Photo credit Pen Carlson Photography
Carrie Boucher has been making artistic waves in Tampa Bay for the last couple of years, with her effort to create a mobile art program to serve youth on both sides of the Bay. NOMADStudio (Neighborhood-Oriented Mobile Art & Design Studio) is ground in the belief that art is for all.
We asked Carrie to tell us more about herself and her very literal “drive” to bring art to everyone.
“I was born in Detroit and moved here to the Tampa Bay area in the summer between fourth and fifth grade. From the day I started fifth grade I never felt like I completely fit in.
Carrie’s “Pink Crow Studio” work
“The fact that I’ve always had a very strong creative drive gave me a way to deal with feeling like a bit of a misfit. “
Carrie started her life as a professional artist in Chicago, splitting her time between her work as a metalsmith ,and doing product photography and window displays for a boutique in downtown Chicago. She returned to Tampa Bay a couple of years ago, working first as an art teacher and now devoting her time to getting the NOMADstudio up and running.
Carrie believes the arts are a fundamental aspect of human experience.
“Art, music, theatre, dance, I don’t think their importance can be quantified, they’re just a part of who we are as humans, they allow us to share our experience. I can’t imagine a life without them, but we have to teach the value of the arts if we want them to continue to be appreciated and supported. I think that arts programming is essential because by learning and practicing and participating in the arts we expand our creative vocabulary. This gives us more ways to communicate our thoughts, feelings and beliefs, which enriches our lives and contributes to the cultural fabric of our community.”
The inspiration for the mobile art studio, says Carrie, came from a story she read about artists in London using retired subway cars as studios.
“Later, when I was an art teacher I taught at two different campuses and was always lugging supplies back and forth I thought it would be nice to have one classroom that I could take back and forth. That made me think of the mobile art studio. From there it was an easy jump to the idea of turning a bus into an art classroom.”
To TEDxYouth@TampaBay, Carrie wants to bring a sense of artistic intentionality.
“I would like to communicate my conviction that we need to pay attention to our creativity, we need to listen to our inner voice of inspiration. Creative thinkers who take chances are the people who make the biggest differences in their communities and worldwide. And just as I love sharing my passion and ideas with others I also love to listen to others share their ideas.
“Creative communities,” says says, ” are where connections happen, inside and outside our minds.
What she hopes to get from TEDxYouth@TampaBay is, quite likely, what we all would like to take from the experience of being together for our annual Youth Day event: “the energy and excitement that happens when creative people get together.”