Take a Walk on the Creative Side

AS220 has always been a home for artists, and their annual Foo Fest not only offers a walk on the wild side, but a walk on the creative side. This year, attendees can take part in a slew of exciting maker’s activities that will capture the imagination of creative explorers of all ages.

Foo Fest artist-in-residence (she lives at AS220!) Keri King incorporates illustration, public art, storytelling and the occasional foray into performance in her work. King’s art has been incorporated into the official Foo poster as well as merchandise and site design. King and Carmel Dundon are going to guide kids through making their own space gear from 1 to 6pm, then let them deck themselves out for the Foo Fest Parade, which takes place at 6:30pm. “The parade has a space launch theme,” said King. “The kids need space gear and they need to get to know their companions before they go into space together.” Now that’s a space force we can all get behind!

Work studio resident and weaver Leslie Atik will be bringing her looms down from her studio in the Dreyfus building for a special community art project. “I will be bringing my floor loom as well as a large frame loom to Foo Fest and will invite festival goers to weave with me. rivers/ríos/lives/vidas is an ongoing project I began with the help of many who attended last year’s festival. For me, the highlight of Foo Fest is sharing my love for this medium with members of the community. It is wonderful to have so many hands working together. Weaving is such a beautiful metaphor for community: Our lives are interwoven, join and intermingle, as do the rivers that flow through Providence.” This community art piece eventually will be displayed in the Open Window at 115 Empire Street. To view more of her work, go to leslieatik.com

If you’ve never seen a live demonstration of glass blowing, this is your chance! Gather Glass, a unique creative studio on Atwells Avenue, which offers classes as well as works of glass art by members, will show you how it’s done. Check out their website at gatherglass.com for detailed info on tours and classes. And in case you yearn to storm The Steel Yard, artists from this working classroom will pique your interest in the welding arts with their own demonstrations of technique and torches. If paint and paper is more your speed, head to Blick Art Materials’ table where they will be demonstrating paper marbling. Carolyn Jayne, assistant manager at Blick Art Materials Providence said, “We do a lot of collaboration with AS220, and we’re super excited about Foo Fest.” And if the paper marbling bug bites, all of the materials to try it at home are available at Blick. Paper maker Kate Aitchison also will be on hand to show people her craft. “We will be making paper from invasive and local plant species in Rhode Island as a way to connect paper to place,” she said. “I see it as a platform for talking about how plants have migrated around the world and how invasive plants can be turned into something positive.”

The AS220 Industries and its artist members will lead family-friendly activities highlighting the facilities and equipment in their community-accessible studios. Design a choose-your-own-adventure mask out of 3D parts or solder LEDs to make constellations or cat necklaces with glowing eyes. Try your hand at button-making and relief and screen printing, too! Or join AS220 Youth in a mural “by numbers” project.

Kidoinfo.com will be doing it’s popular “Make your own bookmark” activity, which includes crayons, markers and stickers of superheroes, flowers, princesses and Minions.
“The bookmarks that kids design are so amazing and beautiful,” said Susan Gale, publisher of Kidoinfo.com. “They take their bookmark home to use when reading by themselves or with their parents. We see it as a great way to have fun and also encourage reading. We usually end up with a crowd of kids around our table.” 

There are as many maker activities at Foo Fest as there are stars in the sky, so prepare for blast-off!

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