much time to make myself, I think all of that reflection helps to motivate me when I do have the time.

The delight of teaching is that you are surrounded by artists all of the time.

 

You teach photography. Is that a practice you have always done?

I actually got my undergraduate and graduate degree in psychology. Then I was photo assisting in the commercial market in the Dallas area for a couple of years. I learned through an apprenticeship. When I wanted to go back for my MFA, they evaluated me based on my photography portfolio.

I had always done art, but I had never taken it particularly seriously. It was just something I always did. It wasn’t until I got into my graduate psychology program and there was no time for art that I felt completely lost and miserable. I felt like I lost a limb. It wasn’t until that point that I realized how important art was to me.

So then I did a reevaluation. I finished that degree, but as soon I was done, I pursued photography more seriously.

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Do you still see your psychology background coming through your work?

Oh yeah, have you looked at my work? I don’t think psychology and art are really fundamentally all that different. There is an introspection that happens in both that I think is really useful.

 

What kind of photography do you do?

I shoot digitally, but I also shoot with medium format and large format film. It depends on what I’m in the mood for or what the job is. In the end, my pieces are not very often flat photos. They are usually some kind of installation work, so it depends on what’s going to work best.

 

When did the 3D work start?

In my second year of graduate school. In my first year, I was doing alternative process work in photography. In my second year, I implemented the resin and started playing with layers and building things up. It kind of went from there.

 

I can see the creatures crawling up the wall behind you. Are those photographs as well?

Yes. They are folded photographs, all of them. That piece is about the cycle of life, loss and memory. It’s about transformation. I decided to keep a few beetles around from the installation.

 

Where did the beetle form come from?

I was thinking a lot about archetypes, the psychology thing coming back. I started getting interested in the difference between how we view beetles and birds. In thinking about archetypes, they are both symbols for transformation, often times a spiritual transformation. But one of them we see as being a beautiful, heavenly form and the other is something we are really scared of. I am intrigued by that difference. Birds and beetles both appear in my work pretty regularly.

In the end I didn’t want something that was that specific; I wanted a generic beetle form. I ended up doing a lot of research. Once I found an origami pattern I liked, I modified it a bit. I wanted to suggest a beetle without you seeing “a horn beetle” or specific species.

 

How did the resin come about, like the resin in the pieces you have on display at Wildwood?

I wanted to layer images. I started researching how to do that. The first idea was that I wanted to print a photograph on gold. I found a couple of photographers who played with various things and looked at the kind of materials they were using. I did a little experimentation on my own and came up with this process. The trick is that if you print your photograph on a very thin kozo paper and then impregnate it with resin, the paper goes almost completely transparent and the only thing you can see is the ink. I started with thin layers and then wondered, what would happen if I went really deep with the resin? What if I did more than one layer?

 

And the translucence came next?

Light is key to almost all of my work. That just sort of worked its way in there as well.

 

Do you find you do a lot of specific reading or material research?

Whenever I am looking, it’s usually psychology. Joseph Campbell, psychology, things like that. Most of my inspirations come from a dream journal.

 

What does your typical day in the studio look like?

Days like today I can do dark room work. I try to keep Fridays as a resin day. I have a little studio space in the university plaza. Usually my pieces take a long time. I have more than one thing going on at one time because they all take so long.

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Have you taken any photographs outside here in Arkansas yet?

Not yet. One series I made came from tromping around in the forest. Since then, I’ve done more studio oriented stuff, although it’s funny that you should mention it. I’ve been thinking the last few weeks that it might be time to pack up my camera and go outside again. It’s so beautiful outside here.

 

What are you currently working on in the studio?

I have in the works a series of installation pieces where I am casting different women’s bodies and suspending them in a gallery space. The casted figure would be solid resin, no photos in this one, just translucence. In my figure at Wildwood I have hooks to suspend the figure with fishing line. You know how fishing line is supposed to be invisible, but isn’t? I am thinking of putting hooks all around the top and bottom of the figure so that there is this pillar that goes up all the way to ceiling. The fishing line would come down through the body and come out across the floor. The idea is that it is suppose to suggest a tree, but what I think is interesting is if the bodies are real bodies, not mannequin bodies. All different kinds of women. I would want to have 10 or 12 of these so you walk through the figures in the space. That’s what is in progress. I think it would be cool if there were enough of them. I don’t know where I would show that around here, though.

 

I see there is a birdcage over here. Do you have a bird?

I do, I bring him up on Sundays when I am not teaching. I have a parrot, an African grey parrot.

 

Any upcoming shows?

I am supposed to have a show in Mississippi over the summer, but nothing scheduled locally.

 

What do you think being a successful artist?

I think that’s an interesting question. I guess, for me, the ideal success as an artist would be that you could make a living at it. In the end that’s not really what I am striving for. I want to be able to show and share my work, to do pieces that I am proud of, and to be able to get those pieces out so other people can see them.

 

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Joli’s work is on view at Art in the Park through Sunday, February 15.

To see more of Joli’s work visit joli-livaudais.com.