Last fall I submitted three proposals to work on 6' light bulbs for the Lincoln Light house Public Art project. This project benefits the work of Light House, an afterschool program for youth in the city of Lincoln. I was blessed to have all three bulb designs juried in and sponsored SO NOW I'm up to my eyes in light bulbs to finish in April of this year.
I have been super excited to work on the pieces already and have been able to share the limited knowledge I have working with mosaics on the fiberglass resin material of the bulbs with the other artists. I am sensing a great community beginning to form as the artists share with one another about their test materials and how products are working on these sculptures.
I had the great opportunity to spend an afternoon with the kids at Light House last Tuesday as they created their own works of art to go on a Light Bulb I have entitled "Stories of Value." Collaged on the bulb with be stories of the kids and alumni of the program. Although nervous to go work with the kids (I'm somewhat scared of teenagers), the whole atmosphere of the place set my heart at ease. It was like going home. Then to see the staff greet each child as their own with warmth and a reassuring hug. It was amazing! Something truly special is happening at Light House. During the after school program, the youth can study, finish homework, participate in rec time or talk with each other or the staff. Academics and graduating high school are a high priority and I sensed many of the students beginning to discover their dreams and goals beyond high school. They impacted me more than I could've imagined. Whether they knew it or not, many of them accepted me just as they were accepted by the staff. I can't wait to go back again and see the youth and work on more art together.
Another Light bulb I'm working on is going to be painted at Gateway Mall in Lincoln, NE. As I paint almost daily for 2-3 weeks I will be available to answer questions about the project and also about Light House as a whole. I'm excited to have the opportunity to use art as a catalyst to share about creating and making a difference in the lives of others. Not sure on all the details here but will hopefully soon.
As for my mosaic light bulb (as seen above), I'm working hard on it in my garage often having to heat the space several hours before I can get good work time in. Navigating the temperature changes the past weeks has been an adventure to say the least, but I'm excited for the 30 plus degree days ahead. There have also been material challenges too, but it's a good learning process and I've seen the artists on this project as a whole open to sharing which is so sweet.
So light bulbs will continue to fill the garage for the next few months but I am so thankful for a husband who encourages me by letting me take over his side of the space and parking outside so I can work on art.
Ann has worked as a professional artist since 2006. She currently works on her own studio artwork as well as large, commercial works and with other artists in any way she can.