Friday, December 2, 2011

BEYOND Festival January 7

Are you ready to make the world a more beautiful place? Do you have stories and feeling to share emerging from the January 8 tragedy?

Join us for a day of Community Arts Service and reflection on January 7 as part of the city wide BEYOND Festival. Review and comment on the mural design, help repair the wall, draw your ideas and write reflections.

January 7, 2012 
Location: Winsett Park, 316 N 4th Ave. 
Time: 1 - 4pm 

So what have we been up to? This fall we hosted a series of community design workshops at Howenstine High School, and gathered ideas at neighborhood meetings and events. There were 17 workshops, regular field trips and lots of discussions.

Some of the most interesting conversations revolved around what it means to bully, what it means to have power over – or control. “The goal of the bully is to get under your skin” offered one student, “then they get a reaction”. Many people spoke of the need to communicate more, get to know one another and depict images of people working together, brick by brick, to build community. We learned that place and community are critical to the story of Tucson so we have incorporated the history and folklore of the area surrounding the mural, 4th Avenue. Rose Taulton is the Community Outreach Coordinator for this project, and grew up on 4th Avenue. She describes in detail the people and places that make up life in this area.

A Detail of the fading mural to be restored.

Another hot topic has been youth voice and tagging. We had several conversations about civic responsibility and stewardship. It was pointed out that adults tag too, and we need solutions that are creative and reflect the identity of our community. We paired youth with adults, the adults listened and wrote, while the youth talked about the lack of places for free expression, being inundated by advertising, violence and apathy. The solutions they offered included working with the Tucson Arts Brigade on beautification projects.

Service Learning Students from throughout Tucson joined in a Nov. 9 Day of Service
On November 9th we hosted Americorp, Service Learning students from City High, Howenstine and Vail for a day of service to begin repairing the wall in preparation for the transformation of the Share the Bounty Mural into the Together We Thrive Mural. TAB painted the original mural in 1997. A campaign was launched to request that the Arts Brigade create a mural for the victims of January 8. The theme of the original mural matched the idea of individuals playing a vital role in building community over many generations. This spring we will begin painting the mural, with your ideas included.

On January 7, you can become a part of this mural.

If you would like to get more involved in this project weekly workshops resume on:

Tuesday Jan. 17, 2012 3:30 – 5pm
Howenstine Magnet High School 555 South Tucson Boulevard
ALL AGES Welcome Free, registration required.

Sign up on our mailing list to get updates on the next Day of Community Arts Service.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Winter 1997 TAB Newsletter

For a several years TAB produced and distributed a newsletter once or twice a year. They are really wonderful keepsakes, so over the coming months we will feature various issues.

These newsletters and the writings they contain speak to the diversity of TAB and dedication it's numerous supporters, members and friends.

To best read these you can click on the image to enlarge. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Community Arts Lab

The Community Arts Lab (CAL) was a unique experiment in community art making that has deeply informed the TAB narrative and practice. CAL was a learning environment, a production facility, a a gathering place, a theater, puppet production studio, gallery, library, office and who could forget “art-supply alley”. This was a place where artists and cultural workers of all ages could come to teach, create art, learn or launch new initiatives. Every day and evening was busy, with phones ringing and schedules packed. It was a dynamic environment that birthed many new initiatives at a time of renewed interest in civic engagement and social change.

There were several ongoing program areas that included workshops for people of all ages and abilities. These initiatives fell under four program areas:

  • Youth Community Arts Training Program (YATP)
  • Community Arts Training Program
  • Popular Education and Labor History
  • Women’s Space

Workshop samples included drawing, painting, sewing, paper making, print making, collage, photography and theme based workshops such as “How Would Fredrick Douglas Respond to Big Mountain?”, “Stone Soup” and “Community W.O.R.K.S.”.

From 1998-2004 CAL grew and developed alongside of TAB. Events became larger and more dynamic. CAL had outgrown it’s small studio. The center, maintained by a volunteer collective, simply didn’t have the resources needed to re-open at a new location that was up to code.

In 2004 the decision was made to close CAL, incorporating it’s rebirth into our long range planning. That day may not be far off, and as with all TAB projects, it will be something new, unexpected, exciting and cutting edge.

Friday, February 11, 2011


The “Whole Systems Ecology” mural at Dietz Elementary School was designed and painted by 48 students in Ms. Kievit’s and Mr. Requadt’s third grade classes.

Teaching Artist and muralist Michael Schwartz worked with students over 12 sessions to design and paint this student work. This mural sought to illustrate the connection between art and ecology in our desert bio-region. Our theme revolved around the classroom curriculum of whole system ecology and sustainable design. Students studied observational drawing , the elements of art and artistic design elements such as balance, repetition, and symmetry in nature.

After combining our ideas we transferred the designs to four 4 x 8 panels. There were daily journal exercises and writings and looking at works of art. Painting was an exciting step of the process, and everyone wanted to continue working. For one session we tried an experiment by inviting classical musician Bret Lashley to play music as we painted on our mural. Mr. Schwartz asked him to think of works that expressed the design concept of Unity and Variety and various types of line. Among the works he selected were “Magic Flute Variations (Theme by W.A. Mozart) Opus 9 by Fernando Sor (b Feb 1778; d Paris, July, 10 1839) and “Study in A minor Opus No. 50” by Mauro Giuliani (July 27, 1781 – May 8, 1829). The live music added a wonderful element to the classroom. We worked several more sessions carefully layering our paint onto every part of the mural.

Finally we finished and had some time to reflect on our experiences. Mr. Schwartz worked with Dietz Custodian Alan Hall to install the mural in the cafeteria, where the Dietz Community will be able to enjoy the work for years to come.

A special thank you to all the staff and parents at Dietz, and to Christine and Greg and Cheryl for helping out in class!