As you may know, Fun A Day doesn’t just happen in Dundee. Today, we are lucky enough to be speaking with Amy Bauer, who runs Fun A Day in sunny LA! This year, Amy took part in Fun A Day Dundee too – being able to have participants join us from anywhere is definitely one of the silver linings of doing everything online.
Hi Amy! Please can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to run Fun A Day LA? Do you run it alone, or is there a team of you?
Hi Hannah! Happy to answer questions! I am a conceptual environmental artist focused on reuse. I create things every day, but do not take pictures of everything. If I had enough money I might hire someone to follow me around and take pictures of my work. What I do have you can view on amybauerdesigns.com which links to my blog and youtube pages. I also talk about my work and demo some techniques in this video as part of LA Made.
Fun A Day actually started in Philadelphia and took off through the states from there. A woman I know started one in Reseda, that is a town in the valley area of Los Angeles County, California in 2014. I was new to LA when I noticed the call for the show in Reseda so I joined and had a blast, getting to know people and made some friends.
In 2016 I thought I would join the Reseda show again, but then I was like, wait a minute we can start our own! So Richard Hecht, my partner and I decided to start Fun-A-Day-LA. We called it LA so we could move around LA County. I do the bulk of it alone with the support of Richard. The 2021 show was the first time I had recruited some volunteers.
How long has Fun A Day LA been happening and on average how many participants do you have?
Our first show in 2017 was so successful. We had a half year show. The first show had a tap dancer, who brought her own dance floor! A musician that played some songs they wrote. Plus protest signs, photography, drawings, 3 different kinds of fiber art, someone made their own game and it was a happy day. We succeeded in securing a space and a spread of snack foods for free too! Though my favorite part was the people who did not consider themselves artists, but made the most beautiful things, just to challenge themselves for a month. Our participants went from 10 to 50+ at our 6th show (2021). Fun fact: I sewed a cape out of toilet paper for FADLA 2020, yes I had to use my ‘art supplies’ as actual toilet paper when the stores had a shortage here. I posted about this on instagram.
Fun A Day LA had a virtual show this year which is still up and really fun to have a look around. What do you think are the pros and cons of having to do everything virtually due to the pandemic?
The pros were I had my friends from all over the world join the show! And some people who did not live nearby joined! We had people from California, Colorado, New Jersey, Australia, Mexico, Italy, and China. Probable more too, because I know we invited many other friends. Cons were it was more time to set up online then I wanted to do myself. Which is why in 2020 I recruited some volunteers. Also I knew it would cost money to do what I had in mind. As a volunteer without funding for this I decided to partner with CRASH Space, a hackerspace in Culver City, CA. I knew they would come up with something cool. And Barb Noren, my main volunteer and board member at CRASH Space (she designed the gallery as her FADLA project) convinced them that this platform and show would be worth paying for and they did. Plus they loved it so much they have left it up indefinitely! They are using the platform for other projects. So it is possible to see even more than just the gallery that was up for our show in February.
We have a huge variety of participants and types of creativity here at FADD, I imagine it’s the same with you in LA. Could you tell us about some of the projects your community has made this year?
Oh my gosh that would be a long list. I mentioned a few things already, but some of us had the challenge to decide if we wanted to incorporate any technology into our projects and if so how. Some people went completely with new forms of art learning how to use digital art that they never had before. Others made the same kind of traditional art like oil painting and doll making and just had them photographed. We had lots of videos. Including Math Art, Documentaries, Arcade Glitch Videos (these were so cool I was enjoying old video game sounds!) and more than I can list. Plus others designed rooms in the gallery.
I made only 5 things, knowing that I was gonna be busy. The Suncatchers that I submitted for FADD are also displayed in the virtual gallery for FADLA. The major technology thing I did was incorporate participants of FADLA into my weekly virtual show, Amy’s Art Cabaret. You can watch episodes on Youtube. I am on hiatus right now, but if I start back up perhaps I can have some FADD participants as guests!
Here is a link to a panel discussion we did as part of FADLA21, it is about Fun A Day, the history and why you should participate!
I am happy to share that we have a lot of repeat FADLA participants, so I invited a few of them to share their stories in the panel discussion with me.