About a year ago a friend I’d met at Goucher College during a Peace Tiles workshop I’d run provided me with an opportunity to push forward an idea I’d had for a while: reproduce children’s artwork produced in a Peace Tiles workshop in a way that would be appropriate to a lively public environment and return profits to community groups sponsoring the workshop.
A natural place to start was a coffee shop like Starbucks. Plenty of room to influence the creation of a vibrant space, a design aesthetic complementary to Peace Tiles’ mixed media product, and a clientele that might actually take an active interest in the artwork around them.
A proposal made its way pretty high up in the company where it stalled early this year, largely due to the Haiti crisis and the company’s significant efforts there. There may be other reasons as well. But I remain convinced the idea is a good one, especially if we can connect youth in coffee growing communities with customers in the U.S. Using the proceeds of sales – cards and other reproductions of artwork – through a popular chain’s distribution power, significant work could be done to bring arts education – or education improvements in any area – to these communities.
The pop outs themselves are relatively easy to create: medium resolution laser prints afixed to 8-inch square wood plates inset into an 8-inch square frame of 2.5-inch depth. When dry, the box can be brushed any with light coat of paint, and the reproductions similarly painted with a clear, UV resistant gloss coat. Each box could be made for $3 at cost.
Artwork reproduced here was made by (at the top) K. Jhaveri during a summer workshop in Vermont, and J. Danziger (below) during a Twinfield School workshop, also in Vermont.