FCC Artist Blog

Public Art Salon: Hula Shades

By: Claudia Paraschiv

Sketch of HulaShades above Seats of Power + Codex IV Corners

Sketch of HulaShades above Seats of Power + Codex IV Corners

A few days after unveiling the bench, one of the participants mentioned that it gets a little too sunny in the afternoons, and that some sort of shade structure would enhance the experience. We were admittedly shy about taking on another 50-foot long shade project, this time somehow suspended and still water and wind-proof! I then remembered a temporary art project I helped coordinate in Salem for the 2014 Salem Arts Festival: HulaArt, where we suspended over 400 hula-hoops for several months above Artists’ Row. For Seats of Power, we hope to start with five or six HulaShades and see how they work at actually shading people, and resisting wind, sun, and rain.

Mechelle, Claudia, Austin, and Cadieja at Sewfisticated – happy to find beautiful African Prints

Mechelle, Claudia, Austin, and Cadieja at Sewfisticated – happy to find beautiful African Prints

With that project in mind, we set off to create HulaShades, using traditional African prints to create the shade itself. Last Friday, Mechelle, Cadieja, and I went in search of fabric.

We started the afternoon with artist Shaw Pong helping us troubleshoot the best way to use a curved needle to sew the cotton fabric tightly to the hoop. Soon we were joined by Azia and Zaria, Aziza (the Artist in Transit) and her baby August, as well two women on visit from Ireland! They found out about our project when I went into their mother’s beauty salon in search for more curved weave needles.

Gloria Alfred, another great local designer also stopped by the Salon to drop off more fabric for the effort. Daniel came to use use some paint for his skateboard, and the spontaneous fabric picnic went on past sunset.

We ended the Salon with some needed additions to the Big 4C Communication Toy – slowly but consistently we’re communicating what is going on on the Cornerstone, during the Salons, and in the neighborhood.

I was so glad to have Mechelle, Cadieja, and Azia join me in creating HulaShades – especially the day before their big Saturday Public Art Salon at DAC! Stay tuned! @ Public Art Salons per week now – things are moving!

Check out more of Claudia's work here