Create Mock Stain Glass at Abilities Expo Chicago
By Mike Ervin, Abilities Expo Ambassador
Samantha Feigenbaum specializes in what she calls “make and take” art projects. You make it and then you take it home.
She also refers to it as recycled art since she incorporates into the artwork something that has been discarded and is not intended to be an art material.
That’s why Samantha is bringing with her to the Chicago Abilities Expo those roles of plastic that painters spread across the floor to catch their splatters. She’ll cut the plastic into 8” by 11” sheets and all those who stop by her booth can make what she calls mock stained glass using the sheet and markers. And you can take your creation home. You can put it in your window and watch the light shine through or it also makes a good placemat, Samantha says.
Samantha studied studio art at American University in Washington, D.C. But she doesn’t create art in a studio in solitude these days. “I don't have time to do that anymore. I used to. But now I create art projects for other people.”
Since 1999, she’s conducted thousands of her make and take art sessions at nursing homes, daycare centers, even with Girl Scout troops. "I've done it with people ages 4 to 104." Samantha shows participants how to convert an object someone else wanted to throw away into art. Old compact discs become mosaic coasters. Sheets and fabrics Samantha found at rummage sales become decorative pillows that can be assembled without any sewing. “I try to make it so that it's unique, it's fun and it’s decorative.”
So the basement of her home in Woodstock, Illinois is full of objects that she hopes to someday help others transform into make and take art. “Sometimes I have something in my basement for about a year because I haven't been able to figure something out. And finally something clicks and I’ll use it."
Where does she get her ideas? "Most of them come out of my brain. Sometimes I'll get an idea from a magazine or the internet and I'll change it a little."
Samantha is excited to share a make and take project with all those who come to the Expo because her other passion, besides art, is working with people with disabilities. Her minor in college was special education but she also has dyslexia.
Stop by Samantha’s booth at Abilities Expo and she’ll help you create a pane of mock stained glass in about 15 minutes! (A $5 donation per person is suggested to cover supply costs.)