Drag some parts on the canvas to begin
Similar to the Cow Parade of Chicago and Guitar Town up in Austin, Rock the Porch is a public art initiative from Plum Creek that will manifest in the creation of 15 artistic rocking chairs by 15 local artists, groups and individuals. The unique art pieces will be placed in the public spaces of the neighborhood and within the greater Kyle community by the end of summer 2013.
After the individuals and artist groups are selected in May, they will be supplied with a rocking chair kit. Then, they’ll spread their creative wings and create an artistic, sculptural piece that speaks to the specific location in which it will be placed, whether it’s Plum Creek’s dog park, Seton Medical Center Hays, the Kyle Library or McNaughton Pool. The rocking chairs will be out in the community by the end of the summer, and from now until then we’ll be sharing updates and photos here and on social media to chronicle the Rock the Porch process.
Designed to engage both the community and the city, Rock the Porch was created to provoke thoughts of what it means to be a neighbor and to inspire conversations among neighbors. It is an opportunity to showcase the creative talent of the people of Hays County, while creating places for people to engage and interact with each other, the artwork itself and the areas in which they will be placed.
Rock the Porch is a fight against the sameness of today’s standard of residential development, offering a way to connect and unite different land use types. While residential, commercial, civic and natural spaces may seem disparate and incompatible, Plum Creek believes there should be a dialogue between them, which is why we created Rock the Porch. The initiative’s goal is to encourage people to think about and realize how these spaces complement each other, and to demonstrate that when united, they become much more meaningful and engaging than apart.
Click on an artist to read more
Sara Allen has crafting in her bones. Having grown up in Austin in an artistic family, Sara loves to crochet, scrapbook and sew in her spare time – mostly to the benefit of her two young sons. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s degree in History, and now works part time in the Human Resources department of the Texas Historical Commission.
Both Diane and Seth possess artistic and equestrian inclinations. Growing up on a farm and participating in equestrian competitions and events, Diane formed an early appreciation for horses. She’s a professional artist and a retired public school art teacher, who continues to teach art in the community. Her son, Seth, inherited his mother’s creative flair, designing quail bird houses with cut-out images and adapting found objects into sculptures. While in college, he revived the Texas Tech Polo Club, and has since founded the County Line Polo Club in Kyle, as well as the PoloKids Foundation, an after-school work-to-ride equine therapy program. Both Diane and Seth live in Kyle.
The Canasta Sisters are four neighbors in Plum Creek who get together to play Canasta, a version of card Rummy, once a week. All four are retired from long-time professional careers, and when they discovered a shared appreciation for the game, the Canasta Sisters were born. The Canasta Sisters are young at heart and eager for a challenge. They love living in Plum Creek, and possess a pride in the city of Kyle that translates into a desire to be involved in activities that result in good will and good feelings for their fellow Texans.
A long-time resident of Plum Creek, Sean Claes is a busy man. When he’s not working his full-time job at a major technology solutions provider, he’s a husband and a father, a freelance writer and photographer, the owner of Austin’s INsite Magazine, a live music booker and promoter in Kyle, and an active member of the Kyle United Methodist Church. He loves living in Plum Creek and Kyle, and even has a photo blog that promotes life and all of the fun things there are to do in Kyle, Texas.
The Crosbys are an outdoorsy, athletic bunch. Over the years they’ve hosted geocache sites, been involved in Cub Scouts, and they’ve run in a 5K every month since 2008. They often participate in local events that encourage health and fitness, and they are some of the founding members of the Negley Fitness Club. They’ve lived in Plum Creek for the past three years.
Cub scouts learn by doing. They learn to tie knots, set up a tent, cook over a campfire, build things such as a pinewood derby car, a sailboat for the rain gutter regatta – or a rocking chair for Rock the Porch. Kyle’s Cub Scout Pack 812 in the Sacred Springs District of the Boy Scouts of America is making one that will be placed at the fishing pier in Plum Creek.
Joseph Ellis is a “retired” Punk Rocker from California who decided to trade in his Rock n’ Roll lifestyle for diapers and playgrounds. Outside of work and being a father of three, he tries his hand at leather and wood-working, home brewing, taxidermy and various other manly trades, while trying to keep his limbs intact. He can often be seen wearing a ridiculous sombrero-rimmed cowboy hat around the Plum Creek neighborhood.
Information coming soon
The seven members of the Kyle City Council have agreed to create an artistic rocking chair for Rock the Porch. Council members Mayor Lucy Johnson, Diane E. Hervol, Chad Benninghoff, Becky Selbera, David Wilson, Samantha Bellows-LeMense and Ray Bryant will combine their creative spirits and their knowledge and love of the City of Kyle to create a unique piece of art for the community and downtown Kyle.
The City of Kyle Adventure Camp is a summer camp offered by the Kyle Parks & Recreation Department at Lake Kyle for older Kyle-area students. The camp provides a fun way for kids to be entertained and kept busy during summer – with games, sports, swimming, arts and crafts, and field trips that support a healthy lifestyle and give Kyle adolescents an experience they will not forget. Each Adventure Camper will be given an opportunity to help design the rocking chair sculpture for Rock the Porch to visually express what Lake Kyle means to the Kyle community.
Plum Creek resident Mary and her youngest son, Kyler, both possess an interest and an inclination toward art. Mary’s creativity flowed through drawings, paintings, sculpture and film in high school and college, but, since then, has lay dormant. When six-year-old Kyler started showing a similar interest in arts and crafts, and they came across Rock the Porch, they decided it was an exciting opportunity to work together to create something interesting and artistic for the community.
Led by Amy Cigainero and Lisa Whitehead, the Negley Elementary School Garden Club is a group of eighteen K-5th graders who learn about gardening, wildlife and the environment through hands-on after school activities. Typical Garden Club projects include creating a crate garden of cabbage, strawberries, onions, herbs and more, maintaining a wildlife habitat on campus, learning how to grow from kitchen scraps, how to fertilize naturally AND creating an artistic rocking chair for Rock the Porch!
Plum Creek resident P.M. Summer is a fifth generation Texan and a professional artist whose work has been exhibited in California, Germany and in Texas, at the Dallas Museum of Art, the McNay Museum, and the Houston Contemporary Art Museum. At different points in his life, he’s been an exhibiting artist, a creative director at an advertising agency, a magazine publisher, an inner-city missionary and a municipal urban planner. He currently lives in Hays County in order to be closer to his grandchildren.
Born and raised in Western India, Sanyogita has had an interest in art since childhood. She became creatively inspired at an early age by visits to scenic places and museums in India, as well as through an active participation in traditional Indian festivals such as Diwalia, Holi, and Gudhi Padwa. All her creative ventures have been self-taught, and she finds joy in blending Indian and Western cultures in her decorations and artwork. She and her husband moved to the United States in 2000 and have lived in Plum Creek with their son since 2009.
YMANOJ (Amy and Jon spelled backwards) is a husband and wife artist duo who’s creations combine the strength of metal with the fluidity of glass. Amy Ciganiero is a fused glass artist who studied at the University of Texas at Arlington. In addition to being a full time art teacher at Negley Elementary School in Plum Creek, she also periodically hosts travel experiences in Costa Rica where she teaches art, farm and yoga classes. Jon Labruzza brings the metal aspect of the collaboration, having studied metal sculpture and welding at Austin Community College. He likes to travel, ride his bike and do yoga. Together, Jon and Amy’s artwork is a collaboration of love that reflects their journey with one another and the changing flow of life’s energy and truths.
Click on a chair to read more
By Sara Allen
By Diane Bray and Seth Bray
By Canasta Sisters
Glenda, Judy, Sharon, Wanda
By The Claes 4
Sean, Jodie, Marlee and Harper
By Todd, Jennifer and Jacob Crosby
By Cub Scout Pack 812
By Joe Ellis
By Kathleen Hink
By City of Kyle Adventure Camp
By Mary and Kyler Halenza
By Negley Elementary School Garden Club
By P.M. Summer
Map to location
By Mrs. Sanyogita Jitendra Tate
Activity related to Rock the Porch is going to continue throughout the summer. During this time, we’ll be sharing photos and updates from the artists here and via social media to chronicle the Rock the Porch process. Check back for more information and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too.
If you’d like more information or have questions about Rock the Porch, please contact Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org We’d love to hear from you.