Ryan Trott is an artist, musician and art educator living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Holding a Master’s in Art Education from the City College of New York and a Bachelor’s of Music from Purchase College, he currently teaches elementary art in Orange, Virginia. His recent work focuses on making connections between education, children’s art, illustration, and conceptual art. He has shown locally and organizes The Bridge PAI’s “Free Draw” monthly drawing activity night.
My proposal for The Bridge’s Art Local CSA program, Art Inside & Outside, functions as both an artist’s book (with 10 original printed drawings/ink paintings) and an activity book- with 10 projects for adult and child artists to try out at home with family and friends. The book occupies a space between an artist’s zine, a children’s activity book and the work of artist educators such as Keri Smith (How to be an Explorer of the World) and conceptual artists/poets Yoko Ono and John Cage.
This book would be high quality printed in an edition of 30, and consist of 5 project suggestions that could be completed indoors (drawing games, mixed media projects, art with found/household objects), and 5 to be completed outdoors, or working with outdoor materials (land art, prints from natural objects, observational drawing.)
The activities in the book incorporate a variety of types of art-making: drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, sculpture, poetry, performance and conceptual art- all of which can be done at home with minimal art supplies necessary. Each project will be accompanied by an original drawing, connecting to the spirit of the activity or materials being used. Working closely with the printer and/or creating unique covers will ensure the special nature of this limited pressing.
For the community connection aspect of the work, The Bridge could host several workshops to coincide with the book- trying out different projects from Art Inside and Outside with different community members around town. A blog would function to present the work created during these events, encouraging an open dialogue about the ways art can enter our daily lives, and art projects can be undertaken by anyone at anytime. My personal motivation for this project lies in the belief that anyone can be an artist, and that everyone has a valuable creative spirit- it just depends on whether or not they choose to use it! My work with children, as an elementary art educator, has inspired my own creative pursuits, and reminded me of the intense joy of discovery and creation.