Monday, March 6, 2017

Art Taco's Art Person of the Year 2017: Carrie Boucher

Carrie Boucher spent ten years in Chicago going to college at The Art Institute, living as an artist, doing painting, metalsmithing, and, like so many artists. doing retail windows to pay the bills. Studio or art-making space was a concern then, and remains a core thread in this story. Carrie returned to Florida, and taught Art at a charter school. She experienced frustrations with access for students, particularly how they were punished by being removed from Art class, Questions of access to art, spaces, materials and wall space persisted, along with other, more philosophicai questions about identity as an artist, all part of the bus idea and the Neighborhood Oriented Mobile Art and Design Studio, NOMAD. Carrie was on new ground, and had to redefine herself to do this. Social Practice Artist is the term she uses.

                                      "There is no wrong way to be an Artist"
                                                                 --- Carrie Boucher

Carrie began looking for a bus, the community responded, a generous offer was made, which included labor and bus. Volunteers emerged, now totaling 160-plus. From certified Art teachers to those who wash the bus, they are a community committed to the idea. The first bus, named Nuri, has contracts with schools, half way houses, and foster homes. Nuri was recently superseded by a new bus, acquired via social fundraising This funds the other places NOMAD serves in the community. You see it at festivals, full of children insde happily making art, being taught.and the bus is not just a mobile space, but a rolling canvas, covered with their art, Fantastic stuff, to see smiling children, focused and creating, Carrie tells me she would like to expand operations, with multiple buses and serving a much wider area. On a personal level, whe wants to do an installation involving metalsmithing, preferably on an island. This is a community-shifting paradigm, supported by the community itself, which is why Carrie Boucher is Art Taco's Arts Person of the Year for 2017.

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