Friday, April 15, 2016
Recklace “upcycles” using recyclable materials to create fun, and funky accessories for eco conscious people. The Recklace project started in Managua, Nicaragua in 2010 with the objective to address problems of pollution and littering by creating beautiful things with recyclable materials. I learned from local artisans, how to re-purpose soda cans, plastic bottles and plastic bags and transform them to create functional works of art. In Nicaragua more than half of the population lives in poverty and people struggle to find ways to survive. What I learned, I shared with the people in my community so they could create their own beautiful items, and have the ability to sell these items to earn an extra source of income. Philadelphia has a notorious trash problem and this project seeks to address that by reducing the amount of litter that winds up in streets and in waterways, and by providing information on what materials can be recycled and the benefits recycling for the individual as well as the community at large. I will implement this project by partnering with Fleisher Art Memorial to integrate upcycling into youth workshops at local schools, as well as a local recreation center in South Philly to host adult and family workshops. Below are images of a few things I've made with recycled materials. I'm always happy to share these very simple techniques for using craft as a way to engage people in a creative activity while reducing waste in our streets, parks and waterways.
Friday, May 8, 2015
a. My idea is to create a project that supports public schools by providing an arts based entrepreneurial model to raise funds for basic classroom supplies and improve the quality of public arts education. Philadelphia schools are struggling and only half of our schools have a full time art teacher. I seek to address the dearth in art education by combining the arts and science to teach environmental issues through the arts. Ecology based art lessons will be integrated with 5th grade science curricula to transform recyclable materials into new objects that can be either decorative, functional, or both. This addresses the statewide standard for 5th grade science: “S5.B.3.2.3: Explain how different items are recycled and reused”. The artworks and items are sold to raise money for school supplies. b. My Name is Linda Fernandez, I am an artist, educator and advocate for the arts and public education. I am a certified art teacher, have worked in the Philadelphia Public School District, as a teaching artist with several non-profits and as a professional visual artist. Along with four other professional artists, I have started an artist collective called Amber Art and Design, which seeks to create public works of art and put creative decision making into the hands of the communities that we work with. c. I am a longtime resident of South Philadelphia and this is also the neighborhood where this project will take place. South Philly is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city, with a high percentage of newly settled immigrants from a multitude of countries. d. The community needs this project because are city is in a financial crisis and our schools are suffering. Many young couples leave the city seeking suburban neighborhoods with quality public schools while parents who can afford to, stay in the city and send their children to private schools with tuitions similar to the University level. Public schools have experienced a lack of funding and resources for the past few years and many students in Philadelphia public schools do not have the ability to express themselves through the arts. On top of that, the school budgets are squeezed so tight, that many schools lack the funding for basic supplies. This project addresses the need for arts programming, and helps schools to raise funds so that teachers can purchase the supplies they need. This project can be integrated into the science curriculum to address ecology and the urban environment. It can also connect to history and culture through an artistic investigation of international crafts.
Friday, August 8, 2014
Since June I have been one of the artists in residence with SPACES, a new residency program started by the Village of Arts and Humanities here in Philadelphia. I share this amazing opportunity with my 4 fellow members of Amber Art and Design, an artist collective formed in 2011 with a focus on creating public art in a way that engages people and enhances quality of life by providing creative experiences. Our project "The Village Table" seeks to engage neighbors and members of the local community through locally grown food and shared dinning experiences. We are working with neighbors to collect recipes and then remix them to give them a healthy twist. For our events we will be building tables and benches from re-purposed wood and found materials. Lots of lovely photos, taken by Lillian Dunn, can be seen here