STOMPER IN THE TOWN | ARTS FOR OAKLAND KIDS
Growing up in the Bay Area, I spent a chunk of my childhood in Oakland, and I understand first hand how important art is to early education. Kids need art for happy, healthy and strong futures. Funding to Bay Area public schools continues to be cut, and every year there is more bad news for teachers and arts educators who struggle to find funding to teach creative programs. AOK is a meaningful cause I believe in and in 2016 I began volunteering my time to help their grassroots efforts to provide more access to the arts where it's needed the most.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
From the very beginning, my vision for the Stomper project was to create a colorful, memorable community art piece involving as many children as I could reach within Oakland in the short time I had. The best way to do this was to use their hands as a blueprint for the sculpture's own face and hands. I wanted Stomper's skin to represent the kids because they are the entire reason behind our mission at AOK! With the help of my fellow board members, the teachers and staff at Achieve Academy in Fruitvale, and many of my friends and neighbors - I was able to collect over 300 handprints from children ranging in age between 6 months old to 16 years!
With the 50th Anniversary of the Oakland A's, it was only appropriate that Stomper wears a suit and a bowtie. I wanted the design of his outfit to reflect a child like spirit and the mission within Arts For Oakland Kids. Whimsical creative elements were included to highlight aspects of music, theater, and the arts while celebrating the true spirit of baseball season! The entire project was wild from start to finish, and it was an honor to be included among the 50 mascots while being able to highlight an important cause that does so much for the community I live in. The statue stood in front of the legendary Grand Lake Theatre greeting moviegoers for several months in 2018, and now Stomper permanently resides at Achieve Acadamy in Oakland, where he was co-designed by the kids.
If you want to learn more about this incredible grassroots non-profit organization that is celebrating over two decades of bringing arts to underserved Oakland schools, I encourage you to visit AOK: ARTS FOR OAKLAND KIDS
COMMUNITY PROJECTS PHOTO REEL
Check out some of the good times and creative projects I've helped contribute to in the Bay Area over the last several years...