Top: A bookmaking class at the Buddha's Smile School in Varansi, India. Below: Erica with a grade 5 class in Varanasi, India on their holiday called Holi
From Erica's residency in Sloeshtica, Macedonia. "I had wonderful neighbors who taught me how to herd sheep, keep bees, make plum liquor, speak macedonian, and get around town. nostravia, sloeshtica!"
From Erica's mural project at P.S. 74 in Staten Island from May-June 2011. "They were learning about urban beautification and how murals and gardens are some of the ways citizens can proactively beautify a space," says Erica.
In this week's newsletter, we spotlight two pieces by the world traveling artist Erica Harris. She spoke to LittleCollector about her travels and experiences working with children: "when i see kids exposed to or engaged in making art, there's such a beautiful confidence that comes out. Paint or paper or what have you are the tools that they can use to discover a new way to express themselves. And it always feels great to find new ways to express ourselves. When I'm traveling, and looking for interesting aspects of different cultures to experience, that's essentially what I'm looking for- marks of human expression, in food, architecture, customs, history, whatever. So, facilitating any kind of an artistic exchange, (especially with kids, who are usually more open to trying new things), probably gives me more insight and education as I'm giving them."
Erica has travelled extensively in India, Guatemala, Macedonia, Brazil, El Salvador, Southeast Asia, Brooklyn and Staten Island, facilitating art projects with children and communities wherever she goes. She was kind enough to share some of her travel pictures with us, including some from her trip to Macedonia where she met the very special village dog Metcho.
You can see more pictures and photo essays from Erica's travels on her site.
And read her excellent interview in BOMB Magazine where she talks about engaging with communities around the world, her love of string, her use of old photographs and her hatred of anything that looks too shiny.