Breaking and making: What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?
Finding inspiration among the fragments, this weekend’s Second Saturday: Break & Make takes its cues from Off the Wall artist Sarah Ahmad. Manager of Youth and Family Programs Christine Gibson and the Youth and Family Team hit Break Room 405 for some creative motivation.
“We were looking at our current artists in the galleries,” Gibson says, “and we wanted to focus on Sarah’s method of breaking her pieces to make something new. Of course, we had to do some research.”
As they smashed vases, plates and assorted bottles (among other things) at Edmond’s “stress-relief destination,” the YAF team tapped into just a portion of Ahmad’s fragmentation process.
Ahmad’s incredible 3-D, screen-printed pieces have been featured in exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the United States and internationally, utilizing themes of immigration, belonging and identity.
“The art I create derives from my own cross-cultural identities,” Ahmad says. “As an immigrant from Pakistan, an American, a South Asian and a single mother, my identities are multivalent and often fragmented.”
Her current work in our third-floor show is comprised of 11 past projects — fragmented, painted and repurposed.
“What I did with the pieces was I broke the pieces, the screens, and cut them all up into many shapes,” Ahmad says. “I think the whole process of the cutting of the screens, it took a lot of courage, it was scary… so I started building with those pieces, and those became my first installations, that’s how the work started. When I build these structures from these fragments, it became a process of creating sort of new realities or new formations from broken pieces as a metaphor for rebuilding lives form the rubble of the past or creating a future. … It represented hope for me. I thought if I could do it in art, I could do it in life.”
Armed with edible sculpting materials, Second Saturday attendees will have the opportunity to break and make like Ahmad.
“Of course, we were thinking about a safe way for kiddos to do it,” Gibson says. “One activity will be an all-edible sculpture. Everything that they’ll be breaking and kind of molding back together with this one will be things that will look like a sculpture, but they can actually eat ― if they really wanted to!”
Visitors will be given edible wafer cookies (perfect for breaking) and food-coloring spray and icing components (perfect for making). The wafers mimic Ahmad’s screen-printed pieces, giving the creators a chance to experience and work through her process.
And that’s not all. Kiddos, community friends and family can participate in a collaborative mural, launching paint-filled eggs at a large canvas.
“The kids will be filling the eggs with whatever paint color they want,” Gibson says. “We’re taking our giant, moveable, white-canvas murals, and we’ll tape our Oklahoma Contemporary logo on them. Visitors will throw their eggs at the mural, and they’ll explode with color. Hopefully by the end of it, we’ll have a very cool, very collaborative project,” featuring the logo in reverse!
From exploding colorful eggs and crafting tasty sculptures to Nature’s Course guided family tours, this Saturday’s art adventure reminds visitors breaking can be beautiful. All Second Saturday activities, projects and performances are FREE and open to the public. Drop in from 1-4 p.m. Saturday — you are welcome here!
Images: Kiddo art-making at Camp Contemporary 2021. Photo: Stephanie Montelongo. Youth and Family Team take Break Room 405. Detail view of Sarah Ahmad's Jaali: “Only from the heart can you touch the sky.” (Rumi) (2021). Photo: Ann Sherman. Edible Second Saturday art sculpture. Paint-filled egg trial on a collaborative mural.
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