The goal of the Elevation Project is to beautify an Albuquerque neighborhood by inserting collaborative artwork into a space that would otherwise exist in a dilapidated state.
Our project's greater purpose, however, is to give local children some ownership over how their neighborhood looks, and to encourage in young people--from the earliest stages in their education--the knowledge that they can have a positive, visible and lasting impact on their community. This idea aligns with our collaborative school's philosophical mission: to emphasize the importance of children in our society by making their presence more visible in our public spaces.
The school, the Elevation Children's Center, takes groups of children into community spaces multiple days a week to explore the physical world. Over the past few months I have been exploring, discovering, and artistically collaborating with the children who attend Elevation and documenting our process. I pack in art supplies that I can roll up and carry to their learning sites--sometimes a mile from where I can park!--and together we make visual representations and responses to what we experience in the space.
Our project expounds on Elevation's educational philosophy by making visible to the community the experiences of children, from their unique artistic perspectives, on a local empty sign; a space that seemed ripe for intervention.
In November we chose two images from our collaborations to be printed on vinyl and installed on an empty sign at the local business Field and Frame, at 107 Tulane Drive SE. The owner, Alan Fulford, has generously allowed us to utilize his sign for the duration of the project.
The first images were installed on December 11th, 2020. It took a little while to finally get them up because of the state-wide Coronavirus Shutdown. It is our intention to install a new set of signs once a month.
On January 29th, 2021, we installed our newest round of signs. We think the second set is even better than the first, and are so excited to see what we will create and display next!
When we took down our first set of signs, we installed them on the fence at Elevation. Over the course of the project's duration, we will continue to add the "old" signs to the exterior fence, to create an outdoor art gallery.