ArtWorks is bringing TOM back to Cincy and greening things up

The Outdoor Museum (TOM) is back.  And this year it's going green.

"Green is everywhere," says TOM curator Kip Eagen.  "It is a color, but it has also become a movement and a cause.  It is a way a person chooses to live their life in a sometimes wasteful world. We all know the word ‘green’, but we asked how it could be expressed with meaning, resonance and power so it becomes much more than a buzzword or a slogan."

TOM, a project put on by ArtWorks, presented by Duke Energy and hosted at Eden Park, is an outdoor exhibition of thirty billboard-sized pieces of graphic art created by twelve gifted teenagers involved in the ArtWorks summer program, in partnership with twelve local design firms dedicating their time to serve as professional mentors to the teens.

These firms include Brandimage – Desgrippes & Laga, Barefoot, City of Cincinnati, Coho Creative LLC, FRCH Design Worldwide, Jack Rouse Associates, Landor Associates, LPK, Mahan Advertising, Inc., Powerhouse Factories, Tin Box Studio, Inc., and Whizbang.

Alongside a great chance for professional development, the teens and their mentors were given the task of exploring what it really means for the world to go green.

"That was the challenge placed before the teen apprentices in the summer of 2008," Eagen says.  "Visitors to TOM will see how the twelve teens and twelve local graphic design firms interpreted ‘green’ and answered that challenge." 

The journey to the final exhibition was a rigorous one, beginning last summer.

Every design firm gave an average of 10 hours to work alongside one teen during the summer of 2008.  Through this collaboration, each teen Artist Apprentice created a minimum of three designs, from which the final 30 works for the exhibition were selected.

Ultimately, the process of creating this year's green exposition was mutually rewarding for both the teens and their mentors.

"I learned a lot of important skills like problem solving, decision making, how to convey a message and about composition," said Kat Swenski, one of the Apprentice Artists.

Patti Bresler, a professional mentor who works at Brandimage – Desgrippes & Laga adds, "I was pleased that ‘green’ was the topic for this year's TOM design challenge. I believe it helped the teens to have an awareness of the need for sustainability in our world today."

A formal dedication celebration for TOM's 2009 green exhibition – presented by ArtWorks, Cincinnati Parks and Brandimage – Desgrippes & Laga – will be held, appropriately, on Earth Day, April 22, at 10:30 am at Mirror Lake in Eden Park.  The event is open to the public.  

TOM will be on display from April through September 2009 in three Cincinnati area parks:  Eden Park (April 11 – May 30), Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park (June 13 – July 26) and Mt. Airy Forest (August 15 – September 27).

Writer:  Jonathan DeHart
Source:  Allyson Knue, ArtWorks Cincinnati, Patti Bresler, Kat Swenski

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