Materials: Terracotta basin + potting soil, rocks, wooden garden stakes, modge-podge, acrylic paint, toothpicks, bread bag twist ties, hot glue gun, paintbrushes, succulents, flat glass beads, plastic sequins
For my interview, I spoke with Heather Rodgers, who volunteers with the United Women of East Africa in City Heights, where she assists with tutoring new arrival students. After teaching abroad in Tanzania, Heather returned to the US with a strong interest in international education, for which she will be attending a Master’s program for in the Fall. Our interview focused on the importance of community, home, and childhood experiences- all things that I sought to incorporate into my art project.
When I asked Heather what resources could be provided to better support recent immigrants to the US, she answered that housing was the most crucial and scarce necessity. Having a safe home, she pointed out, is an incredibly important part of a child’s development. To attempt to incorporate this, I painted the buildings bright colors and with whimsical details, trying to see the little container community I was building through the imaginative eyes of a child. This made me reflect on how crucial imagination and having space to play and be creative was in my upbringing, and the unfortunate reality that many children are deprived of that as a result of unstable/unsafe housing.
Heather also mentioned that, upon returning home from teaching abroad in Tanzania, she was struck by how many single use disposable items we throw away everyday in the US. I was mindful of this while making the container garden, and all the materials used are recycled or things I already had in my craft supply collection.