Jaime Barks displays paintings of Cleveland at the Public Library
Posted Wednesday, October 7, 2015 8:00 am - Link to Story
Local artist Jaime Barks has been working to share her love of Cleveland by creating paintings of various buildings around town.
Although Barks is not a Cleveland native, she says she has fallen in love with the community. “I love the beauty of this region. Cleveland is a lovely place filled with so many caring and community minded people,” Barks said. In addition to her paintings, Barks is also committed to and involved in her community.
Her “Where I Live” series will be on display at the Cleveland Bradley Public Library until Oct. 20. She has prints of the paintings, also, and will be selling her work at ArtFest at the Museum Center on Oct. 24.
When she is not painting, Barks is also an avid sketch artist. She often rides her bike to a location she wants to paint in the future and spend a few moments sketching the building to use as inspiration. She will be teaching a class during ArtFest on how she does her watercolor sketches. For more information or to register, visit her website: www.JaimeBarks.com.
Also, Barks coordinates sketch meet-ups for local artists as an extension of the Cleveland Arts Center. The next meet up will be Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. at Bonlife Coffee. More information about the meet-ups can be obtained by joining the “Cleveland Creatives” group on Facebook.
About Artist Jaime Barks:
Jaime Barks lives and works in Cleveland. She is a graduate of Lee University and currently works in the service learning department at Cleveland State Community College. She has her work at the Museum Center Gift Shop, at Lupi’s Pizza and has a mural on the Cleveland/Bradley Greenway under the 20th Street bridge.
Art Meet Up event held at the Old Woolen Mill
GREY BRIGGS sketches a willow tree while her daughter Ivy Briggs paints a picture of the same tree at the Old Woolen Mill.
Banner photos, JOYANNA LOVE
Posted Sunday, June 14, 2015 12:00 am
JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Birds chirped and a slight breeze blew as if inviting the artists to come settle in and draw a while.
That is what a group of Cleveland artists did Saturday during an Art Meet Up at the Old Woolen Mill.
Coordinator Jamie Barks said she chose the location because “it’s this kind of a sad, interesting, yet inspiring place. I feel like there is a good energy here and there is a lot of potential in this space. “
“I’ve always been drawn to telling a story through pictures and images,” Barks said. Barks received permission from owner Dr. Ron Coleman to hold the event at the site.
“It’s awesome and we should do this more,” attendee Carie Faricelli said. “The community should support things like this in the future.”
The willow tree beyond the Weaver’s Room proved to be a favorite sketch subject that day.
“Willow trees are my favorite trees. The are such a beautiful symbol of life and vitality because they always have to grow near water,” Barks said
Mother and daughter Grey and Ivy Briggs also chose to focus on the willow tree.
“I like art,” Ivy Briggs said, commenting that painting was her favorite.
Grey Briggs said she was familiar with the Old Woolen Mill because “my husband takes pictures here a lot.” Briggs said she was excited for the opportunity to draw at the site and talk with other local artists.
“I used to be an art major years and years ago, then I switched to English instead. I thought it would be cool to just have a chance to do art for a couple of hours away from the house,” Grey Briggs said.
For both Briggs and Faricelli oil painting is their favorite art medium. Each has also been painting since they were teenagers.
“I started at a little art league up in Indiana, then I eventually went to the American Academy of Art,” Faricelli said.
Faricelli took pictures at the Mill to serve as inspiration for future projects.
“I’ve always found that being around other creative people will foster more creative thoughts,” Faricelli said.
Self-proclaimed hobby artist John Kalabus said he was interested in having the opportunity to meet with other artists. Despite no one else in his family being an artist, Kalabus embraced the hobby at a young age.
He also took some photos of the Old Woolen Mill that he might use as inspiration for acrylic paintings in the future.
“It’s a very interesting place,” Kalabus said.
He said the brickwork and overall architecture were appealing to him.
Art of another kind could be seen throughout the site as graffiti has been sprawled on several walls.
Barks plans to hold more Art Meet Up events in the future.
Saturday art event inviting artists to gather and draw
DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND offers a variety of architectural styles to sketch. On Saturday, sketch artists will meet at the Old Woolen Mill for a time of art and conversation.
Photo courtesy of Jaime Barks
Posted Friday, June 12, 2015 12:30 pm
JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Local artists of all skill levels have a new opportunity to hone their skills and meet other creative-minded people Saturday at the Old Woolen Mill.
“It’s a great way …. to encourage people to pick up the pencil and put down the phone,” coordinator Jaime Barks said.
The Art Meet Up will be a time for sketching, and will run from 10 a.m. to noon.
“We have just been looking at the art community in Cleveland and how we can support it and to grow visual art in Cleveland, to try to open a dialogue and a conversation to anyone and everyone who is either an artist or invested in community art,” Barks said.
Organizers hope the event will serve as a time for visual artists to come together to talk, share techniques and have fun.
“It’s easy as an artist to be an island unto yourself. You are just in your studio doing your thing. You are not always getting a chance to interact with other people,” Barks said.
Although the event is being held at the mill, Barks said artists should not feel limited to just drawing the scenery.
“If you’re not into sketches or you are not comfortable doing it in a public setting, you can just come out and just meet other artists,” Barks said.
The plan is that Saturday’s event will be the first of many such offerings to the visual art community.
Barks said she hopes to have three or four such events a year and “create a network of artists in Cleveland.”
Artists will also need to bring their sketchpad, pencils and any other supplies they will need.
“The more people, the more people we can get involved in how we can expand the arts in Cleveland,” Barks said.
As opportunities for arts appreciation are increasing, Barks said she wanted to see artists come together.
“We chose the Old Woolen Mill because there is a great creative energy there,” Barks said. “I love to sketch on location, and it gives you a chance to hone your skills without the stress if you are working on a large canvas.”
Some of her favorites have come from downtown.
“I think Cleveland is beautiful all over, but I just love the architecture and the detail that you see in so many of the buildings,” Barks said.
Because of the location, Barks is encouraging participants to wear sturdy shoes, bring water and wear sunscreen.
Barks can be reached at 321-289-5677 or jaimebarks@gmail. com for more information.
Underpass mural brightens Greenway : Jaime Barks given hand from volunteers
Author(s): DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer Date: July 13, 2014 Section: news,home_features
Local artist Jaime Barks and her band of trusty volunteers recently ensured a portion of the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway will burst with color no matter the season. Barks received approval from the Greenway public arts committee and the board to paint a mural underneath the 20th Street overpass.
She promised bright colors and an inspirational message. The smiles on the faces of local residents on the Greenway prove she and her volunteers did not disappoint.
A blue sky running the length of the overpass meets a green pasture halfway down the wall. Large bright pink, purple and white daisies rise to meet the blue sky. Ladybugs, bees and several friendly birds can be spotted throughout the entire mural. Banners with phrases like “Be Kind Always” offer reminders to patrons of the Greenway.
Barks said she clocked more than 30 hours of work completed on themural. It took her about three weeks to finish the project.
“It was like training for a marathon,” Barks laughed. “I kept telling [my husband] Jason, ‘This is the ultimate endurance event.’ You are working in all kinds of weather. It was hot and then it was chilly and then it was raining.”
Good company in volunteers and random strangers on the Greenway added to her enjoyment of the project.
“Everyone was real encouraging and they told me ‘Thank you,’” she said. “Some random guy just came by and gave me $5 [while he was] on a bike. He didn’t even stop. He just kind of shoved it in my hand and [shouted], ‘Thank you for doing this,’ as he rode away with his family.”
Another man presented Barks with a miniature porcelain doll in thanks for her work. Most of the walkers, joggers, bicyclists and general Greenway enthusiasts offered their smiles and words of encouragement.
“That is what I love about the Greenway,” Barks reflected. “All socioeconomic brackets participate in the Greenway. You have people who have bikes that cost more than my car and then you have people who may or may not have a consistent place to live … It was fun to talk to those people.”
She estimated roughly 20 volunteers helped out on the project. The highest turnout was for the day the kids worked on the background. About 15 adults and children showed up to give life to the mural’s blue sky and green grass.
Tiny helpers Brooklyn and Sydney Goff both showed up with their parents Duane and Candace Goff to lend a helping hand.
Brooklyn said she enjoyed the painting. She explained although the completed mural is pretty, the painting process was messy.
Brooklyn added, “If I got new shows, I would do it again.”
Candace explained she wanted the girls to join in on the volunteer effort because “[the mural] is an asset to the community, and it will be here forever for everyone to enjoy.”
High school student Chandler Nichols joined the volunteer team near the end of the project. Her mother was riding by on her bicycle when she noticed Barks working on the mural.
She told Barks about her daughter’s artistic skills. Nichols ended up helping to add details to the colored-in flowers.
“This was the first outdoor mural I’d ever worked on,” she said. “It was just nice to be outside and paint. A lot more people are going to be able to see this. It is just amazing. Whenever I pass through here, I see it brings a smile to everyone’s face.”
This is the second mural Nichols has had a hand in painting. The first now hangs in Cormetech, compliments of Cleveland High. She described the opportunity to share her artwork with the world as amazing.
“It is not only a way to express myself, but my artistic style usually tells a story,” Nichols said. “Whenever I paint, I like people to sense an emotion or see a storyline behind it. It is just nice to take part in adding so much joy to the community.”
She said Barks’ mural did a good job of sharing a story and emotion with the Cleveland community.
Barks repeatedly emphasized the project would not have been nearly as successful without the help of Ace Hardware, Habitat ReStore, Carrie Workman Photography and Rhonda Wilkins from Create and Celebrate.
Ace Hardware Manager Randall Slack said the locally owned store donated primer to the project.
“We are part of the community and Ace is locally owned, so they like to get involved with the community,” he said. “It helps our business for one thing, but that is not really the reason we do it. It is because we live here and we want to make Cleveland a better place for everybody.”
He hinted the store might be willing to donate more primer to any additional mural projects on the Greenway.
Wilkins also helped the cause by donating four boxes of paint leftover from previous faux-finish projects. She said the “beautiful” mural is definitely a reflection of Barks’ personality.
“I just think it is great. It brightens up this dark tunnel,” Wilkins said. “I walk on the Greenway a lot, so when I walk through [I see] it just makes everyone smile.”
Tara Brown of the public arts committee said the finished mural lived up to Barks’ proposal. She said she loves the finished product. She also hopes to hear from more people interested in adding art to the Greenway. Those interested in learning more can go to cbcgreenway.com.
“Our goal is to actually have temporary and permanent public art all along the Greenway,” she said. “This would be an example of permanent art that is along the Greenway for the whole community to enjoy.”
Barks also thanked her husband for the hours of support he gave her throughout the three-week project through both working on the project and babysitting their two boys Henry and Alex.
“My wife is incredibly creative and extremely community-minded. I love supporting her,” Jason said. “I have no creative skill whatsoever. Supporting her is my way of supporting the arts.
“She always has these big ideas. She had talked about it for a while, she dreamed it up, painted the prototype and submitted the proposal. She did it all herself. Watching [our] kids and doing some priming is the least I can do.”
Greenway volunteers sought for new mural
DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Local artist Jaime Barks could only run on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway so many times before an idea took root. What if she combined her love for the Greenway and public art into a community project?
She considered the thought. Cultivated a plan. Watched as the idea grew into a dream.
The approval of the Greenway board to permit a mural on the 20th Street underpass has almost made her dream a reality.
Now she needs the help of community volunteers, Thursday through Saturday, to get a head start on the project.
“I really like community-based projects,” Barks said. “Cleveland is a great community. I knew it was something my kids would like to do. It is just fun.”
Barks specifically created a painting last spring for the project. The background is split between a blue sky with criss-crossing clouds and a green field. The foreground is also split into two sections. Across the top is a little, blue bird perched on a flower and holding a ribbon with the words, “Let Love Grow” written in cursive. The lower half of the foreground has four types of flowers reaching toward the sky among tall grass.
The overall effect is exactly what Barks intended: colorful, joyous, vibrant and inspirational.
“I was on a run in the spring and I was just thinking about what I wanted it to look like and what I wanted to convey,” she said. “I was just thinking about really bright flowers and a happy little bird. I hope to hide a few things, like a bumble bee, for kids to find.”
Barks hopes everyone from kids to adults will want to be a part of the project.
Volunteers are needed this week.
- Thursday, June 12: older kids, teenagers and adults are needed to prime the underpass starting at 6 p.m.
- Friday, June 13: painting the background starting at 2 p.m.
Barks said she would really like to have a lot of kids for this portion of the volunteer effort.
“It would be great to stagger volunteers with the arrivals at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. I find with kids, particularly young ones, an hour is about as long as they can paint before they lose interest,” she said. “If your family would like to come, please let me know what time will work best. Any age can come paint. This should be fun and messy — in a good way.”
Barks created the background to be deliberately messy so individuals of all ages and capabilities could jump on board.
- Saturday, June 14: actual painting in progress. This will be the first day of painting the various pieces in the mural. Barks has set up staggered volunteer times for 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Those who have experience painting designs, pictures, murals, etc. will excel in this portion, according to Barks.
Those interested in volunteering can email Barks at Jaime@barksblog.com. In the event of inclement weather, the project will be moved to next week. Volunteers can get updates from Barks by emailing her.
She said she hopes this becomes a piece of the community children can look back on as they grow and remember the time they contributed to the project.
Fostering a love for public art at the same time is also a plus.
“I just love the idea of public art. A lot of people are never going to go into a gallery or go into a museum, but almost everyone at one point will see a public art piece,” she said. “I am just very much of the opinion that art should be enjoyed by everybody.”
Added Barks, “Maybe someone in the community will see [the mural] and hopefully be inspired. Or, just have their day brightened.”
Barks will spend next week on a semi-solo mission to refine the mural before it is finished.
Aside from the public art aspect, Barks’ purpose for the mural is threefold.
“I think it is just a good community piece to bring people together and to bring exposure to the Greenway. I genuinely love the Greenway,” she said. “It is a huge part of [my family’s] lives and my life as a runner. I think it is the greatest thing to happen to Cleveland in forever.
“The other part is just helping to bring the awareness to the art … and expose people to a different form of art. So, like, this is art, but it is not a piece in a museum or gallery. It is something you can teach and see and enjoy.”
Added Barks, “And, of course, just the happy message of love and joy.”