At Paseo 2017, Monsters Are Art
Taos youth make art out of fear then light up the town with their creations
September 12, 2017 â€“A Monster Design Challenge is underway in schools across Taos County, New Mexico. Sponsored by The Paseo Project and implemented by STEMarts Lab, the competition is calling for artistic visualizations of environmental and personal â€śmonstersâ€ť by youth aged 12 to 20. It will culminate in a community projection performance during the Paseo Party on the Plaza on September 23, from 7:00 to 11:00pm.
The concept for the challenge grew out of the work of Motomichi Nakamura, the lead artist for the Paseo Projectâ€™s 2017 new media art event. The call for entries has gone out to Taos County middle and high school students and is based on Motomichiâ€™s Tiny People and Giant Monster series in which he incorporates the monster theme as a mythological character to explore environmental issues. Winners of the challenge will have their monsters projected on buildings around the plaza, alongside the artistâ€™s work, and all entries will be showcased on the Paseo Project website.
To date, the Paseo Monster Design Challenge hasÂ registered over 500 studentsÂ inÂ Taos County.Â Nineteen middle and highÂ schools and educationalÂ institutions areÂ involved, including all public and charter schools. Each school has chosen aÂ unique medium and style for its monster designs â€“ which will manifest as acequia monsters, climate change and e-waste creatures, and even monsters of addiction.Â Jody McNicholas,Â artÂ teacher at Rocky Mountain Youth Learning Lab, says her students will workÂ with duct tape on canvas to create symbolic monsters of addiction. â€śTheÂ archetype of the addict combinedÂ with the archetype of the monster has someÂ far-reaching possibilities!â€ť
Motomichi says, â€śMy idea for PASEO is that the various monsters will come visit Taos from various places just for the night and play around. Also, I always like the idea that the digital projection doesnâ€™t leave any physical trace after the installation, which kind of reminds me of ghosts, spirits or mythical creatures.â€ť The artist works in various media including, painting, sculpture, animation, as well as projection mapping. His work has been exhibited globally in museums and galleries.
Agnes Chavez, director of STEMarts@ThePaseo, Paseo Projectâ€™s educational program, describes the Monster Design Challenge. â€śThe challenge is an online platform that allows all Taos County school teachers the opportunity to explore Motomichiâ€™s work and theme and guide their students in a unique monster design. We believe that the challenge and potential of STEAM â€“ Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math â€“ education in the future is for all students to have access to the latest technologies and 21st century thinking. The Paseo is the perfect platform for teachers and students to use these tools to play, explore and imagine a better world. It has been amazing to see the creative responses coming out of each school.â€ť
About the Paseo Project
The Paseo Project is a 501c-3 nonprofit whose mission is to transform art through community and community through art. The Paseo Party on the Plaza is the Paseo Projectâ€™s fourth annual fall outdoor art event. It is again part of Taos Fall Arts Festivalâ€™s opening weekend events.
The Paseo Party on the Plaza at a Glance
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 7:00 to 11:00pm
Historic Taos Plaza, a free event
PaseoProject.org, @paseotaos, #paseotaos, facebook.com/paseotaos
Motomichi Nakamura, VJ mapping artist: www.motomichi.com
Fire artist Jamie Vaida: www.jamievaida.com
The Illuminator: www.theilluminator.org
Luster, virtual photo booth: www.luster.cc
This event is sponsored by The Town of Taos, Taos County Lodgers Tax, the Lor Foundation, Taos Community Foundation, and many generous private donors. STEMarts@ThePaseo is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the Martin Foundation, the Nina E. Nilssen Scholarship Fund, US Bank, and Americorps VISTA.