While I was chumming the waters at the Syracuse Creek Float extravaganza, the Utica NY based Project-U Artists Group I'm part of was hard at work on our presence at the Destination Create Festival at MKJ Farms in Deansboro, NY. Event organizer Crystal Maury from New Hartford's Signature 81 had invited the group to take part in September of last year and put together a marvelous weekend of food, art, vendor artisans, and arranged for Project-U to have a full blown information booth on the group & our objectives in a primo location.
The MKJ Farms main building where the event took place.
Longtime group member Dawn H. Farrar put together a crackerjack booth committee and in under a month had us up and running on paper with an action plan which came together smoothly -- with the hard work of our dedicated contingent of artists & enthusiasts. My own ambition to attend was derailed by family needs which kept me here in Syracuse but the group not only rose to the occasion but did everyone who is part of Project-U proud with a professional presence that looks like it was downright fun to be part of. Here's a look at the scene cribbed from the group's brand new public Facebook "Like" page, which you can access by clicking here.
Project-U's committee leader for this effort, Rome NY based painter Dawn H. Farrar at right, with her charge d'affairs artist Bethany Heintz from the Utica crew.
Executive installation specialist.
Our corner! Assembled mentally by Dawn over the prior week with some basic materials (including my gifted hand-me-down display racks from last summer's festival retinue), and curated up by the gals in a couple hours.
The Art Store in Syracuse very generously provided this bundle of goodies -- including my favorite Golden Artist Colors acrylics -- for the group to raffle off as a fundraising effort to benefit Project-U. Still waiting on the tally but Dawn indicated that there was major excitement generated by the bundle, which did find a happy home.
Project-U artist Richelle Maki! in charge of our activities table for Friday, where festival attendees of all ages were encouraged to get busy for a few minutes. We hope to display the results in our Art In Windows program for downtown Utica once we find a host.
Opening up on Saturday morning, for some other pix of the event take a look at the Utica OD article linked at the top of the page.
Our fantabulous Saturday morning staff, led by Project-U founder & my co-Chair Jenna North, performance artist Catherine Wright, and our hero volunteer, painter Audrey H. Russell!
Saturday's setup, with that magic Jenna North touch.
Musician Michael Frantz Illio with a Steve Nyland zombie head, painted on a sock drawer panel.
Raffle ticket buyer! Dawn is our new fundraising honcho, can't wait to turn her loose at UMAF.
Check it out!!! Project-U's emerging design guru, artist Maria Vallese with the group's new "walking tour" map of the downtown zone & the venues/businesses which have supported us. It's not *all* of Utica yet, that's a real city. But it's a step in the right direction and something we've needed for months. Awesome work, my dear!
Artworks by our homeboy Tony Thompson, recovering from a cranial procedure that has left him fit & on the road to recovery. We're hoping for a Project-U Tony Thompson Benefit of some sort this summer, stay tuned and we'll let you know how to get involved or direct you to those who are. Yo!
Artist Christopher Farrell, whom I first encountered via work for his promotions design team at Golden Artist Colors in December of 2012. Chris and I stayed in touch, he was intrigued by the idea of getting involved with a public arts program in his old stomping grounds of Utica, and we've had the pleasure of his advice and blunt candor on any number of topics since he joined up with Project-U.
He also helped cover my butt on this one stuck back in Syracuse, and that's what art committees are for. Bringing together those with enough enthusiasm for the arts to take such time out and do the driving. Coffee at the Tram or a Utica Club at the Dev next time for this!
And Dawn with the winner of our raffle basket from The Art Store! Good art is distinguished by how it leads to or results in more art. Go get em, Cowboy!
Our Fly Girl Cleanup Brigade, always in action. And what the hey, one last look ...
<3 my Utica posse ;]
and be sure to "Like" it to stay on top of our spring/summer event plans!