International Art Day 2012 was the kick-off for the Art Day games on Aug. 10. Art Day was started in 1998 by writer/painter Becky Mate and was proclaimed by Glendale mayors for the past six years.
Award-winning designer Eugenia May-Montt, originally from Central America, suggested Olympic-like events to help celebrate the day dedicated to the arts and artists of all disciplines. The day started with Mate’s traditional art and chocolate party featuring potluck items, works of art, a table with art supplies for children and readings of short stories and poems. Jaime Rodriguez, assistant to L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon, made a guest appearance.
Neenu Vij, an artist residing in arts-friendly Chandigarh, India, organized the beginnings of the painting event, “Celebrating Creativity.”
On display on Art Day at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Chandigarh were the paintings and items reflecting the history of Art Day, such as Happy Art Day greeting cards, news articles and Art Day coloring books. Underprivileged children were also invited to do art in Vij’s garden.
The poetry portion of the Art Day Games was organized by Dorothy Skiles, the 2012 Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. Skiles enlisted the participation of seven poets for an art and chocolate party in Sunland. After reading two of her poems, one about art and one about August, Skiles gave the poets three words they needed to incorporate in a poem that they composed on the spot. Within the 15-minute deadline, each poet had to use the noun, verb and adjective “breeze,” “run” and “hungry.” While families made art at the Children’s Art Table, the poets went to work in their notebooks.
The participants were Kristina Arius, Erica Arius-Quazi, Claudia Chicas, John Christopher, Alex Tamraz, Becky Mate and Richard Gundy. Each poet read their poem aloud, with presentation and audience response as part of the judging criteria along with quality of writing and theme or idea.
Arius-Quazi was the “bronze” medalist for her poem entitled “Frustrations;” Gundy won the silver medal for his poem entitled “No Resolve;” and Mate took the gold for her poem that summarized the ambiance of the Art Day party, “Right Neighborly of You.” Small monetary awards were also given the three medalists.
All the poets who participated were given a paper with the Art Day Games logo, designed by Paul Huth of San Diego, which said, “You have participated in the first year of the Art Day Games. Thank you for being a cultural leader in our civilization. Your art makes a difference.”
Future events in the Art Day Games will be storytelling, fimmaking, acting, photography, music, dancing, and other live events.
For more information about international Art Day, go to www.artistsforabetterworld.org. To volunteer to organize an Art Day Games event for 2013, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Those with an interest in poetry can contact Dorothy Skiles at email@example.com.