Default Post Image

The 2011 Art Party

Hello NUA Fam!

This is Jamila Woods here, a current poetry mentor at New Urban Arts. The 2011 Art Party is alive and kickin! For the next hour or so I’ll be here trying to give you all a picture of what’s happening tonight at 743 Westminster!
Also check out the live stream action here!
Right now:
We’re listening to Common “I Used to Love H.E.R.”
We’re askin “Orange you glad you came tonight?” munchin on orange goodies at the snack table…featuring but not limited to: Cheeze Its, nacho cheese Doritos, OJ, orange soda, and carrots & hummus for the health nuts 🙂
Kedrin has just announced that we are “ONE MINUTE!” away from start time…so stay tuned!

It’s relatively quiet in the studio as Kedrin and Yoli (the Unicorn) welcome Art Partiers into the space.

Kedrin has just made the slightly ominous announcement:
“For the first time ever, YOU will be part of what goes on…you’ll know when…”
We’re listening to:
1. A big round of applause for NUA Students & Mentors…congrats for a hard years work!
2. Another big round of applause for our sponsors & neighbors Providence Pizza Company & West Side Arts.
3. A third big round of applause for our DJ’s for tonight, Dan & Saulo!
****As many of you know, this is our LAST ART PARTY IN THIS SPACE! We have a very colorful looking “Memory Booth” set up to record photo, video, and text memories of all our Art Partiers tonight.
Now we’re welcoming the first performers to the stage! Max & Dylan strummin on the guitar, with Chris Jorge on vocals!
to be continued…

Time for a special shout out/thank you to studio Mentors and Study Buddies!

NUA students are lining up with flowers in hand…
Some quotes from Students:
“My mentor [Victoria Ruiz] is the most amazing thing to ever happen to my art”
“My mentor [Caitlin Cali] is easy to talk to…she has been amazing since the day I met her”
“My mentor [Evan] is a brilliant person that understands that art is superior to all”
“My mentor [Dylan Block-Harley] is Garfunkel and I am Simon. He is a quiet gentle mystical creature. He is the only one who understands me”
“My mentor [Maria DiFranco] is outgoing, willing to try new things…she’s like a super mentor”
“My mentor [Jori Ketten] inspired my mind”
“My mentor is tall and bursting with energy. And he’s Canadian. And his name is Rob [MacInnis]”
“My mentor [Sophie Tintori] is really sweet and takes the way I feel into consideration, and we can still get stuff done. SWAG.”
“My mentor [Jamila Woods] has the most powerful voice I have ever heard. She amazes me.”
“My mentor [Alice Costas” is wicked awesome, she has a bright personality, and she is amazing.”
“She [Sam Merritt] is one of my favorite people to be around, and I don’t like many people.”
“My mentor [Jadrian Miles] is friendly, smart, and fun to be around. He comes up with really good ideas for things”
“My mentor [Christina Lawrence] has unconditional support…our personalities balance each other out”
“My mentor [Carole Ann Penney] is friendly and quiet at the same time. She’s good at explaining things so that its easy to understand.”
“My mentor [Andrew Migliori] is tall and sarcastic. We make videos and claymation together all the time. I tried to I like that he puts up with me and is patient.”
“My mentor [Jorge Vargas] is like an older brother to me, to be honest. i want to thank him for being there for me when i needed someone to talk to.”
I wanna thank [Morgan Fagant] for helping me on my project.
My mentor [Abel Hernandez] is a very hardworking mentor, he doesn’t give up on you. He is a cool friend, and an excellent drawer.
Saving the best for last, my mentor [Kevin Gonsalves] is energetic and funny. We party and do art at the same time.
My mentor [Andrew Oesch] is weird but fun.
The mentors’ mentors” 🙂
You tie together this whole experience” – Appropriately, Students and Mentors are invited to adorn Kedrin & Emmy with pieces of string and say something beautiful about how AWESOME these two people really are.
“You’re like my best friend here, you teach me to be a better artist”
“Somehow despite your fuller than full find ways to talk to me about my own creative practice and art”
“For being there when I didn’t know quite how to mentor…and for being one of the greatest friends ever”

Some quotes from the honoring of NUA seniors!!!


Adrian & Shirla: [my fingers were not fast enough to catch this speech, but it was very lovely!!]

Alice & Tina: “Tina is a pillar of light and focus…I look up to your art…I am so blessed to have known you, and Clark College is so blessed to have you next year. Girl, you’re a leader”
Jane & Donna: “Donna is the first person I ever made something with.”
Jason & Saulo: “One of the first students I met, was Saulo.”
Jessica & Maria: “Jessica has a gentle caring generous personality..I am really proud of you baby squirrel”
Jorge & Christopher George: “The first word that comes to mind when i think of Christopher is fire…it’s been a pleasure to work with you in this space
Evan & Jacque: “Three words to describe Jacque: eccentric, weird, and exceedingly geeky…Good luck next year at RISD, and more than that, good luck with anything and everything you want to achieve, I know you’re capable of it.”
Kedrin & William: “Many years ago, I met William…he came in and was like “Dya know how to make a helmet?”… the funny thing is, he asked me how to make something I’d never made before, and now I make stuff outta cardboard. Whenever you see William he has something that he just made last night.”
Caitlin & Abby: “We’ve done lots of fun things together. Abby means a lot to me…she’s a badass woman and also extremely gentle, and very funny.”
Alice, Jane & Pamela: “Pam is pretty incredible…the second you meet her you know there is an entire world inside her that you have to be very privileged to be let into”
Jesse & Maxine: “She is extremely caring…and if you didn’t come in every single day and bust my chops and give me a hug when you are leaving I don’t know what I would do. I hope you have an amazing wonderful time at WashU cause you are the best”
Dan & Ava: “Ava, only someone with your patience, sense of humor and beliefs could inspire me this way… I am so proud of you”

The first phase of the Art Party ended with a surprise group singalong of “Don’t Stop Believing”, with confetti raining down from the sky.  Now the studio’s a lot more chill, as people wander around to look at the art and talk with each other about the great year we had.

But!  Excitement is coming up.  Kedrin just announced that the fashion show is happening in half an hour. Once I figure out how to upload videos to Facebook, we’ll have video of that, plus the artwork on the walls and the crowd admiring it, as well as the awesome singalong from before.


Jorge just jumped up on the mic to introduce some events.  First up is Michi’s movie, “My Dreams”.  She composited herself into a bunch of music videos and famous movies.  Here she is running with Jimmy Stewart away from a plane in “North by Northwest”, and now she’s dancing with some creepy skeleton guy in a black-and-white music video!

Now, random acts of poetry!  Eric’s on the mic and is reading a poem in Spanish by a Guatemalan author.  If I weren’t trying to type at the same time, I might understand one word out of every ten.  Regardless, the flow is beautiful and it’s a really meaningful poem for Eric.

Michi’s in the spotlight again now, to read us one of her poems: “My Eyes”.  If you have a copy of this year’s issue of Flip, the studio zine, you can read her poem.

Legend’s got a poem too, “Somewhere in Texas”, and her delivery is powerful.  Everybody keeps forgetting they’re supposed to snap for poetry, not cheer!  We’re just not that reserved here I guess. =)


Wow, this night just got so much better!  Sarah’s baby son, Grayson, is behind me while I’m writing this, and he keeps grabbing my hair and playing with it.

Jason’s on stage now.  He says that a student told him once that this was the first place they had heard an adult talk about something that they learned.  He’s talking about his time in the studio and reflecting on how his idea of New Urban Arts has changed: this place is about art-making, but also about building community and relationships.  “Let’s draw” is also code for “Let’s talk”.

Dylan (on guitar) and Devine (on the mic) are on stage now to do some improvisational music.  Devine’s making up lyrics about summer, at the crowd’s suggestion, on the spot.  “I was going to school, and it was such a bummer… then I found out that in two weeks, it was gonna be summer!”  Now he’s got a more challenging subject: chicken bones.

To round out our night, Sam hosted the fashion show, including handmade skirts, hats, masks, jackets, vests, and full-on dresses!  The show was an amazing demonstration of our students’ creativity, and the models (some of whom were wearing their own creations) made everyone’s work look fabulous.

True to NUA style, our night ends with smiles, hugs, and a noisy, jumpy dance party.  Good night internet, and farewell to our dear 743 Westminster!