This was our third year of painting faces at the Summit Medical Group Sports and Healthy Living Festival. With two years under our belt, we were able to fully implement “Transformations 3.0 — a radically artistic approach to bringing event themes to life.” The goal of the event is to get kids active to stay healthy and in support of that we eschewed all the normal animal faces, zombies and princesses to turn each person into a Face at Play. We would ask people what sports or games they played and invent a way to paint that onto their face. It’s a wonderful event attracting more people each year, produced by an award winning event company: Faith West Events.
Pushing ourselves forward into new directions keeps this an adventure and generates the excitement we share with the people we transform, to make the face painting an experience to remember. And it is really fun to paint like this, trying new things and sharing the adventure. The full gallery is below, but first a few notable examples:
I am so lucky to have talented artists working with me. It’s something I never expected as I headed out in my own direction, that there would be other artists coming along for the ride. Britt was in such a groove at this event, and I don’t really know how she does it. In faces that took only 3 minutes or so she created works of modern art. I’d say the student has surpassed the teacher, but I don’t think I’ve ever really taught Britt anything. She learned how to facepaint from her mom, Mickey, and came to us with all the talent needed. With such talented artists all I try to do is give them the freedom to create anything they want — and then I watch, enjoy, and learn.
I usually paint two people at a time, sitting next to each other, and when they are friends I sometimes work out a way to make the faces work together, as in this depiction of the Pass and the Catch.
If I call myself an artist that paints faces, then the faces I paint have to carry meaning. Art is active, it is meant to move, to open eyes, to change perception. My art, my faces, have to be something that only I can do, or they are not art — it has to be personal. We painted this woman’s two kids, and we knew she was a fan because she told me they’d been their all 3 years and made sure to come to get painted. When I asked her what her favorite activity was she answered, “being with my kids, of course.” This face is an image from a sculpture I made when my Dad passed away, of him holding my son while pointing to the stars. I know it’s only facepainting, I know it washes off. What can I say? It is my art. I miss you, Dad.
If you have made it thru the galley down to the bottom of the page you might be a facepainter, and I have a message for you: it works. Being an artist works. I have been in an ongoing discussion with a good friend about whether what we do here will work where she is, and that is the answer, to her and to all of you: it works. People are excited to be part of an artist’s creation, even if the face you paint on them is something like they have never seen before. I have been doing this for so long that I have no doubts anymore that it will work for any of you, any where. All day we had adults hanging around to see what we were doing, even after their kids were painted. All day I had people coming up to me to say we’d made the whole event special for their kids (see the previous post). And, damn, it is a lot of fun to paint like this.
Learn more about what we do at http://agostinoarts.com/
- “not sure what it is about you and your artists…” (thestorybehindthefaces.com)
- The 2012 Unique Art Awards (thestorybehindthefaces.com)
- New Faces — Faces At Play: Face Painting images of Sports, Dance and Physical Activities (video from the same event last year)
- Face Painting Freedom is on the Rise
- First Night Hartford — Face Painting Adults and the Final Faces of 2011