20 Neighborhoods at Rumble Arts Center in partnership with Community Counseling Centers of Chicago Humboldt Park

Teaching Artist Jeannette Perkal tells us about the workshops at Rumble Arts and Community Counseling Centers of Chicago Humboldt Park

June 28, 2012

“This week five women attended our introductory workshop in collaboration with Rumble Arts and C4 North in Humboldt Park. We spent time talking about the concepts of assemblage and using found objects in art. We shared several examples of found object assemblage work and discussed the different techniques used to make these pieces come together—collage, painting, layering, transferring, resin pouring, and more. We discussed the challenges and opportunities related to making our personal stories visible to a public audience through art. In order to begin to reflect on the themes of self and home/family we wrote poems using the prompt “I am from/ Yo soy de.” These poems conjured smells, tastes, and stories from childhood and reflected on the important people and places in our lives. We were so involved in the writing process that we were surprised when our time was up! All participants expressed excitement about coming back next week and delving into the visual art-making process right away.”

July 5, 2012

“This week we explored themes related to neighborhood and community. Some group members brought in natural found objects from their communities. We continued to play with image transfer techniques. One participant learned how to use watercolors.

Every week we have been having rich discussions about family, home, community, and where we are from. The project brings up many important memories! Next week we will explore our relationship to the city and world beyond!”

July 8, 2012

This week we explored the theme “self” and began to alter the containers that will serve as the bases for our sculptures. Participants were inspired by the materials provided by the gallery and began to think about how to work three-dimensionally. We learned how to collage images onto glass stones and talked about various kinds of image transfer techniques. Everyone is looking forward to exploring ideas about family and home next week!

August 14, 2012

This week we had our final session of the 20 Neighborhoods Project. Having shared a deep and meaningful art practice together for many weeks, it was hard to say good-bye. As participants began to finish their pieces, we reflected on what the project has meant to us. Each woman wrote an artist statement about her piece. One of the most powerful things that happened in our last session was a roundtable interview with a member of Woman Made’s documentation team. Before the interview, our group had a rich discussion about what it means to make personal stories public by sharing them through art and writing. We talked about vulnerability, fear, and the power of being seen. Ultimately as a teaching artist I feel that the interview process itself was empowering for the women, who have very important things to say about their lives and their experiences. Overall this project has been an incredibly rich experience for all of us. We look forward to the exhibition in October, to meeting other participants, and to seeing how our experiences fit alongside those of other artists. Thank you so much to Woman Made Gallery for allowing us to be part of this!

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