Friday, April 22, 2011

Olympia's Earth Day Tradition

The Cover of the Procession of Species Coloring Book.  Acrylic painting
on canvas.  The original painting resides in my Niece's bedroom.

Happy Earth Day!

This weekend is Olympia’s Spring Arts Walk and Procession of the Species.  It is traditional to have the Spring Art Walk closest to Earth Day as possible.  This year Art Walk lands on Earth day with the Procession the day after! This also happens to be the same weekend as Easter.  Not so great since this means my husband and puppy will be ditching me for the annual Easter beer hunt in Yakima while I stay in Olympia to be a participating artist, but at least he is able to help me set up.

The Procession is a wonderful and magical event that happens every Spring Art Walk.  The people of the community come together and parade down the streets of Olympia with their costumes and creations representing the four elements; Earth, Air, Fire and Water.  In each group there are costumes, banners, works of art, drummers and dancers.  It is a great event for the whole family.

A Non-Profit organization called Earth Bound Productions is the founder and organizer of the event.  Every year two months prior to the event a community studio is set up.  This studio is big enough to house a batik wing, a dance hall for practice, a luminary section, and plenty of random work space for all sorts of creations.  The bulk of the studio setup and maintenance is done by volunteers.  I have not volunteered in a few years since I’ve become more active in my own arts.  As an artist the two month prior to Arts Walk is crunch time, and it’s hard to spare large amounts of time to volunteer.  
Title Page draft
Once upon a time I spent tons of time in the studio as a volunteer.  I also created a coloring book for Earth Bound.  The coloring book was an independent college project I organized.   I illustrated and wrote a story about a boy who discovers the Procession and the community behind the Procession.  I approached Earth Bound with my book and they loved it.  It was a great representation of their event and goals.  So they published an edition for fundraising and advertising to prospective donors.  I have recently found all my original drawings for this coloring book, and a couple copies of the coloring book.  My computer skills were something to be desired back when I first created this book, I look at my copy now and wince.  I could do such a better job with scanning and editing to make the pages cleaner, straighter, and more professional looking.  Perhaps this will happen for next years Procession.  

Along with the large edition of staple bound coloring books.  I did four limited
edition hard bound books. Each one with one of the element pictures on front.

1 comment:

  1. I sent a letter to Eli, the head of Earthbound, telling him about my idea. He responded positivly about recreating the coloring book and posted the following;

    You are a wondrous spirit Laurel! Thank you for being a person where life on earth still matters. The cultural exchange that the Procession is striving to achieve can only happen when people share their stories in a way that in-turn shapes the identity of their community. Your book, (even with all your winces -- as I do with every flyer/poster I produced in the early years of the Procession!) does exactly that. I still have an original at my desk...
    All the finest,