Keri King Prepares to Blast Off at Foo

Keri King, Foo Fest artist-in-residence, designed this year’s promotional poster and much of the art you’ll see at Foo. She took a break from painting a space roadster to talk to me about this year’s theme and her excitement over being involved with Foo this year.

Motif: What inspired the poster design?

Keri King: We were talking a lot about AS220 past, present and future. AS220 is celebrating their 25th anniversary, they just launched their archive at the Providence Public Library, and they’re also looking ahead with their All Access campaign. As we were having those conversations, one of the most compelling things to me on the news was Tesla sending Elon Musk’s roadster into outer space. So in the future, this little girl, Space Fool, and her cat, Catso — who is based on [AS220 veteran] Susan Clausen’s cat that used to frequent AS220 — jump into the AS220 roadster and spread the mission of art and community into the cosmos.
Motif: Will Space Fool and Catso have roles at the fest?
KK: We have a lot of space- and science-themed activities planned. The important thing is that we’re getting ready for the parade, which is a space launch theme (see section on maker activities), so kids are going to create space gear. We’re also going to have an activity called Ask a Scientist. We’ll have an entomologist, an astrophysicist and a physical chemist there, and kids can ask all their questions — science-related or “What’s your favorite color?” One of the things that’s important to me is combining art with other subjects, like space or environmental stewardship.
AS220 is an all-ages organization, and this year, there’s going to be a rich blend of family-friendly activities (kids under 10 get in free!). The RI Museum of Science and Art will be there. We’ll also have a booths with Blick, KidoInfo and PVD Children’s Museum, and we’ll have a photo booth so our guests at Foo Fest will have the opportunity to take a picture in outer space.
Motif: What’s the best part of being involved with Foo?
KK: I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with a lot of people at AS220 industries, and it’s been exiting and fruitful. There are so many areas of expertise, and those collaborations and community-building is a really important part of my practice.

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