Chakaia Booker

Chakaia Booker
Mid Atlantic Grand Prix, New Castle, DE

Earlier this month, the NJSCA hosted along with the the Artists-in-Education Consortium, Perkins Center for the Arts, and Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey a multi- day Artist Training for AIE Artists at the Johnson Center for Arts at Grounds for Sculpture. It’s always energzing to meet and share experiences working in various teaching situations with other artists of all disciplines.

I was a presenter/panelist for the workshop titled Successful Strategies for Challenging School Environments
along with percussionist, Rudy Bird, and poet, writer Andy Hoffmann and moderated by Aysia Souder from the Playwrights Theatre. We have all been in challenging school environments, presenters and attendees alike, and collectively we came up with some suggestions and strategies, that upon reviewing can be helpful in and OUTSIDE of the classroom (kind of like, yoga off the mat!)

Here is what our break out group came up with:

1.In planning meeting, LISTEN to what the expectations are of all participants, and then

look at how you can meet their needs

2. Address their expectations.

3. Set clear boundaries/ ground rules before residency begins. How much time does

your art form require. Set up time? Clean up time? One of our workshop participants

– Steven provides a handout of his guide for a successful workshop. On it he also

provides all his contact info so he can present the written

guidelines within a positive framework.

4.Know what you can offer- and BE ABLE TO SELL WHAT YOU DO. Remember they

hired you for who you are. Be professional. Be confident.

5.How do you define success in a challenging environment? Set realistic goals for


6. Remember to make friends with school secretary so you are aware of unexpected

changes in school calendar (school closings, half days, testing, fire drills, etc.) and of

course, the Custodian.

Following the session I took the opportunity spend some time at Grounds for Sculpture in an absolutely beautiful September day.

Featured in the main gallery is Chakaia Booker‘s sculptures from her Eminent Domain series. The work is truly unique with her use of rubber inner tubing and tires. The pieces are fluid, flowing and very powerful.

I love when I see an artist find a medium that is utilitzed and manipulated in such a way that you can never look at the material even in its ‘common use state’ again without seeing it’s possibilities. note the tire shots from Mid Atlantic Grand Prix, that were taken this past weekend from my sons birthday party!

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