Most kids this summer are planning their next vacation. Or they are catching up on some much missed zzz’s. They are getting their fill of video games all day long or spending time hanging out with their friends. But 8 year old Kaden Lewis had a different goal for this summer. He planned to sit and be still.
And become a piece of art . (And besides this being a super cool opportunity, the chance to win $500 doing it didn’t hurt any either…)
This past weekend, Sculpturesite Gallery of San Francisco and A New Leaf Gallery of Sonoma (owned by Brigitte Micmacker & John Denning) celebrated 20 years of art as gallery partners and operators. Both galleries are well known for their exquisite sculptures, showcasing original pieces to be both admired and purchased. To commemorate their 20th anniversary, John and Brigitte invited local students to take part in creating their own sculpture – with a twist. The artists would be the sculpture.
Kaden’s mom discovered the celebration just days before the event, and she showed pictures of street performers to her son to give him an example of what would be at the gallery. Of course, the rest is history. Kaden was sold.
As Kaden’s mom told me:
“We had settled on a boy flying a kite and blowing a bubble (gum) when we discovered that the event was going to be 4 hours long. That’s when we switched to sitting on a bike. There was no way he was going to be able to stand for that long.
“We painted an old bike, a helmet, an invisible dog leash, the stuffed dog and his clothes. Kaden first had decided on neon pink but when he saw the bike primed in white, he changed his mind and insisted that white was the right color for his sculpture. I quickly had to run around town to exchange everything for white. Getting jeans white proved to be very difficult and I had to dig into my fine arts supplies and use a layer of gesso on both the jeans and the dog. We spent all day (Saturday) preparing for the event.
“The day of the event I helped Kaden into his stiff attire and painted his hair and any exposed skin. We then discussed what to title it. He came up with “Colorful Day”. I argued that it was white and not so colorful. He argued that it was ironic and funny. I explained the concept of the Ghost Bike to him and showed him pictures online but Kaden insisted that idea was too sad. He said riding a bike with your dog is a colorful day. I couldn’t argue anymore! Besides, I had to let go. This was supposed to be HIS sculpture. It was a long hot couple of hours at the gallery. At one point, Kaden whispered to me, “This is kind of fun. I’m getting so much attention. Everyone is looking at me and taking pictures. They’re like the paparazzi.”
The winner of the event receives a cool $500, a prize that this 8 year old is really excited about. But there are only a few more days of voting left. Once Saturday June 19th rolls around, the contest will be over and the winner will be chosen. I’ve left my vote, and hope that you’ll do the same – for Kaden or for any of the students who have taken time out for some art and creativity.
And if you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to visit the art at either one of these galleries:
201 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
A New Leaf Gallery
23588 Hwy 121
Sonoma, CA 95476