360 DEGREES VANISHING
A PROJECT BY SELVEN O'KEEF JARMON AND ART LEAGUE HOUSTON
Started in 2014, 360 Degrees Vanishing (360DVP) is an international public art and cultural exchange project between South Africa and Houston by artist Selven O’Keef Jarmon. The project features a monumental beaded tapestry which will be mounted on the south west corner of the ALH building. The tapestry have been fabricated by a group of fifteen highly skilled beaders from sewing co-ops throughout the Eastern Cape of South Africa, who were artists in residence at ALH. They traveled to Houston in three separate groups over an 12 month period beginning in the summer of 2014 and ending in the winter of 2015. During this time, over 1,000 volunteers from across Houston, ages 5 to 93, met and worked in tandem with the South African beaders at workshops held at venues across Houston to create the tapestry. The creative community that grew up around the project reflected the global diversity and spirit of Houston. Once the project is installed on the ALH building, the audience will include the 44,000 cars that pass by the ALH building daily; the 1000+ students who attend the ALH School annually; students participating in the ALH Teen Intensive and ArtBound! Programs; artists in the ALH Healing Art Program, Inversion Coffee Shop customers, and ALH exhibition artists and attendee’s.
The concept of the 360DVP addresses the gradual disappearance of the tradition of beading culture within South Africa in particular, as well as the vanishing parts of various cultures that are taken for granted but have been disappearing from our everyday lives. The 360DVP re-imagines the possibilities of how a traditional medium, such as beading, can be re-envisioned and re-activated by placing it within a new context and landscape. This project is an international cultural exchange with South Africa and ALH is working with the South African Government as well as the Craft and Cultural Hub of the Eastern Cape and the South African Cultural Minister's Office.
The project is 98% completed in terms of the physical beaded components. The structural engineering drawings have been completed courtesy of Cardno Haynes Whaley Engineers and the structural plans have been approved through the City of Houston. The firm identified to complete the steel fabrication and facilitate the installation of the project is Berger Iron Works. In December 2017, ALH was awarded a $25,000 Multi Layered Program Grant from Houston First Corporation to support the installation of the beads onto the building in November 2018. To date, over $160,000 has been raised for the project in Houston; South Africa has donated almost $50,000; and ALH has raised another $140,000 of in kind support (donated beads, wire frames, the space age thread that holds the beads in place, housing, food, transportation, etc.). A further $55,000 needs to be raised in order to complete the project.
The work in Houston was supported by communities across the Eastern Cape, the South African Government and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. To date, major donors in Houston include Houston First Corporation, Okra Charity Saloon, Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment, Rice University, Texas Southern University, Project Row Houses, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Kerry Inman and the Bermac Building, Boheme, Workshop Houston, Whole Foods, Phoenicia, Houston Bead Society, Our Image Film and Arts, The Morgan Family Foundation, Greater Houston Community Foundation, Louisa Stude Sarofim, Sarah Paschall Dodd, Poppi Massey, Gerald and Anita Smith, The Beadery in Providence Rhode Island, Softflex, Scott Sparvero, Jim Peterson, Susan Criner, Phillis Jarmon, Ed Wilson, and Zulu Creative.
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