Thursday, May 16, 2013

event styling: my other dream job

My dream job as an event stylist for my daughter's school auction "Passport to the World"

Whew! The school auction season is over and I can finally catch my breath. You may recall I wrote about this year's other auction project, Burkland's Cartographers, at my younger daughter's school. It was a true labor of love that allowed me to get to know the students better (we are new to the school this year) and I'm so proud to say that our work paid off big at the auction in March. 

And while our sleeves were rolled up at that school, I had already begun work leading the charge on event decorations and aesthetics for my other daughter's auction. This was my 7th consecutive year! volunteering with the auction team -- I was quite shocked when I added up the years. Well, it's always a treat to work alongside the lovely and incredibly talented folks of the auction team. I look forward to two more years -- thank you B, S + L! 

This year's auction theme was "Passport to the World". I wanted to capture the era of travel once defined by steamer trunks and telegrams. We scoured antiques shops and Goodwill stores in search of globes, vintage suitcases, Kodak slide carriages, apothecary bottles, binoculars, aged atlases and other hardcover travel-related books. 

Travel-themed hardcover books, rolled up maps, and candlight helped set the theme.


Binoculars + handcrafted airmail envelopes rounded out the scenery. 

Like I said, all this event styling is volunteer work but I love it so because of the creative process that goes along with it. It's really pretty effortless and highly if only I could find a way to do this for a living and get paid for it - ha! ;-)

Me (on the right -- yes, I do occasionally clean up) with my husband Patrick and my dear friend
Sarah (fellow parent + Auction Co-Chair guru). 

I'd love to share more of the details if you'd like. Just leave me a comment. The photographs were taken by fellow parent and photographer extraordinaire, Andrew Carr. I think he did an amazing job capturing the mood of the night. Cheers!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Burkland's Cartographers

Capturing the student's favorite activities at Camp Orkila and their grade-level school community service project.

Helping with Addie's classroom auction project this year has been a true labor of love. It's also given me a chance to get to know the students better -- thank you for the opportunity!

I thought I'd share a few snapshots of the project and description so that you can see all of the hard work the kids put into this large-scale, mixed-media diptych painting. I only wish I had a better camera! Cheers, Mandy

Completed panels with metal fasteners + washers to mark each student's "neighborhood". Photo was taken at night so coloring is off a bit. Measures 4 ft across x 3 ft tall.

Project Description:Last December students in Mr. Burkland’s class embarked on map-making journey of grand proportions. Inspiration for the project came from the book The Map as Art by Katharine Harmon and from the class’s studies of landscapes in Washington State, South America, and those found in mentor texts such as Marshfield Dreams. 
Students collaborated on several occasions to identify map markers, establish art direction, and voted on their favorite projects and class excursions. They enthusiastically rolled up their sleeves for a painting party and eagerly shared interests, hobbies, and aspirations in order to create their own “neighborhoods”.  
The finished artwork measures 3ft. x 4ft. and is comprised of two wooden canvases adorned with acrylic paints, artist renditions on drafting film overlays, metal fasteners as map markers, and student signatures. 
There’s no doubt Mr. Burkland’s cartographers have left an indelible mark on the fourth-grade landscape at Meridian with this large-scale, mixed-media painting. If you look closely you will also see loving sentiments about the meaning of family, the Meridian community, and Mr. Waldman. 

One of the survey questions I had for the students was "What do you want to be when you grow up?". I wrote their answers on top of the "River of Dreams" that spans both canvases. 

Here are two examples of the "neighborhoods". Can you tell my daughter is horse obsessed?!

Here is the map legend with key 4th grade assignments and special interests.

The kids and I wanted to include well wishes and a way to honor the head of school who is retiring at the end of this year. To do this, we created "Waldman National Forest" within the "Meridian Mountains". I hope he likes it! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

shorpy finds: canal point

Migrant Workers Canal Point, FL by Marion Post Wolcott (circa 1939) via Shorpy

I look at these two young women and I see beauty. I also see pride. They impress me. Click here to get more of their story. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

why am I just now discovering Google Art Project?

Close-up of Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" made possible by the 10 billion pixel image!

Yesterday I watched a TedTalk about Google's Art Project and was blown away with what I saw. I learned that anybody anywhere with online access can experience world-class art and cultural information thanks to the marriage of Google technologies and hundreds of acclaimed art partners from around the world. Furthermore, some of the digital images have 10 billion pixels allowing you to see brushstrokes and fine details too often missed.

I encourage you to watch the video and then explore Google Art Project to view the collections, take a tour, or even start your own art collections to share with friends. Simply lovely.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

jon contino

When I grow up I want to be an artist like Jon. Check out his passion and craftsmanship so beautifully captured in this video. Then, browse through his portfolio here. Cheers, Mandy

Jon Contino from Kevin Steen on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

hospital art

UPDATE Jan '13: 
When this post was originally published, I did not know who the artist was nor did I know the title of this beautiful diptych. Well, imagine my delight when I was contacted directly by the artist with well wishes for my mom and the title of the painting. Layne Cook is the artist and she titled this work  "Trust". Layne is an accomplished painter with roots here in the Pacific Northwest. Please take a moment to visit her Website. Thank you Layne for the inspiration and support!

This diptych at Swedish Cherry Hills campus in Seattle pretty much sums up our support for my mom who recently underwent her third emergency cardiac catheterization in 2013. She is stable now. Yesterday we moved her to a short-term rehab facility so that she can regain her strength and mobility.

I wish I had been taking photos of all the incredible artwork in hospital settings along the way. There was no placard beside this diptych so I cannot tell you who the artist is. What I can tell you is that it is comforting.

To all my family, friends, neighbors, my daughter's teachers and karate instructors, and last but not least, families of my daughter's classmates -- please know that I am extremely grateful for all your support and generosity this past year. Thank you for being ready to catch us. Someday I will repay you.

xo Mandy

Saturday, November 17, 2012

a must see: The Dust Bowl by Ken Burns

My family and I will be tuning in this weekend to watch the latest film by renowned director Ken Burns and PBS: The Dust Bowl. As you know, this subject matter is near and dear to me and at the heart of my 2011 stories on canvas: Dust Bowl Glimpses. I'm so very proud of the work because it gives a voice to the impoverished people who endured merciless conditions of a record-breaking 10-year drought in the 1930s. Please join me.

My Dust Bowl Glimpses series:

                                Open publication - Free publishing - More 1930s america