Ciel artist Randy Leibowitz Dean knew she wanted to collaborate with UMAR Arts Center, Charlotte artists as soon as she heard the call for collaborative work for the July show at Ciel Gallery. The question was how do you create a collaborative project for twenty creative people?
When Dean saw her husband take an 8’ long cardboard tube out of the garage to trash several days later, she told him “Stop, go back!” Something about the tube called to her. She sketched for days trying to work out how cardboard could work as a sculpture. An idea percolated. The tube was cut into “cuffs” to fit over some PVC piping. Wood tables from the Matthews Help Center (a lovely donating center which supports the community) were the perfect sculpture stands.
Dean's passion for helping people with Intellectual Disabilities was incorporated into the project with the inclusion of puzzle pieces, the autism logo. Four classes of UMAR students were dedicated to gluing found objects onto the cuffs and tables, including pennies, metal washers, cut out pieces of cardboard, fabric and string. A friend donated containers of beautiful metallic paint.
The staff at UMAR arts center got involved, helping to direct the gluing and painting. Dean and UMAR arts counselor and registered art therapist Marianne Huebener spent time brainstorming the details. Huebener’s expertise in Art Therapy brought into focus how to make the project a jumping off place for group to talk about the process and experience with a focus on fun!Dean and Huebener came up with a plan of how to make the project interactive by inviting viewers to be a part of the creation. (Hint: a portion of the sculpture will be hanging from the ceiling!)
Most of the “cuffs” on the sculpture will be removable, revealing beautifully painted PVC piping as the structural work. (sharpie markers work great on PVC!) Cuffs around the gallery will include invitations for viewers to help in the creation, find where they “fit in.” Dean explains: “ With inclusion we can all find where we fit in. All of us.”
Visit Ciel Gallery in July to see this project and more collaborative art during the "Collaboratus" show.
This Scoop article provided by Ciel blog writer Jen Walls