As part of the Art Inquiry this summer, which explored creative placemaking, we embarked on a very special journey of creating an Art Skills Share Market in Kennedy Plaza. 

On August 2nd, we packed up the car, grabbed a sign and boxes o’ magic, which contained various art making supplies- love, ink, parachute poems, luck, book making supplies, mystery, paint markers, excitement, chalk, and not knowing what was going to happen, but certainty that it was going to be wonderful.

After two weeks of delving into our study on “place making,” which included field trips of mills turned into sacred spaces and gypsy caravan case studies, it was our turn to turn the flat grasses of Kennedy Plaza into a place of discovery, creativity, and opportunity both for the young artists of the Inquiry program, as well as the children, parents, and chillin’ folks in KP. 

The spices we used in cooking up our traveling skills share caravan included a special visit from Eric Rice, a local artist and designer who recently won a nationwide fort building competition held by director Spike Jonze and Booooooom! to celebrate the opening of “Where the Wild Things Are,” the children’s book, Roxaboxen, written by Alice Mclerran and illustrated by Barbara Cooney, about a group of kids who transform an empty hill into a city, and the the documentary Gypsy Caravan, which is in the story of the nomadic offerings and experiences of Roma musicians.

Artists worked in teams to design, build, and execute various skills share stations. Tremell headed up a calligraphy station next to Legend who gracefully taught how to make parachute poems, inspired by the soldiers deployed overseas right now. Sara, Yoli, and Mandara lead people in bookmaking on a lovely cloth that they set up to look like a magic carpet! Sherly and Ashley set up an awesome chalk station with the skyline of Providence and opportunity for people to change what they wanted in the city. Naomy and Dakota strutted their skills with some sweet street art. Maddie, Aaron, and Divine took the ground to the next level with a makeshift dance floor and taught moves and grooves! A place was born. We were invited back to Kennedy Plaza and eagerly await our next nomadic skills share possibly sometime this Spring. 

Special thanks to Greater Kennedy Plaza for having us!