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Hamden Art Beat

Jul 29

Hamden Sketches History Together

Posted on July 29, 2020 at 4:41 PM by Alisha Martindale

The Hamden Historic Sketchbook Project Submissions are beginning to come in!

In late April, the Hamden Dept. of Arts and Culture and the Hamden Public Library collaborated on launching a historic sketchbook initiative. Inspired by the original Sketchbook Project in Brooklyn, the Hamden Historic Sketchbook Project is an art history project meant to encourage Hamden residents to literally "paint a picture" of life during a global pandemic.

Each participant registered through an online request form and received (either by mail or delivery by a Hamden librarian) one 4 inch by 5 inch brown, bound, craft-paper sketchbook with about 24 pages front to back. They also received an illustrated mini Zine with instructions to be as creative as they wished, incorporating any kind of artistic medium or style as long as they did not use glitter (for the sake of keeping nearby books, shelves, flooring and librarians from being covered in glitter).

"I'm more of a crafter than an artist, says resident Clarice Yasuhara so my little book has a lot of mixed media: stickers, watercolor, markers, collages, acrylic, stamps, doodles, quotes, yarn, etc.  It evolved to something more than just a sketch book, it's that plus a scrapbook and a journal and something pretty personal".

When asked why it is important to document Hamden's history, resident Susan Derbacher, says, "Being raised in Hamden from age 2, it is important to have the opportunity to share a resident's experiences".

Kristen Walker said, "LOVE doing this. More pages than I can fill right now but…fun to do". 

 “Years from now when historians or a person’s grandchild wants to know what it was like to live through this pandemic, there will be this special library collection,”  adds Melissa Canham-Clyne, library Director of the Hamden Public Library. 

Sketchbooks were donated by a generous, anonymous donor and will be cataloged, digitized and made available to be taken out like real books at the Hamden Miller Library once they have all been submitted. 

 

 95553687_1006195593116215_7704431495137460224_n  sketchbook image by Kristen Walker     IMG_6504
 Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 9.00.34 AM  fda  IMG_20200722_002323


              
Jul 20

Hamden Arts Commission Makes Art Supplies Accessible

Posted on July 20, 2020 at 3:05 PM by Alisha Martindale

arts commission gives out free art kits at the hamden farmers market

The Hamden Arts Commission, in collaboration with the Hamden Dept. of Arts and Culture and the Hamden Public Schools Dept. of Fine Arts, will be providing free summer art kits to approximately 80 Hamden families as a way to encourage the exploration of the arts while in quarantine. The kits are assembled with variations of classic arts supplies, like water color sets, brushes, markers, pencils and more, and are paired with a list of inspiring projects as put together by the HPS Fine Arts Dept. Collaboration and project management was overseen by the Dept. of Arts and Culture. The fist 45 kits were dispersed to families at the Hamden Mini Farmers Market in front of Miller Library on Thursday, July 16th with the rest scheduled to be dispersed at the next Market this week (if weather is hospitable).     
 
The kits are meant to encourage families to explore the arts as an outlet of expression and creativity, together, especially in a time of social disconnect and isolation. 
 
“I’m so looking forward to seeing all the amazing artwork that our Hamden Children will be creating and sharing with the town…  I’m also proud to be a part of the Hamden Arts Commission that is bringing joy and color to the children of Hamden through all this uncertainty” says Arts Commissioner, Loraine Brown. 

Arts Commissioner Jen McGarry states, "creativity and artistic expression are critical in fostering children's emotional and intellectual abilities. These free art kits, provided by the Hamden Arts Commission, will allow children to continue to explore the arts".
 
Kits were made available upon request for a short time using a Hamden.com web request link but due to a rapid and overwhelming demand, the link was closed only two days later.  

"The rate at which kits were requested signifies how valued simple tools of expression, like markers and pencils, are by our families and residents. The arts are a visual language and tool of communication that bridge cultures by signifying commonalities through imagery when words are either not enough or not an option" says Arts and Marketing Manager, Alisha Martindale. 

Families were / are encouraged to share what they make with the kits with the Dept. of Arts and Culture either by emailing AMartindale@Hamden.com or tagging @HamdenArtsandCulture on Instagram.