John Henderson Creates Baltimore Public Art

John Henderson’s sculpture being installed at the park site.

This summer, WGS Studio artist John Henderson has been working with emerging young artists from Baltimore, MD to create new public art sculptures and murals. Baltimore’s “Arts On The Avenue (AOTA ) Program ” – is a place-based outdoor public arts initiative centered on residential neighborhoods and commercial districts undergoing community transformation. AOTA projects are site specific, with the intent of beautifying outdoor public spaces that promote peoples health, happiness, and well being.

Artist John Henderson presents certificates to each of the community participants.
All those who participated in the AOTA.

In addition to beautification of public spaces, another goal of AOTA is exposing children & youth to the creating process. This creative process or art therapy is more about the process not the outcome. In working with children and youth, this non verbal process in which the activities embodies the person and the expression is projected on the canvas. The end result is a finished mural. There can be discussions around what was created or not or a contemporary theme, such as “What is Family to You”, the therapy works to release emotions from deep within. We believe that this method of inserting young people to the visual arts has proven to be an effective efficient way of handling and overwhelmed PTSD, while at the same time creating a healthier community and improving the quality of life for the participants and residents in the community.

The community celebrates the completed works of art!
Baltimore City youth participating in a AOTA mural project

The Arts on the Avenue (AOTA) Program places culturally relevant artworks, created by local artist, along major vehicular corridors and identifiable gateways into a community. AOTA’s purpose is to stimulate revitalization efforts, in priority investment areas that align with local government neighborhood development strategies, attract new investments into communities, build strong connections with community stakeholders, and improve the quality of life for the residents through its ability to ignite the imagination, encourage thought and to prompt discourse.

Detail of the mural shows a bold, fun mix of colors.

WGS Artist John Henderson Creates Baltimore Public Art

WGS Resident Artist, John Henderson, has been creating artwork that enriches the Baltimore area.

WGS Resident Artist, John Henderson, has been creating artwork that enriches the Baltimore area.

Holy Nativity/St. John’s Development Corporation received a competitive Neighborhood Initiative Competitive Grant from Baltimore City to install outdoor sculptures along Park Heights Avenue, in Baltimore City.

John Henderson has been creating public art as part of a beautification initiative targeting vacant lots and communities undergoing redevelopment.

John Henderson has been creating public art as part of a beautification initiative targeting vacant lots and communities undergoing redevelopment.

The Project “Arts on the Avenue” is a place-based public art beautification initiative targeting vacant lots and communities undergoing redevelopment.  Artists will design and paint Ndebele design motifs on transparent panels that will be inserted into a steel frame.  Ndebele design originates from South Africa and is still practiced today. The Ndebele technique is primarily geometric using vibrant colors and symbols.

Each sculptural steel frame will contain a solar device that will provide illumination at sunset.

Each sculptural steel frame will contain a solar device that will provide illumination at sunset.

 

John Henderson

John Henderson

John Henderson, a studio artist at the WGS and resident of Maryland, is leading this project.  John and fellow artist Sean Hennessey recently completed an outdoor obelisk titled “Inspire” through a BOPA/Lots Alive competitive grant from Baltimore City. 

Hot Times At Glass School

>The thermometer might be reading in the triple digits (upper 30’s for the C° crowd ), and there may be powerful storms that have knocked out power for many in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland & Virginia) but there are those that come to the glass school to chill. 
Here are some shots taken on a hot weekend:

University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Associate Professor Susan O’Brien has come to the glass school to work in glass, as a change from ceramics. Susan here talks about her composition with artist Michael Janis.

Susan explores integrating decorative patterns into her fused glass

Artist John Henderson removes his castings from the kiln.

John is preparing artwork for a new mixed media series he is developing.

John’s new “Shield” series incorporates cast glass African imagery with metal and fused glass elements. And working with a water-cooled chop saw helps cool him down. 

Nancy Donnelly works with glass frits to create a lovely floral backdrop.

Stay Cool Peeps!