Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed

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Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed
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By Robert Bernstein

The Solstice Workshop is now open and ready for YOUR participation!

Here are my latest photos from the exciting and fun Solstice Workshop!

If you think the parade is fun to watch, it is even more fun to help create the floats and costumes and to participate in every way possible!

Jackie is here to register people! Everyone is welcome to come visit and check things out!

This year's theme is "Heroes" in line with all of the heroic activities that have happened around the Montecito tragedies. As always, the theme is just a suggestion and artists are free to do whatever they want with the theme or even to ignore it completely.

Below: Lisa Thomas is Artist In Residence who is creating the Pass the Hat ensemble including a Mother Earth float. With her is artist Carlos Cuellar who is creating a mural for the Solstice stage in the park among other contributions. Also pictured is Gueria Gaston who is a volunteer and will play African drums.

The mask department is already creating head pieces that are a key aspect of Solstice

Mask maker Tessa Flanagan has her own small ensemble again this year

Cat Henley and Geoffrey Barber are back again with their own ensemble

Claire Frandsen is creating paper mache head pieces and articulating tail pieces for another major ensemble, while engineering frames to hold it all together

Caroline is creating her ensemble of Bee Heroes. Complete with a bee hive innovatively constructed of surplus tubing and paper mache.

She could not do it without a steady stream of volunteers helping

Even I was able to help a bit!

La Boheme Dance Dance Group is back once again as one of the largest ensembles of the entire parade. Teresa Kuskey Nowak (L in red below) is the director who makes it all happen

Mary Price has been Artist In Residence in previous years and is stepping up to help create the float for La Boheme

Of course Pali X-Mano is back creating the Grand Finale ensemble with yet another original giant inflatable piece! Here he is with a model of this year's creation on his head along with his loyal assistant Yoshiko. I am helping him cut out foam flames which have become a trademark of his recent costumes.

Lewis Turman is another Pali volunteer:

Kimi Vandyk is back again with her Pink Party ensemble. If there were more pink, the world would have to be a better place!

The costume shop team is already busy starting to create some of the hundreds of costumes needed to make Solstice an artistic success

Phyllis is back for another year of costume creation wizardry, making the trip up here from Los Angeles to help out. Here she is studying Pali's sketch for ideas for his costumes

And here she is playing with Geoffrey as they design a costume piece

It really is all fun and games at the Workshop as everyone works and plays together to make Solstice happen! You can help and be a part in many different ways! If you are artistic, you can create an entire ensemble of your own. Or, you can create a piece of an existing ensemble.

If you are not sure you are ready to make your own creations, you can do what I do: Learn from the artists how to craft pieces of their projects. Phyllis has taught me to sew costumes. Pali has taught me to fabricate a variety of pieces for his inflatables and his outfits. Caroline, Claire and many other artists have taught me how to help with paper mache construction. And how to paint the constructions.

There truly is a place for everyone in the community to be a part of this community event! And most ensembles can use people in the parade as performers and also to help push floats!

The Workshop is at the corner of Ortega and Garden Street. It is open afternoons and early evening every day now. Come by and see the excitement, energy and creativity! And feel free to lend a hand! Everyone is welcome!

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