September 12, 2017

STEMarts Lab enters its fourth year designing the youth and education program for The Paseo Festival. The STEMarts@The PASEO youth program is a series of educational workshops that go into all Taos County schools, allowing students to collaborate with PASEO festival artists exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) in their art making process. For the festival, an artist is placed into every middle and high school in Taos. Teacher and students work with the artist up to one week prior and then perform/install their work live at The PASEO event.

Students learn valuable STEAM skills through creative expression, social practice and collaboration, and are empowered as their creations become part of a real world event. We believe that the challenge and potential of STEAM education is for all students to have access to the latest technologies and 21st century thinking, especially in rural areas with limited access. The PASEO is the perfect platform for local students to use these tools to play, explore and imagine a better world.

For the 2017 PASEO Party on the Plaza interim event we built a unique STEAM Monster Design Challenge around the work of Paseo featured artist, Motomichi Nakamura. This Taos county call for middle and high school student submissions is based on Motomichi’s Tiny People and Giant Monster series in which he incorporates the monster theme as a mythological character to explore environmental issues.

Through an online STEMarts Design Tool, workshops and school performances students will have the opportunity to design a STEAM Monster which will be displayed on our website. Winners of the challenge will have their monsters projected on to buildings around the plaza alongside the artist’s work.

Motomichi says, “I believe my imagination was influenced by the Japanese Shinto, the native animistic religion of Japan that’s based on the idea that all things in nature are inhabited by spirits that can sometimes become supernatural monsters. My idea for PASEO is that the various monsters will come visit Taos from various places just for the night and play around. Also, I always like the idea that the digital projection doesn’t leave any physical trace after the installation which kind of reminds me of ghosts, spirits or mythical creatures.”

Based on Motomichi’s work with 2D animation and character design, the participants are creating their own original monsters to submit by September 15, 2017. All the entries will be showcased on the Paseo Project website and the best entries will be curated and projected on to plaza buildings by Motomichi for the Party on the Plaza event. Students are invited to assist the artist with the projection installation stations to learn the technology behind projection mapping  and explain the project to the audience.

STEMarts@ThePaseo is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the Martin Foundation, the Nina E. Nilssen Scholarship Fund, US Bank, GarageCube and Americorps VISTA.

The Paseo Project is a 501c-3 nonprofit whose mission is to transform art through community and community through art. Its board of directors includes Joleen Montoya, Liz Neely, Morten Nilssen, Elizabeth Crittenden-Palacios, Molly Robertson, and Janet Webb. Co-directors are Agnes Chavez and J. Matthew Thomas.