Community Work

Blank Canvas of EXPLORE at the Forest Park Public Library.

Blank Canvas of EXPLORE at the Forest Park Public Library.

In July 2015, I installed these 4′ letters that I built, in the front yard of the Forest Park Public Library. Library patrons arrived and painted the letters. More information and photos of the build here: https://www.elainelutherart.com/2015/07/exploring-public-art-with-the-forest-park-public-library/

Library patrons paint letters at Forest Park Library.

Library patrons paint letters at Forest Park Library.

Elaine Luther with Before I Die Wall at SEA Conference 2015, photo by Deb Garman

Elaine Luther with Before I Die Wall at SEA Conference 2015, photo by Deb Garman

In February 2015, I installed a Before I Die… wall at the Self-Employment in the Arts Conference in Lisle, IL. This was a replication of the Candy Chang project, she encourages replication and it’s been done over 500 times in over 70 countries! Our installation was indoors and done on windows instead of the usual chalkboard walls.

Here are more images of the installation, once participants filled in the lines.

Before I Die Wall at SEA 2015

Before I Die Wall at SEA 2015

BeforeIDie2

BeforeIDieWall1

This project truly activated the space! And it was wonderful to see the silly, bold, brave, sad and fun things that participants wrote.

Credits: Installation by Elaine Luther and Emily Garman. Staffed by volunteers with SEA. Project made possible by support from SEA. Thank you!

In 2009-2010, I worked with a Girl Scout troop on a quilt making project in which eight girls made seven quilt tops to be given to residents of Hephzibah House in Oak Park, Illinois, a residential facility for foster children. Two girls also did the quilting (stitching the three layers together) and one girl also did her own binding.

Adults were so inspired by the girls that they made an additional 20+ quilts! A year later, adult quilters were still bringing me quilts! This was an amazing experience, a challenge for the girls and they were so proud of their accomplishment.

On the quilting project, I was the administrative lead, additional volunteers were the quilting experts. The girls created a website so that others can replicate their project: http://quilts4kids.wordpress.com

Quilt made by 5th grade Girl Scout.

On Earth Day 2012, I again worked with a Girl Scout troop, this time as they created a public participation mural. Three junior high girls submitted designs to the Village of Oak Park and the village chose one.

The mural features a very large tree with many branches. Members of the public were able to add their handprint to the tree as a leaf, as a show of their commitment to go green. The Girl Scouts, with some help from grown-ups to reach the high parts, painted the mural in advance of Earth Day, and on Earth Day, painted the hands of members of the public so that they could add their prints. The artistic lead on this project was artist Linda DuPree, who transferred the girl’s drawing from paper, on small scale, to the wall at full scale. I was the administrative lead on this project and also got to paint in some grass!

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