Art-Making at Communiversity will involve interactive projects


Outside of live entertainment, the Communiversity ArtsFest offers the visitors interactive art-making experiences for people of all ages.

One of those experiences for those who attend the event is Nana’s Make-A-Mess.

Nana’s Make-A-Mess is a booth that is free for anyone who wants to participate in the project, according to Maria Evans, artistic director of the Arts Council of Princeton.

“It is supported by a local family that grew up here in Princeton. They dedicate it to their grandmother Nana, who was an art teacher,” she said. “There is a different project each year. This year we are going to be making what we fondly call Trash Hats. We will make hats out of paper, then the children can embellish them with some recycled objects that the Arts Council has been collecting. They can paint them and wear them. That will be a fun project for parents to bring their children to.”

Evans said the booth has been a fixture at Communiversity for about 15 years.

“Art-making is sort of a nice reprieve from the packed streets of Nassau and Witherspoon. People can come down to Palmer Square and spend some time with their children just making art,” she said.

The interactive demonstrations take place on April 28 from 1-6 p.m. in downtown Princeton.

“This arts festival features a lot of local artists in addition to food and music. We have always had a presence with art projects for the public,” Evans said. “This year like many years in the past we will be on Palmer Square with some art-making booths.”

She said out of the 200 booths at Communiversity there will be approximately 75 dedicated to art-making or art-selling.

“We will have another booth that is for a clay project. We do a lot of clay at the Arts Council. We are going to be featuring materials we use in our summer camps,” Evans said. “We will have clay, some watercolors going on, we are possibly making recycled paper flowers.”

She said there will be a lot of artist’s demonstrations happening on Palmer Square.

“Some of our art instructors will be sharing with our public every 25-30 minutes on the hour their art-making processes. That will definitely be interesting for people to watch,” Evans said.

For 20 years’ art-making at Communiversity has featured a chalk drawing exhibit, according to the Arts Council officials.

“Local high school students enter and do a very large chalk drawing right on the street. That is always really fun to watch. It will take place on Palmer Square East, right by Tiger Park,” she said.

Evans said the interactive art projects do not stop there.

“We will have an interactive art project at the Arts Council information booth. We have not work out all the details on that project just yet. It will be an art project the public can participate in,” she said.

Evans said one tradition involving art-making has been continuing from year to year.

“We have on the front steps of the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, our ceramic department working on a wheel, clay demonstrations, and probably selling a lot of their pieces they create. They will be doing a clay sculpture there as well, and a demonstration on color pencil drawing,” she said.

For 2019, there will be a new aspect of interactive art at Communiversity, according to Arts Council officials.

“This is the first year we are doing anything with poetry,” Evans said. “We will be doing a literary project this time around. We are doing what’s called 10 word poems. So, people come up to the table, with a person there ready to help them. They then come up with 10 words or less of poetry describing the day. We will then hang the poems on a banner that will stretch across Palmer Square.”

She said the banner will only be up during Communiversity, on April 28.

One of the goals for Communiversity is to always have a lot of art activities throughout the day, Arts Council officials said.

“We have a lot of our instructors and then people who live in the community sign up for our Communiversity Paint-Out. It is art-making set up among the festival, where painting transpires the day of. It is another experience for people to watch. By the end of the day the artists have a painting of Communiversity.”

She said they will display the painting afterwards in the Arts Council of Princeton’s building.

“To have these interactive art demonstrations is really important. They feature what the Arts Council is all about,” Evans said. “We just have so many things that we do in the community. We have textile classes, clay classes and drawing, painting, and summer camps. Communiversity allows people to see what can be done.”

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