Heliotrope Foundation was started by artist Caledonia Curry, also known as Swoon, to help communities respond and heal after natural disasters and other urgent social crises. It is an umbrella non-profit organization for three main projects; Braddock Tiles in Braddock, PA, Konbit Shelter in Cormiers, Haiti and the Music Box in New Orleans. I've been involved with all three projects in various capacities.
This drawing depicts the inner workings of Braddock Tiles which is a socially engaged business that produces durable handmade ceramic architectural and fine art tiles. Situated in the neighborhood of Braddock, PA and within the larger context of post-industrial unemployment, this project is committed to creating job opportunities and programming for its residents.
While Heliotrope aided in building a community center in Cormiers Haiti in 2010, with their project Konbit Shelter, they started to bring in art supplies and began running drawing classes for local kids. These efforts turned into what is now called Klub Obzevatwa which is an ongoing effort comprised of a team of local artists in Cormiers that serve as the instructors, who impart educational projects for the children each week. Class projects range from drawing, cooking, tile-setting, earthquake preparedness, Haitian culture and history and of course, they leave time for games, song and dance.
The Klubs first project was a guided inquiry into light, shadow and optics, designed with the intention of activating the domed community center as a place of learning and curiosity for children. My roll in this project was to both travel to Haiti, work with the community and then illustrate the functionality of various aspects of the optics and tools that where used in the workshop to help describe the project to people outside of Cormiers with the hopes of putting a book together.