Art & Air is 10 years old–and so are we (almost)! So it will come to no surprise to hear that we’ve been making the artist awards since we’ve opened–and it’s been one of our favorite things to do too.
Since Art & Air’s beginning 10 years ago, Holly & I have created and donated the artist awards for Webster’s annual art fair. Pam Belloli, dear friend and 2003 Art & Air Artist Chair, came to us with the idea of giving something atypical for artist awards. We loved the challenge and got into it right away. We considered it an honor and still enjoy designing them and handing them out to the winners. The awards themselves have been an assortment of unique works of art, each made from Yucandu’s materials, our combined imaginations and volunteered time.
For the first five years, the awards were inspired by the standard blue ribbons, but made from handmade papers and funky yarns—of course! In 2009, we decided to ramp things up– the materials and the creativity as well. We used small chunky canvases and added big colorful handmade tassels. The following year came paper maché peace signs. In 2011, the awards were made from vintage staircase spindles purchased from a local estate. We involved members from our After-School Art Club where the kids painted with abandon using whatever colors and patterns they wanted. That was fun!
Last year, Holly & I used lids from black vintage metal film-boxes, anonymously dropped off a few years before. We saved them, knowing the perfect opportunity to “upcycle” them would come along. Paint can lids, bottle caps and other local found objects are all part the “steam punk” design.
This year the tradition continues. Holly wanted to use Art & Air’s 10 year anniversary logo as part of the design. Enjoying the creative challenge, there’s plenty of options among our eclectic mix of supplies—wooden blocks, scrabble tiles, vintage yardsticks and metal wings just to name a few things we found. (The “x” stands for 10.) We truly hope the artists will enjoy their awards as much as we enjoy making them.
Janice Seele, another dear friend and Webster Community Arts Foundation President, wrote us a lovely note not long ago. It says, “The artists love the handmade awards and have told us how much they appreciate the care and creativity that go into these amazing and unique pieces of art. They are always different, always a surprise, and Yucandu somehow always tops the wonders of the previous year.”
Janice also wrote “You have created an amazingly vital, practically pulsing with energy, arts center with Yucandu. It sets the tone in the area. And you do so much to spread your creative force around.” This means so much to us. Thank you Art & Air for letting us be a part of your 10 years of community, art & friendship.
The Webster Community Arts Foundation produces and presents Art & Air, Paint Webster, Art on the Town, and other arts programs. Art & Air is located on the grounds of Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Friday thru Sunday, June 7th, 8th, & 9th. For more fair information go to www.artandair.com