Sweater Project, 2018

Over several weeks, I routinely stapled “lost/found” posters to telephone poles in my hometown. The posters featured a childhood photo of me holding a cat with the tag line “Do you have my sweater?”, directing viewers to email me with any information. Overall, 70 posters were hung in a three-mile radius of my childhood home, which included the posters I replaced when the originals were torn down. While no childhood sweaters were returned, I received several messages via email:

“I do not have your sweater. Sorry for the inconvenience. I wish you luck on your search.

“I found your sweater but I am not planning on giving it back, I need a sweater and this one fits me perfectly.”

“I have your sweater, but it will come with a price. The ultimate price.”

Despite offering a sweater-trade to these individuals, none of them took me up on my offer.

“Make a Big Stack” project, 2018

The “Make a Big Stack” project was an artistic collaboration between members of the Bench: an artist’s collective and students from the Mountaineer Boys and Girls club (MBGClub) after school program. Over 3 months, Bench members taught weekly lessons on installation art to the 2nd-6th grade students, preparing them to create an installation at a local gallery. The only artistic materials used were items found in the MBGClub’s basement storage, which were turned into big stacks with underlying narratives. During the weekly workshops at the MBGClub, the students created several practice installations, engaged in critiques, created promotional materials, researched contemporary installation artists, kept journals of ideas, and learned how to turn everyday items into art. The final show, Strawberry Cupcorn Unicake Free WiFi’s, was on view at Arts Monongahela, in Morgantown, WV from March 9th-28th 2018.

Below are photos of the workshops, promotional materials, interviews by the local paper The Dominion Post, select lesson plans, and proposals for the project.

Students creating installation at the Mountaineer Boys and Girls Club
Bench members Ineke Knudsen and Avery Williamson discussing the installation
Installation view at Mountaineer Boys and Girls Club
Installation view at Mountaineer Boys and Girls Club
Bench member Patrick Bayly working on installation

Proposal to Arts Monongahela

Student made poster for culminating project exhibition
Student made poster for culminating project exhibition

Dominion Post Interviews

Selected Lesson Plans

Project Members:

Amazing MBGClub students, including Buck, Mia, Sarah, Candy, Aoi, and many more.

Ineke Knudsen (lesson plans, lead teacher, workshop instruction, installation)

Patrick Bayly (proposal, venue coordinator, workshop instruction, installation)

Avery Williamson (workshop instruction, press coordinator, installation)

Lou Richardson (workshop instruction, secondary teacher)

Thanks to:

Arts Monongahela

Andrew Rabee (MBGClub director)

Kelley Keifer (MBGClub treasurer)

MBGClub volunteers

Other Bench volunteers