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Archive for Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Young Lawrence artists to unveil painted benches

Shanda Wright, 17, paints a bench under a studio light at Van Go, Inc. Wednesday, July 21, 2010. Young Lawrence artists will debut 20 benches as part of the Benchmark 2010 program.

Shanda Wright, 17, paints a bench under a studio light at Van Go, Inc. Wednesday, July 21, 2010. Young Lawrence artists will debut 20 benches as part of the Benchmark 2010 program.

July 21, 2010

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Van Go artist Anna Taylor pulls some paint from her color palette.

Van Go artist Anna Taylor pulls some paint from her color palette.

Van Go Inc. artist Macio Palacio, 17, works diligently Wednesday on a bench designed for Jill Kleinberg. Palacio and many other young artists spent the day putting finishing touches on their creations in preparation for Friday’s 5 p.m. unveiling during the Benchmark 2010 event at Van Go.

Van Go Inc. artist Macio Palacio, 17, works diligently Wednesday on a bench designed for Jill Kleinberg. Palacio and many other young artists spent the day putting finishing touches on their creations in preparation for Friday’s 5 p.m. unveiling during the Benchmark 2010 event at Van Go.

Van Go benchmark artists and clients

• Dillon Allen — Best Buy

• Krystin Arkeketa — John and Susan Wachter

• Desiree Bennett — Del Monte

• Abuk Deng — Alice Lieberman and Tom McDonald

• Jalen Flowers — Milton’s

• Georgia Foster — Henry’s Coffee Shop in memory of Con Walsh

• Cassie French — Water’s Edge

• Ashlie Giffin — Milton’s

• Terence Hernandez — Carmody Family for Douglas County CASA

• Shannon Jaramillo — Haskell University

• Alex Leland — Prairie Moon Waldorf School in memory of Jacob Goans-Heinz

• Grace Miller — Lynn D. McCormick Memorial Bench for the Lawrence Public Library

• Macio Palacio — Jill Kleinberg

• Kyleigh Price — Raintree Montessori School

• Victoria Secondine — Headmasters Salon

• Kiera Shorter — Carladyne Conyers

• Anna Taylor — Hilda Enoch

• Floyd White — Biemer’s BBQ

• Garnel Williams — P-1 Group Inc.

• Shanda Wright — The Office of Diane Bythell

Grace Miller has been working all summer on a memorial bench that she will finally unveil to her client on Friday.

The bench is in memory of Miller’s client’s mother and will sit at the Lawrence Public Library. Miller, 17, painted the bench to represent things her client’s mother loved: from mandalas to Ukrainian eggs.

Miller is one of 20 at-risk youths who were paired with local businesses or individuals to create a one-of-a-kind bench in early June as part of the Van Go Inc. Benchmark 2010 program.

The program helps the young artists gain life skills, work cooperatively as a team, and express themselves artistically. The teens will unveil their finished benches in a ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday.

The teenagers were referred, chosen through a hiring process, then paired with clients, who include individuals, corporations like Best Buy and academic institutions like Haskell Indian Nations University.

The artists worked with their clients to come up with a blueprint for the benches. They sanded the wood, created the design, and painted it according to their clients’ interests. Each commissioned bench cost $900.

The finished benches will be displayed indoors at each business or residence. Currently, 200 benches are at various locations around Lawrence.

“It’s great that they’re having public recognition for their work,” said Eliza Nichols, marketing director at Van Go Inc. “It’s a huge confidence-builder for them.”

David Lewis, owner of Milton’s, 920 Mass., commissioned two benches this summer for the restaurant, and he hasn’t seen the progress since last month.

Milton’s also commissioned a bench through the same program in 2000, and the young artist who made it now works at the restaurant. Lewis said that bench was getting old — a reason for the new ones — and that he enjoys working with young people.

“I’m excited to see the benches,” he said. “It’s a great program.”

Comments

purplesage 3 years, 9 months ago

Wow; Touchy, touchy ------inlawrence. It is a comment on my taste in art - not on the potential benefits of the program to young people. And my sense of economics; the benches are expensive. Too bad you aren't a bit more objective about someone who doesn't appreciate the same art as you. Liking blue instead of green, for example, does not make one an idiot. All said, I'm glad your work helped through the hard years of adolesence.

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Richard Payton 3 years, 9 months ago

The staff at Van Go deserve some credit also. This story inspires oldies like me that the youth are talented and resourceful.

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beatrice 3 years, 9 months ago

Fantastic! Way to go Van Go!

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pissedinlawrence 3 years, 9 months ago

purplesage, your an idiot. You must not know anything about Van Go and how great they are. When I first moved here I was 15 and had serious problems. I truely believe if it wasn't for Van Go I would not be where I am today.

Nicely said RalphReed! purplesage, it is also about kids learning working skills, life skills, and how to deal with daily lifes hardships these kids go through. Van Go is a life saver.

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Ralph Reed 3 years, 9 months ago

@youngjayhawk & Paul. I agree, Van Go is one of the greatest things going for a lot of young people who are struggling. Go to the unveiling if you have a chance. It's really a tremendous sight.


@purplesage. I would gladly pay that. It's a bargain at any price: the bench is one-of-a-kind; it's commissioned to your wishes; the artists learn through the process of working the commission, designing the bench and being able to proudly unveil it for the purchaser; the money goes to a great cause. All of these are good things.


I have the highest respect for Van Go Arts and the work they do.

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purplesage 3 years, 9 months ago

I've seen those benches - and sorry, I just don't get it. $900?

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Paul R Getto 3 years, 9 months ago

Good project and good job by all involved.

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youngjayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

If you've never attended an "unveiling" of the benches ... you should go. Great vibes! Kudos to Van Go ... lots of success stories.

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lionheart72661 3 years, 9 months ago

AW man Toe... you beat me to it....

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toe 3 years, 9 months ago

Do not paint anything associated with KU athletics. You will be sued.

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sk_in_ks 3 years, 9 months ago

It's always fun to see the new Van Go benches appear at various locations around town: they are beautiful, vibrant and functional. Kudos to the young artists who create them!

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Iam Tired 3 years, 9 months ago

Van Go does a great job with this program. It is one of the few "at risk" programs that truly channels a youth's energy and talent into real and tangible results.

A big thank you to all of the businesses that support our youth this way! And congratulations, youth on your hard work!

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macon47 3 years, 9 months ago

WOULDNT BE GREAT IF THEY PULLED WEEDS OR MOWED YARDS, AND ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING?

SEEMS TO ME WE ARE TEACHING THEM TO BE TYPICAL LAWRENCE, GRASS ROOTS LIBERALS WHO WANT TO PLAY AT EVERYONE ELSES EXPENSE??

WHAT ARE WE REALLY TEACHING THESE KIDS HOW TO BE BUSKERS, AND BEGGARS?

SOMEONE HAS TO WORK AND PAY TAXES TO SUPPORT THESE FOLKS, DONT CHA KNOW??

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