Since 1988, I have conducted over 100 residencies in schools and community organizations, including special populations and adjudicated youth. I have witnessed the transformative possibilities of art, and know that the creation of a work of art can tap into unknown abilities, expand knowledge, and raise self-esteem.

For Art-in-Architecture residencies, participants (4th grade-adult) use creative problem-solving and personal vision to design a large-scale artwork for their school, organization, indoor or outdoor site. Techniques include hand-painted fabric, sculpture from recyclables, collage quilts, or interdisciplinary projects with musicians, poets or dancers. Participants learn designing to scale, construction techniques, and a concept of art in space, as well as collaboration and teamwork to meet the installation deadline. New techniques can be developed with the sponsor, and can include college and photography integrated with writing. Length of residencies varies from ten days to a semester.

Recent projects have included Reclamation/Transformation: Black Street Sculpture Garden, supported by grants from the Pennsylvania Arts Council and the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative, and Keeping Tabs: A Holocaust Sculpture (in progress) which received the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Artists in Communities Grant in 2004. Previous collaborations with Kathy Short Gracenin, choreographer, received an Interdisciplinary Fellowship and Special Project Grant from the PA Council on the Arts.

Elena Hiatt Houlihan