We're making Community Lemonade in Long Beach. Come and make lemonade with us!
! I'm on a 100-day odyssey for community and creativity in Long Beach. We've got such an amazing city, and I'm a huge fan. I'm seeking out the creatives and the facilitators of creativity, the art and the locations that inspire art.
I call it .
Today was Day 19 of Making Lemonade.
Today, I played with wool at the Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse.
This is Long Beach, an artist on every corner. Someone creating, someone making something on every block. Little blossoms of creative expression. I went to the Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse to play with yarn and to say "Hi!" to Lisa Hernandez the co-founder. I was pleased to meet Yoshino Rosalia Jasso, her daughter, creative, art student, also a co-founder.
I got to know a little more about Yoshino while we sat in the shade, I was spinning (with my home-made, hand-held spindle) the . Yoshino was skillfully felting a little critter.
Yoshino is Lisa's daughter. Without both Yoshino and Lisa, the Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse might not be there. You see, Yoshino creates out of whatever she can find. As a young child, she found strawberry baskets very useful as trolleys and houses for her dolls. Her love for reuse of things carried into her teens and into her art. When she was 14, Yoshino and her mom worked side by side to get the Depot started.
Yoshino is known for creating fun and useful items out of what might otherwise be considered trash. Her work has been featured at the Orange County Museum of Art and ESPN's LA Live Green Expo. In 2011 Yoshino was a finalist for the National American Miss 2011 California Pageant. Her dress? Adorned with an overskirt made of a reused plastic bag.
I asked her about the coolest thing she ever made. The Pepsi Bottle Purse, of course! She brought one out... A Pepsi bottle, cut about a third down and a zipper added to hold the bottle together. A strap out of shoelaces and can tabs completed the piece. What could you use it for? The bottle she showed me had pencils stored in it. A 1 liter bottle could be used to store a wallet. Very cool! So cool, in fact, that it won a prize that helped to fund the First Inaugural Pepsi Refresh Creative Reuse Day, held on February 27, 2011. In the video Yoshino walks through the construction of the bottle purse for us.
Yoshino identifies what she does as craftivism. Activisim through craft. Wikipedia identifies the coining of the term craftivism in 2003 by writer Betsy Greer "craftivism is a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper & your quest for justice more infinite".
Yoshino currently attends the Long Beach City College. She received the Emerging Artist and Arts Leader award from the Arts Council for Long Beach in 2012. She plans on attending CSU Long Beach when she graduates. Yoshino loves being a part of the Long Beach art scene.
The Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse
We sat there, Yoshino and I. She, creating a little felted critter. I, spinning my newly batted wool into yarn. Friend Rachel came by and showed us her handmade purse. She'd taken some rubber material that she'd found in the Depot, and crocheted the pieces together to make a cool, one-of-a-kind purse. I showed customers Dee and Aramis how to felt and another how to spin wool. Folks came home to the apartments above.
As we sat, I was impressed by the number of people who came into the store. It's a place for local youth and their parents, curious visitors from in-state and out-of-state to come and spend time poring over the items available for sale. Prices as low as a penny. Some of the items come from stores and manufacturers. Examples? Prior year stone samples from hardware stores, fabric sample books from decorators. Bottle caps, miscellaneous metal parts. Screws, hobby brushes, partially used tubs of craft paint.
Poking around, I found a couple of things that might be useful for future projects. Lisa kindly let me have them.
The videos are scenes from the day. There are 4 scenes in this 4 minute video. They're all fun, you'll want to watch them all!
Want more lemonade?
Things, Tidbits and new Paths
- There is wool made out of recyled plastic bottles
- Two cool places to grab a pastry and some tea are the Berlin coffeehouse on 4th between Elm and Linden and Greenhouse at the corner of Linden and Broadway.
- You can attend Yoshino's free crafting workshops at the Depot on Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
- Lyon's art supplies at 441 E 4th is having a free Artist Trading Card swap and workshop Noon-5PM on July 26th.
- A Taste of Downtown Long Beach will be held on July 25th and 26th.
- Two baby food lids, a new Speedball rubber pad for carving, a Trespa TopLab sample piece, approx 5"x7".
I'm seeking to be a community builder, so I must find my training. I hope to attend Karen Reside's free grant-writing class. Karen is the principal of Reside and Associates, a non-profit services group.
It's the last day of Convergence, so I hope to be there one last time. Aside from that? Who knows!
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