Once upon a time, animosity existed between children and monsters—a creak in the floor, a scream, and a parent on all fours checking under the bed. Today, a collaborative art project between area kindergarteners and local artists, facilitated by sculptor Tammy Hedge, has children facing their monsters—on paper.
Hedge got the idea for Monster Mashup when she saw a program online involving artists in Nevada reinterpreting children's art. She wondered why Fredericksburg couldn't do the same. Then it hit her.
"I decided at 3 o'clock in the morning that I can do this!" she says. “But the first thing I needed to do was contact some kids."
She turned to Denise Phipps, a kindergarten teacher at Hugh Mercer Elementary. Phipps loved the idea and told her to speak to Mrs. Tankersley, the school's principal. Tankersley approved the project a week later.
Hedge brought paper and permission slips, and the kids drew monsters. She collected the drawings and then reached out local talent to put their own interpretation on the pictures.
"I started out with 11 drawings with permission slips from parents, and then I had double the artists. So each child had two artists working on their art," she says. The final tally is 14 kids and 22 artists.
On June 4, a reveal party at the Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center will showcase every piece of art in one room for the children, their parents and the artists to see and enjoy. A book, designed by graphic designer Janis Albuquerque, will also be given as a keepsake.
"The hardest part was finding a venue,” says Hedge. "Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center came to the rescue. When Sara Poore, the director, learned of my project, she jumped right on board."
Hedge hopes that other communities, like Caroline, Stafford and Culpeper, will try her social art project.
"The goal is to show that different people’s perspectives on the same subject matter can be vastly different."
To learn more about the project, meet the artists, and preview some of the work, visit: http://www.hedgerowart.com/monster-mashup/
MONSTER ANNIKA - student’s original drawing (left) and artist’s 3D textile interpretation (right)
MONSTER EMMA - student’s concept (left) and artist’s digital art interpretation (right)
MONSTER TRISTAN - student’s original drawing (left) and artist’s ceramic sculpture interpretation (right)