ArtSeed is an art education/youth leadership nonprofit enterprise and Tides Converge tenant since 2005. As we approach our 20th year of programming we focus on how humanity has struggled towards a point where peace, freedom, and unity exist without abuses of power. In the past months, children we work with, artists on our team, and volunteers have become fascinated with lawmakers, specifically the current, historic number of Congresswomen, 131. At the same time, we have witnessed an increasing number of articles about missing or murdered women whose cases, some having languished for decades, are finally being investigated.
All this gave rise to the centerpiece of our current show: two canvases, collaboratively rendered in oil paint, that juxtapose portraits of Congresswomen with their less fortunate counterparts. The portraits in this ongoing project have been created by a diverse group of folks, ranging from youngsters and other beginners to professional artists of all ages. Visitors to the show are encouraged to participate in this continuing adventure by providing their own additions to what we have already begun. You will find guidance as needed to paint your own chosen portrait of a woman from reference material provided. Click to see Keystone Project photos.
In addition, this show presents work resulting from continuing ArtSeed projects along with that of artists whose work compliments the collaborative canvases. Among many others, these include Saint Brigid School students’ depictions of predators and prey within animal fables; Trey Houston’s photographs of ArtSeed Summer Intensive students’ reflections in each other’s eyes; El Paso artist, Alejandra Carrillo-Estrada’s metal-smithed border reflections; and “Notes” with depictions of “Fertile Energy Power” by Seattle-based artist Albert Fisher.
Yearly Activities and Themes
Each academic year, after assessing surveys and participating in focus groups, ArtSeed’s executive director selects a theme to give structure to the next year’s artwork and exhibitions. Exploring topics ranging from politics to mortality, ArtSeed has never been afraid to break new ground – and challenge artists and students. Full activities summaries are listed on the pages below with working project annual themes/exhibition titles.
“Especially topics such as death, afterlife, heaven, hell, reincarnation … We fool ourselves when we think kids don’t think about stuff like this. To not have an outlet or to be denied one because it’s just not something we like to talk about is sad and a missed opportunity to get a peek inside their amazing landscape.” -Ymke Dioquino