The art of dreaming big

After noticing the need for supplemental arts education for public high schools, Kansas artist Jennifer Marsh founded the International Fiber Collaborative — which also works to provide community art experiences and help individuals the world over find common ground. The collaborative uses the arts “as a vehicle for learning, collaboration, and inspiration” — and has completed all sorts of large-scale community art projects.

Its current endeavor, the “Dream Rocket Project,” was launched in 2008. It’s a collaborative fiber wrap expected to feature up to 8,000 panels created with a “dare to dream” theme that will be combined to wrap the Saturn V moon rocket in Huntsville, Alabama. The collaborative hails the project as “a tangible demonstration of the beauty of individuals collaborating to meet universal challenges.”

So far they’ve gathered panels from 331 cities, 45 states and 19 countries while providing a “catalyst for creativity” in health care facilities, libraries, schools, museums and other settings. The collaborative has developed related curriculum materials and facilitated artwork exchanges between students with diverse “living conditions, cultures and aspirations.”

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Completed panels were exhibited this year at more than 42 sites, including our own Children’s Museum of Phoenix — which invited families to create panels for the project. Folks who missed the Arizona exhibit can still participate by sending their work directly to the IFC. Simply choose one of their dream themes, create a panel that meets IFC guidelines, write a brief essay explaining your artwork and send it their way. Click here for all the specifics.

The collaborative notes that the final work of fiber art will be wrapped around the rocket for a 60-day display during May and June of 2014, but has yet to announce a final date for submissions. Folks who’ve quilted know the process of putting panels together takes time, so don’t delay if you’d like your children — or a local school, youth group or arts organization — to get involved.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to see moving images of panels with a 9/11 memorial theme. To enjoy a taste of space in Arizona, visit the Arizona Challenger Space Center.

Coming up: The art of being small

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