We are thrilled to share that Season 2 of Roc Paint Division has officially launched! We’ve just wrapped up our first week with our brand new crew and couldn’t be more excited to be starting off so strong.
This year our youth crew includes one returning artist from last year, Nzinga, and 7 brand-new youth artists: Mei, Dezhan, Calvin, Marina, Ephraim, Etana, and Daylis. The team is led by returning project coordinators Justin and Lisa, as well as Brittany Williams, who we are thrilled to have in a lead role after working with her as a guest artist last year. Over the next several months we will be featuring each of our artists here so you can get to know our team!
We packed a lot into our first week: we started getting to know each other and learning about the artistic backgrounds of our staff, took a mural tour at the Public Market, and even broke the paint cans open for our first painting project of the year- brightening up our headquarters at Marketview Lodge.
Next week the youth artists will be taking over the blog so that you can hear about their experiences firsthand- they’ll be sharing some of their favorite photos from the tour and giving you the inside scoop and what the first few weeks have been like. For now, here’s a visual recap of our first two days.
Day 1 included a viewing of last year’s documentary, as well as several visual slideshows to showcase the style and experience that Justin, Brittany, and Lisa bring to the table.
We braved the drizzly, chilly weather for a walk to the Public Market on Thursday to check out some of the murals created through Wall\Therapy. Marina and Dezhan did most of the photographing, and will give a full recap in their own words next week when they share some of their own favorite images.
Justin’s sweet proposal mural was a unanimous fan favorite among the team.
We stopped up to the Yards Collaborative Art Space, where Rachel Farley- one of our returning guest artists from last year- gave us a tour of what the residents have been up to over the last month.
The biggest highlight of the week was being able to jump right into painting on day 2. While we’ve always loved having our own headquarters at Marketview Lodge, its no secret that it’s been in need of some aesthetic TLC- which provided the perfect opportunity to learn some introductory painting skills while making the place feel more like our own space.
The youth artists were charged with picking out the colors from our leftover paint cans from last year. We realized quickly that there is no team-building activity quite like a whole group having to squeeze into a small room and make a unified choice about paint colors- after a relatively quiet day and a half, this was the definitive point where people’s personalities started emerging.
Ephraim came to us with an impressive amount of experience as a both a mural artist and house painter, so we gave him the chance to take the lead on the painting and share some of his tips and tricks. As it turns out, he’s got a knack for teaching and everyone, staff included, learned some new techniques.
Everyone loved watching the space transform in just a matter of hours- these splashes of color make a huge difference in the warmth and hominess of this space.
We are thrilled to have filmmaker Alex Freeman join us again this year to document our process. (If you haven’t already, check out his beautiful documentary on last year’s project here.) He came by on Thursday to meet the crew and get some initial footage.
All in all we had a fantastic first week- By the end of Thursday, the team had really started to gel. There is already a great sense of cooperation and positivity blossoming among this crew- it feels like we are right on track for a solid, exciting, productive, and colorful couple of months working together! Check back next week for more. 🙂