Design Week Portland! Design & Citizenship: Using the Green Loop as a Tool for Social Good

April 27, 2017

How can the Green Loop serve the people of Portland and encourage civic engagement? Join artists Michelle Illuminato and Ariana Jacob to investigate the social aspects of urban space, unpack pressing needs and challenges for locals and newcomers alike, and dream about the future of our city. This experiential workshop will consider how public space and public process can invite participation from a diverse range of people. We will walk a portion of the Green Loop’s proposed course to gather our own sense of this future park as a physical, cultural and political place, and imagine and enact open, invitational strategies for our city’s public life.

The workshop will be led by Michelle Illuminato and Ariana Jacob.

renew_neu_kirche_imageArts Loud & Clear 

Pittsburgh Post Gazette by Adam Reger, August 29, 2016

When the Re:NEW Festival, a month-long celebration of creative reuse, sustainability, and transformation hits Pittsburgh on September 9, Neu Kirche Contemporary Arts Center will be ready.

That’s because one of the arts organization’s most striking—and highly visible—exhibits, the Fallow Grounds sculpture series, is already in place and accessible to the public. During the month-long Re:NEW Festival, Neu Kirche staff will provide guided tours of the sculptures, which invite artists to take vacant lots in Neu Kirche’s East Deutschtown neighborhood, on Pittsburgh’s North Side, and “activate” them—transforming these unused spaces into sites that encourage conversation and interaction.

How to activate a space is left up to each individual artist, and approaches have been wildly varied—from a community oven to calls for residents to bring unwanted items from their basements to public events inviting neighbors to stop and chat. But Neu Kirche encourages all artists to utilize recycled, found, and reusable materials in innovative ways, considering new and creative ways to make use of vacant spaces and discarded materials.

Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette

A Community Bake Oven Fills A Vacant Lot in the North Side Adrian McCoy  June 21, 2016

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Neu Kirche invited three artists “to engage with a space on the North Side and to activate it,” said artist M. Michelle Illuminato, who has transformed one lot into “Tripoli Street BakeYard” — a place where the community can gather to bake in a cob oven.

“I’m very interested in place and the relationship between people and place,” Ms. Illuminato said. “What this project aims to do is make that space into a place, a space that’s been imbued with people’s memories and activities and someplace that is shared in the community.”

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Tripoli Street BakeYard sprouting up in vacant North Side lot

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1Three Rivers Arts fest continues to evolve

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20150605amfLostArtLocal113-1Lost & Found Factory revives missing objects as public art at Three Rivers Arts Festival

“At the Lost & Found Factory, what is gone is not forgotten, nor is it ever truly gone. That may provide some peace of mind to, or at least allay some guilt of, the wife who misplaced her husband’s cuff links, or the curator who had a famous painting go missing under her watch, or even the woman who never got to see the dollhouse her grandmother bought for her mother.

Artist M. Michelle Illuminato is helping them reconnect to what they miss.”

Photos: Allison Farrand/Post-Gazette

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dt.common.streams.StreamServer-5Arts Festival’s “Lost & Found” Serves as Healing Factory

“In a little building of steel and glass along Liberty Avenue Extension, people share a story of something they’ve lost: What did it look like, what did it sound like, how did it taste, why do you want it back? They are encouraged to sketch a detailed representation of their items.”
By Rebecca L. Ferraro   Thursday, June 11, 2015, 8:55 p.m.
Photos:  Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media

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26Unveiling and Unmuting: How To Spend the Remaining Days of the Arts Fest

Christopher Maggio – June 7, 2015

“…I will soon be reunited with my long-lost puppy, gone since I was two years old.

Carpenter, intake operator for the Lost + Found Factory by M. Michelle Illuminato, asked me to describe the puppy on a piece of paper as well as how I lost it. The dog wasn’t real; rather, it was a small stuffed Dalmatian I carried with me in my stroller. I have no memories of it, just photos. According to family lore, Grandma was pushing me through the park one day when I must have dropped the dog. (Grandma denies I lost it on her watch; Dad still refuses to believe her. I’m just hoping the Lost + Found Factory, whose mission is to recreate lost objects to the best of visitors’ recollection, can finally end the dispute.) From outside the pavilion, visitors can watch the artists begin the recreations. Visitors will receive a text once the object is complete. The service is free.”

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three rivers arts festival(2)Three Rivers Arts Festival Goes Out of Mainstream

This year’s festival discovers, explores and showcases sights, sounds and experiences not often in the spotlight. Popular, classic attractions are back as well.
“Lose something? Then visit Michelle Illuminato’s “Lost+Found Factory,” where festival-goers can describe an object they’ve lost — say your favorite toy as a child — and have an artful facsimile created by Factory artists ready for pick-up at the conclusion of the festival.”

Mike May, Pittsburgh Magazine, May 21, 2015
Photo: Devon Christopher Adams via Flickr Creative Commons

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