Kick Starter Roundup #1: Woodworking, Erasers, and “Trashion”

Welcome to my new monthly feature: the Kickstarter Roundup! Though I aim to bring a project to life each week through research and an interview, sometimes your dad needs a hand moving, the whole state of Colorado is submerged in muddy water, and you just can’t get one written up in time. So instead of an interview I’m here to share a few treasures found after trolling KickStarter for a lazy Sunday morning. I learned that there’s a lot of weird stuff on the site and that even a great idea can be made unappealing by a crappy video. Here are the three best projects I found that align with my vision for Art ExAlt and won’t put you to sleep or creep you out. Enjoy!

1. Turning Around Boston: Mobile Woodworking Classes for Kids

Woodworker Beth Ireland traveled across the US in 2010 for a year teaching more than 2,000 people how to use a lathe. Her goal for the project, titled Turning Around America, was to was “to empower people through the simple act of making an object in wood”. She combatted the often lamented decline in shop classes in schools by reintroducing adults and children to how much fun it is to make something with your hands. Pictures of the workshops and letters from students melted my heart.

She’s at it again this fall planning to spend all of October “bringing her mobile workshop to as many public schools, community centers and after school programs as possible.” Her project has been fully funded before the deadline but a badass, big-hearted, artist like this one will surely find good use for extra funds. Go Beth!

2. Erase by Greg Bokor

Greg Bokor is a graphic designer who’s worked with a pretty impressive array of companies; Target, GM, and Gillette to name a few. His wacky sense of humor and sharp design skills make for outstanding advertising. In this project he draws on the latter to bring attention to very unfunny topic: gun control. Inspired by the shootings in Newtown, he plans to draw a 20′ by 8′ AR-15 rifle in pencil, and then provide erasers for the public to slowly erase it away. It’s a poignant statement about an issue that seems all the more hopeless in light of the recall of two state senators in Colorado over gun-control last week. I hope he gets the funding to pull it off!

3. Funder Down Under: A “Trashion” Show by Marina DeBris

You have to wonder if it was fate (or a legal name change?) that christened Marina DeBris the very problem this LA artist hopes to fight. After moving here from Australia sixteen years ago she was disgusted by the amount of trash left on beaches. She began collecting it and eventually fashioned garments that are equal parts fascinating and repulsive. She’s raising funds to do a piece called “The Aquarium of the Pacific Gyre” at the EcoXpo in Sydney next week. Her work is wild and messy and fun and also raises awareness about the amount of things we throw away each day. In her words, “It’s a HAUTE mess!”

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