Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed

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Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed
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By Robert Bernstein

[Update] HERE are my latest photos from the exciting and fun Solstice Workshop!

Solstice is getting very close and things are getting very active at the Workshop! Help is still needed for final preparations and for the parade.
Artist in Residence Caroline is creating a giant bubble blowing machine. Here it was in an early stage of construction:

Kimi and Kent are creating an ensemble "Parade Like an Egyptian"

Beth Amine tries out a costume design on a friend in the costume shop

Paulina and her family and friends are building the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory

Jeff Dutcher was co-founder and co-owner of World of Magic until it was sold a few years back. World of Magic was a great go-to resource for Solstice and they used to make up my face for the parade. This year Jeff is creating a Pink Flamingos ensemble

Laura is working on a new set of wings for her performance

Pali has a surprise in store with an inflatable as usual, but also a tree of life to honor the late Margaret Singer. Here a gymnast tries out the tree top for her performance

Here Pali and his lady friend Raven are putting some finishing touches on the tree

Fiber artist Karen Luckett generously donated the wonderful fabric for the trunk. Here she emerges from inside the trunk

There will be a group of balloon flower people. Here the balloon costumes are being tested

I will be with Mary Price and Diane Arnold in their Bugs and Ice Cream ensemble. Because nothing goes together like bugs and ice cream, right? We will be merged with the balloon flowers group. Here I took a test ride as a praying mantis on my unicycle. Huge thanks to costume designer Phyllis Chiu for doing most of the design work. And thanks to Ann Chevrefils for creating the head piece.

Still lots more work but people are having a good time in the process!

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 pretty much all the time now. Come by and see the excitement, energy and creativity! And feel free to lend a hand! Everyone is welcome!


By Robert Bernstein

The Solstice Workshop is now open and ready for YOUR participation! At the corner of Ortega Street and Garden Street!

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!

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

This year's theme is "Wonder" which opens up a Wonder-ful world of possibilities! 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.

Mariano is back as ringleader of one of the big Brazilian ensembles. Building the float is always a major part of his creation!

Riccardo Morrison (L) is director of the workshop and Jim Sun Bear (R) is technical director. Here they brainstorm a construction project

Pali-X Mano is back for yet another year creating the Grand Finale of the parade. He is famous for his extraordinary inflatable art pieces with aerial dancers inside. This year he is planning something new: A  giant tree with complex metal work to support aerial dancers. He has built several models and made several sketches. Here he poses with one of his main models

Lisa Thomas (L) once again is artist in residence planning a big paper-mache figure on a cable frame. Barbara Logan stands by at right to help.

This image is Lisa's inspiration for the float

Claire Frandsen created the memorable Heroes on Dinosaurs ensemble last year. She has returned as artist in residence to materialize an idea she has worked on for many years: Nokes. Nokes are a combination of Noses and Beaks. She had made many sculptures and other art pieces of these ideas in her homeland of St Louis. She is creating a paper mache ensemble of them for Solstice! Here (L) she poses with Joan Melendez (R) with a Noke behind them.

Michael White and his daughter Tiare were hard at work and play making these paper mache sculptures

Mary Price is combining two natural partners for her ensemble with Diane Arnold: Bugs and Ice Cream. What could be a more natural pairing? She has recruited me to unicycle with her this year as some
kind of bug! Here she poses with a sketch of her plan while Diane looks on in Wonder!

Mask makers Hathor (L) and Elvi (R) can turn scraps into a very real animal head!

Tessa has similar goals to create fox heads using very different techniques!

Think you don't have the creative talent to do your own original art? Have no fear! There is plenty you can do under the gentle guidance of the artists and carpenters and mask makers! Here Pali has me painting little planets as part of the headgear of his costumes.

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. Lisa, 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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Luvaduck Jun 22, 2019 08:47 AM
Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed

Please post if this particular venue becomes a teaching tool for spelling, grammar, syntax and other subjects that one may or may not have been exposed to in a long ago English class. Until then, perhaps we can agree to let perceived errors pass unnoted. It stultifies exchanges and is annoying.

sbrobert Jun 07, 2019 09:19 AM
Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed

Thank you to FLICKA and others for the kind words. This weekend should be very exciting at the worksop. Lots still to do, but not totally crazy and chaotic. Please come by and check it out! At the corner of Garden and Ortega!

Flicka Jun 06, 2019 12:12 PM
Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed

Robert, You and your wife do so much that is just plain fun. Thanks for sharing your photos of all you do to keep participating in interesting events.

NostraChumash Jun 06, 2019 11:26 AM
Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed

Bug Girl... Yeah, what up wit dat!? I hate the inflection of the ? at the end of every sentence... That, & "Like" after every other word. I've heard people in the medical profession speak in such a way too.

Luvaduck Jun 06, 2019 11:11 AM
Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed

Anyone doing a "wonder where democracy went" float with blown up gerry-mandering maps and hands stealing ballots or preventing voting?

Bug Girl Jun 05, 2019 03:20 PM
Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed

Conversely, I enjoy the use (or overuse) of exclamation points, because it conveys a level of enthusiasm that I rarely see or hear these days, in an era of indifference. Bernstein is enthusiastic, and I always appreciate his posts!! (I find the use of exclamation points much less distracting than the way some people end all their sentences, when spoken, as questions? With their voice inflection rising?)

a-1571598286 Jun 05, 2019 11:45 AM
Solstice Workshop Fun and Help Needed

I can totally vouch for the fact that helping out at the workshop is a lot of fun! You can always come by and meet people and see what is going on with no obligation at all! At the end it is a mad rush, but at this point people will be very happy to see you!

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