As most of you know, the Blackburn House has a relationship with Elkland Art Center, which is right down the road from us. Elkland Art Center uses art as a way to bring the the community together, and we think it’s really great! I’ve been working there every Monday for the past few months, doing everything from paper maché-ing giant animal puppet heads to batik to just cleaning and organizing. And I guarantee you that NOBODY knows me as an artist (well, not visual arts anyway). We’ve all been hard at work creating items for this year’s Annual Liberty Parade in Todd – a pretty big deal out here!
For the past month, Elkland has opened it’s doors to allowing people from the community to come in and help create the fire-themed props that will be carried this year. My favorite thing that you’ll see at the parade this year is a large fiery silk “parachute”. We spent weeks using batik (an ancient method of using hot wax to create designs on silk before dying it) to create beautiful flames onto silk fabric (*See picture below!). When the pieces were finished dying, we cut them and had volunteers sew them together. It’s truly the best example of the beauty of what Elkland Art Center is trying to accomplish. When we display it at the Parade, I’m going to be able to look at each flame – all of them so different and so unique – knowing which strokes were mine and which strokes were my friends working alongside of me. I’ll know that I had nothing to do with the sewing together of those flames – that others made each stitch happen that holds them together. That one piece would never have happened and wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful if we hadn’t had more than a handful of people from our community working on it. What a representation of community: that without each other, not only would it not exist, but that we each bring our own uniqueness and gift to it.
The Liberty Parade will happen on July 4th (this Thursday, can you believe it?), and there are still opportunities for you to get involved in this community project!
- You can still work on stuff with us! We’ll be working the next few days to finish up everything, AND we’ll be doing some set-up work this Wednesday in Todd.
- You can come and walk in the parade! Just show up. It’ll be awesome.
- You can donate to help us cover the costs (all of the workshops have been free!).You actually get some cool swag for donating. You can find more info and donate online here.