Let’s gather together and create. Impromptu Drawing of US : We Are *Almost All Immigrants is a participatory drawing and improvisational music event, based on the game of Musical Chairs—but in this activity, no one is ever left out. The performance is created in real time by the participants: those feeling marginalized and those in solidarity with the marginalized. We will transform our American flag into a flag of US. The Impromptu Drawing is a meditation on unity and sharing in which we break down imaginary boundaries that divide us while we create together playfully. Everyone is welcome!
The event will take place at the studio of artist Connie Bostic 1695 Charlotte Highway in Fairview, 20 minutes from Asheville, on Saturday, March 18, beginning at 11:30 a.m. ending at 1:30 p.m.
Participants are invited to bring a brunch dish and musical instruments to share. Drawing supplies will be provided. We will meet around a large table that has been painted to represent the American flag. There, we will eat our meal together, after which we will draw each other’s faces—and faces on top of faces—to the stop-and-go rhythm of the emerging music we create together.
No experience with drawing or playing an instrument is required in order to participate. We will do this together. We will help each other out. We are going to have fun! Three languages that we all understand—food, drawing, and music—will guide us through the process and bring us together.
If you are interested in attending, sign up at the FB event linked below. If you know of folks who are feeling marginalized: Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, other immigrants, African Americans, Native Americans… please share about our gathering. If you have questions, want to connect or help with organizing, send me a message via the contact tab on this website.
^ This is a version from 2011. In our upcoming one, our drawing surface will be in the shape of and painted as our American flag, on it we will draw US.
^ Intimate, warm, lit space that is hosting US. Thank you Connie Bostic!
+ Top image of the flag with faces on it is a representation of the idea done in collaboration with my daughter Sophia Arbelaez.
Event FB Invite – please let us know if you are planning to attend
An interview on the project with Victor Palomino on La Radio, Asheville FM – then scroll down to the “listen” playlist, then hit PLAY. This is located right above La Radio’s Blog.
FROM ME AND ABOUT ME ON THIS PROJECT:
The idea for this event came to me as a way to counter the divisive rhetoric and acts going on in our nation today: the talk of walls and the execution of bans and raids. This has led to rising tensions between stereotypes of people with some tragic outcomes. The marginalization of people is of course not a new phenomenon. This project is not new, either. It has been in development and practiced since my early years teaching art and architecture, more than two decades ago. It has served as an icebreaker with my students; on the first day of class, it helps everyone to feel comfortable with each other, and to lose any inhibitions about drawing. In this activity, everyone draws together, on top of each other’s drawings. As a collective drawing begins to emerge, there is no sense of ownership of the drawing, and therefore no judgments of “right” or “wrong,” as the drawing is everyone’s. The same open, creative process goes for the music. The feeling of exclusion is something all of us have experienced at some point. The intent behind this event is to share and to break down walls.
I am an American citizen who was born in Colombia S.A. My parents immigrated to the U.S. when I was just 13—a challenging time for such a transition. My experience in a completely different culture started in high school in Miami, where racial and cultural divisions led to tensions among Cubans, African Americans, Caucasians, and recent immigrants, mostly from Central America. I am an artist, designer, educator, and mother. My work, which stems from my involvement in all these fields, takes the form of participatory installations and products that investigate and attempt to restore balance to some of the environmental and humanitarian issues of our society.