In early January I had the pleasure of completing a Rangoli residency at the River Rock School in Montpelier, VT. River Rock is a small school with fewer than 50 students and mixed-grade activity classes, which gave us the perfect opportunity to experiment with some new ideas.
Students learned about geometry, shape and pattern, and designed their own Rangolis on paper which they used to create a transparent-film window-quilt and transform into mindful doodles. They also learned about Kamalkari–the Indian art of block-printing– which inspired the creation of hand-printed peace flags. Finally we collaborated as a group to create temporary Rangoli patterns using rice and colored chalk, which made for a beautiful and memorable finale.
On October 20th 2016, an interactive Rangoli performance took place at the Champlain College Art Gallery in Burlington, VT. Participants were students from the Global Studies Senior Seminar and the performance took place during a solo exhibition of my work. Peripheral Vision features work created as a result of a 15-week residency in the Champlain College MakerLab in the spring of 2016. While exploring the line between permanence and the ephemeral, I have been experimenting with cutting-edge 3D-printer technology and created a body of work that attempts to connect three different elements of my practice: rangoli, painting and sculpture.
In May 2016, I conducted an all-day interactive Rangoli workshop for the staff and patients of Northwest Medical Center in St. Albans, VT for their annual Hospital Week celebration. There was a steady stream of participants throughout the day, experimenting with temporary rangolis, a communal mindful doodle and making new friends over art-making. Surgeons and consultants worked alongside administrators, and patients became acquainted with kitchen staff, which added to the beautifully relaxed, creative and collegial atmosphere that day.
In October 2015, I was invited to teach a Rangoli workshop at the Annual Fall Conference for the Vermont Art Teachers Association, ‘Imagination Encircles The World’.
The conference was attended by over 75 art teachers from all over the state and was hosted by the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne VT. It was a real joy and a day filled with gratitude.
Throughout my middle and high school experience, it was my art teacher that developed and nurtured my passion for the arts through her patience, motivation and creativity. She was instrumental in my choice of career as a visual/ teaching artist; and so I thank you Barbara Larlham, and thank you Vermont art teachers, for all the creativity, confidence and innovative thinking you inspire.
Over the Summer I had the opportunity to teach a Rangoli workshop to students at the Community Art Center, an incredible non-profit community arts organization in Cambridge, MA. We had an inspired session, and spent the day creating designs, dyeing rice and understanding scale. Later that month, the youth teams used their skills to make community Rangoli designs as part of Change4Peace; 8 lunchtime art-making sessions at Kendall Square and the Green Rose Heritage Park.
Images courtesy of Teen Media Program/ Community Art Center
Last week I had the opportunity to facilitate a Rangoli activity for a 48-hour retreat at the beautiful Bishop Booth Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont.
Situated in 130 acres of woodland on the banks of Lake Champlain, it was the perfect location for a meditative Rangoli session in the spring sunshine.
20 participants engaged in the 90 minute session–following a short group meditation, 4 teams negotiated space, color and pattern to create some stunning designs.
The Integrated Arts Academy residencies culminated in a wonderful exhibition which opened on Thursday May 22nd, at the BCA Center, Burlington VT. All artworks will be exhibited for one week only. There was a formal opening, with introductions by Judy Klima, Arts Coach at the IAA and Melissa Steady, Education Director at BCA. It was a fabulous event and included the work of students in KG through to 2nd grade.
The exhibited work integrated science, social studies, math and literacy with the visual arts.
The finished Rangoli tiles -1st grade
The finished ‘stained glass’ quilt hanging – 2nd grade
A view of the show including Kim Desjardins’ ceramic tiles with KG
Gowri Savoor and Kim Desjardins in front of the Rangoli tiles
Students locating their artworks
Arts Connect is a partnership between Burlington City Arts, VSA Vermont, Integrated Arts Academy (Burlington School District), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, the Vermont Arts Council and Saint Michael’s College.