Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Rainbow Rainstick: A Collaborative Piece

Children with beautiful rainstick they collaboratively made in Emily Frost and Gena Rabinowitz's Summer Environmental Art Camp, photo courtesy of Gena RabinowitzThis summer these children collaboratively produced this stunning rainstick, which carries a lot of love and intention, and donated it to Beauty of Water!

Teachers Emily Frost and Gena Rabinowitz founded a unique environmentally focused art camp held in Oakland, California, which explored a different aspect of the environment each day. The young artists of the Rainbow Rainstick made the instrument at camp, and also collaboratively created a myth, downloadable here. Here are some words of reflection they offered:


Magical, Nature-filled,


Colorful, Collaboration – Fabulous!
Peaceful, Delicate


Emily Frost with Butterfly WingsI met Emily, shown here in butterfly wings, at Andrée Singer Thompson's Ecoart Matters class last May, and within minutes we both felt the charge around the idea of making rainsticks, which have a special magic.

That charge was felt halfway around the world as well. Beauty of Water Co-Lead Latha Kurien Rajeev and I had been gestating ideas for our yet-to-be-born Lucid installation, and we wanted to offer a multi-sensory experience of water. "Rainsticks!" Latha cried, and went on to explain how participants in the installation could create a symphony of the sound of rain. We both saw in our collective mind's eye a tree holding these musical instruments, and began imagining working with rainsticks from around the world. Soon long-time Beauty of Water supporter Diana Verhalen, with husband Brian, donated a rainstick, and then Lajwanti Waghray donated another, and we heard from people in several other places who are interested in a rainstick making journey...

Gena Rabinowitz in ThailandGena, shown here in the waters around Koh Tao, Thailand, is a photographer and former art teacher at Park Day School. She will be joining Latha later this year for a series of art activities in Kerala, India, including more rainstick making with youth.

Thank you, Gena, for providing this 22-image slideshow that gives glimpses into the process as well as stunning detail of the rainstick and other rainsticks the artists made!

If you would like to make rainsticks to donate to Beauty of Water, please drop us a line!