Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Concept Unveiled: Pillars of Diversity

Project Concept by Lead Teaching Artists Yvette Simone & Timothy Siciliano

 Pillars of Diversity
 at Thurgood Marshall Elementary

In Summer 2015, twenty-four diverse youth will work with three professional public artists to create a permanent art installation on the Martin Luther King Jr. Way frontage of Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. The work will celebrate Thurgood Marshall’s pivotal work towards equal justice under the law for all people as the first black Supreme Court Justice during the civil-rights movement.

Lead artists Yvette Simone and Timothy Siciliano have conceived the project as a symbolic depiction of equal justice under the law for people of every race, creed or color. Its five stately 10-foot pillars evoke not only the Supreme Court but also broader associations of justice and education. The contrasting colors and overlaid circles spreading up the pillars from the steps below are an evocation both of the diversity of our nation’s people and the energetic optimism of youth.

In the first week of workshops, the 24 Hit the Streets youth will work with poet Daemond Arrindell to express their own feelings about Thurgood Marshall and his work in poetic form. The youth will learn the color theory of Josef Albers – how to use context and contrast to great effect – and will apply colored glazes to ceramic disks on which their poems have been rendered. Those disks will be inset into the cement steps and column bases. Some of the youth will work in Coyote’s metal shop to fabricate the capitals at the top of each steel column, and all youth will paint the columns – both the trompe l’oeuil of the black/white/gray upper columns and the circles of varying diameters and colors along their lower half.

The end steps of the piece will feature plaques with quotations from Thurgood Marshall himself. On one end will be a timeline of civil rights people and events from across the United States, and on the other end will be a timeline of prominent civil-rights leaders and actions in the city of Seattle. The 24 young artists will be acknowledged with a plaque as well.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Installation Celebration on August 13

Mark your calendars and join us when we celebrate the installation of the youth art project:

12:15p on Thursday, August 13

Thurgood Marshall Elementary
2401 S. Irving St.
Seattle, WA 98144

Refreshments will be generously donated by local businesses, including Field Roast Grain Meat Co.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Teaching Artist Team Selected

The Steering Committee is pleased to introduce a strong team of teaching artists that will be guiding the youth art project at Thurgood Marshall Elementary this summer.  Yvette Simone and Timothy Siciliano will collaborate as lead artists, with poet Daemond Arrindell, as a guest teacher in the first week of the project. Their collective talents, skills and experience are sure to produce not only a great piece of public art but also an exceptional experience for the 24 young artist participants.

Yvette Simone

Native American, African American, Irish and Scottish, born in the Northwest, Simone’s family’s story has been featured on Oprah. She has been honored at the White House for her artwork included in the Arts in Embassies program.  Simone has completed eleven public art sculptures, exhibited in five museums, and exhibited in numerous galleries locally, nationally and internationally and now has a studio in Seattle's Central District. Simone’s work challenges what art is with her seemingly comic-strip-like style and also challenges censorship with hard topics. Simone and her paintings can be described using the same adjectives: childlike, playful, deliberate, intelligent, thought-provoking, seemingly simple yet complex, and masterfully skilled in artistic delivery.  To learn more Simone: http://ysimone7.tumblr.com/

Timothy Siciliano

A Seattle Native with over 20 years of solo art exhibits, Siciliano has deep experience in both theater design and public art work and sculpture. His commissions include works for the Seattle Center, City of Seattle, City of Auburn, City of Issaquah, King County and Washington State Arts Commission. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, King County Individual Artist Award, and the 2010 First-Prize International Arts Award from Fabrik Arts Magazine. He has collaborated with Coyote Central on other teaching projects, including last summer’s Hit the Streets youth art project at Washington Middle School in the Central District of Seattle, WA.

Daemond Arrindell

Arrindell wants to change the world with words, particularly the lives of young people. The spoken-word poet has been in Seattle since 2001, a transplant from New York. Inspired by Seattle writer Sherman Alexie, Arrindell has influenced hundreds of teens and wants to show that poetry isn’t just about “old dead white guys.” Poetry can give kids a voice. With professional experience as a youth crisis counselor, Arrindell is a full-time writer, teacher and poetry mentor. He works as a writer-in-the-schools and as a mentor with Youth Speaks, a writing and spoken-word poetry project for teens, sponsored by Arts Corps. To learn more about Arrindell: http://kuow.org/post/seattles-daemond-arrindell-changes-lives-through-poetry