Well now now, and to iron out your artist statement into a mission statement for the Up-cycling Shoppe. You're clearly touched by the personal stories of individuals that go through the environment we've built-- with all of its socioeconomic constructs tricking souls into believing that they are less than perfect. It's a tough world, and it needs the sensitivity of an artist's eye and hand to remind us of the joy and rewards of life.
So. Sure, yeah, space might be easy to come by, or collaborations with existing partners in the community. Easy peasy. Declaring a definitive project for the stake of revenue generation and learning to work amongst one another with a select core team of organization builders? I recognize fully the wealth of talent and gifts that the people in my life have, it's a matter of having a raison d'etre. In what population do you feel that your work, at an initial small scale, can have a thoughtful impact upon that would draw magnetism to your ideals?
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JP, beautiful references- so very helpful to see what you're inspired by. Again, when people start talking about building structures or signage and placing them on public land, it makes the officials very nervous (and the furniture carcasses in my shop are not suitable for all-weather applications). We need a new thread on Neighborland: "I want to nominate new locations for bus stops shelters along MATA's route, and help to make them a reality" Recall Overton Park's new shelter!
Search for the following: Tennessee Materials Exchange through the Center for Industrial Services and search the 'Supply' database. Keep in mind that most suppliers want partners that can sustain continuous supply chain receivership, not just 'one-offs': the sheer volume of materials here would be enough to set up an Artists Resource Center, membership based? I suspect this would be a program that Crosstown could utilize to show their art cred until they get their millions. They've certainly got the space.
Folks, you're getting fixated on the little red phone booth because it's . . well, darned cute- Find another location for a free library! Perhaps neighborhoods where the City has closed the libraries? Community Center locations? Use the existing resources & infrastructure of the City.
I fully agree with you JP, it's something I could get excited about but I tend to be one that likes specific key projects. I have a studio full of 'dead furniture carcasses' that I'd very much like to assemble together along the lines of 'Linnenkasthuis ' by Jurgen Bey. But then what with it? A hulk that needs a new home. Me no have space.
If it were functional, perhaps it could be assembled with the design intent of making a composite unit that's designated for donations of artistically minded objects for industrial re-manufacture/artistic goods. Going up the most formidable Goodwill Industries is not a business model in this town. Are you familiar with Memphis Heritage's annual Adopt a Door event? That's a fun party and a good precedent for your idea, JP. It needs to be contained, otherwise you'll drown in junk-- See also the Tennessee Materials Resources Database managed by UTK. Amazing what industrial offal exists for the taking. I'd be glad to discuss with you further on this.
With the revitalization efforts underway at Overton Square, the quality of the streetscape from Madison to Union will likely be addressed. Playhouse has some sprig saplings out in front for dressing that need a good decade to mature.
You are right that the jump from Union to Peabody Park at Central Avenue is pretty bleak inasfaras shade though promises to be a key N/S route through Midtown connecting Cooper-Young to Overton Square.
The Cooper-Young Business Association, south of Central to Southern, planted ginko trees back in the late 80s/90s, they're "the wrong species" and litter the sidewalk with their pungent fruit.
I don't believe that the 'Union to Central' stretch of Cooper Street has a defined professional business association-- I could be wrong, but this seems to be the first step in as far as planning for a streetscape canopy. Keep in mind that sidewalk clearance for wheelchair/pedestrian use is key & come before trees & shade.
JP, have you been able to start small with your own respective economy? Might you explore 2-3 products that you have available material access to (industrial offal?) that you can produce a limited run line of goods with? This kind of workspace/studio environment is one that I've tinkered with and gone as far to secure space, tools, raw goods, and design product lines-- what I've lacked is the inclination to part with coinage & a host of impositions made on my friends. Sometimes even with all of the ingredients in place, the magic doesn't transpire.
Don, what neighborhood do you live in? Central Gardens is a shining example of coordinated tree-planting. Cooper-Young, you'd think would at least be more aspirational than they are- Horror at the recent tree loss, in the last year, I count at least a half dozen century-old beauties that have met their chipper.
Ponce, I wasn't offering an excuse, but rather an accessible alternative. Of course it would be, could be, & should be . . . Look for the pragmatic, and closer at what's accessible and within your reach, energy, and creativity to cultivate.
Thus the suggestion that one start off simpler than that municipal signage. So, having said that, Posters! Nice silk screened ones-- yea wide by yea tall. Monochromatic, black, white, & grey to show racial dispersion? Social & real statistics & information graphics make my coattails quiver.