Allen Bukoff's visual-display work with Candy Band

Candy Band
Home made backdrops and wall displays

Backdrop #1 (created for one-time use). July 21, 2004, Boulan Park, Troy, Michigan. Backdrop creation and band performance taped by a film crew from NBC's Today Show. Large sheets of newsprint. Spray paints (we tried to get the kids to wear masks). Allen Bukoff spray-painted the large "CANDY BAND" title and then the band's kids did most of the rest. Half completed in photo above.

Backdrop #2 (created for repeated use). This backdrop was created by the band's kids before the big hometown-crowd summer concert at the Royal Oak Library, August 11, 2004. Large sheet of heavy orange poster paper. Water-color based tempura paints, paint brushes, and rollers (no spray paints this time). Backdrop can be rolled up and has been used at more than a dozen other Candy Band concerts.

Backdrop #3 (created for repeated use). Allen Bukoff shown posing with the Candy Band backdrop he created himself on the side of his house, September 4, 2004 (first used at the band's performance at the Pontiac Arts Beats & Eats Festival, September 5, 2004). Large sheet of heavy white poster paper. Water-color based tempura paints, paint brushes, and squeeze-bottle paints. This backdrop has been used at more than a dozen Candy Band concerts.

Backdrop #4 (created for repeated use). On June 20, 2005, at the Candy Band's local YWCA (and where the Candy Band got started), Allen Bukoff had a backdrop-painting party. We had used the previous two backdrops a lot and were starting to get tired of them. The band's kids created one backdrop and the band mothers created another. This is a photo of the kids finishing their backdrop. Large sheet of heavy red poster paper. Water-color based tempura paints, paint brushes, fingers, and hands.

Backdrop #5 (created for repeated use). The second backdrop created at the June 20, 2005, backdrop painting party. After the kids were done with their backdrop, the moms borrowed their paints and started working on their own backdrop (while one of the moms lined the kids up in the Y's kitchen and washed every kids' hands in the sink). Large sheet of heavy purple poster paper. Water-color based tempura paints and paint brushes. At the end of the painting party, the mom's and kids (+ 2 visiting kids) sat down and posed for this picture.

These backdrops have helped give Candy Band a distinctive stage look. The backdrops show up in many of their concert photographs. The manic creative energy of the displays reflects the band's energetic musical performance--it all fits very well with dancing kids and loud rock. Some of the inspiration for creating these backdrops came from our experience in letting kids express their creative energies during some of the early Candy Band concerts. We found that if we put up large sheets of paper on the walls and invited the kids to draw with watercolor magic markers, we captured an amazing amount of creative energy. Displays created at one such event are presented below.

On November 14, 2003, at the public party held to celebrate the release of Candy Band's first CD, we taped very large sheets of newsprint on the walls of the YWCA gymnasium and put out many water color markers for the kids to use. They created the following amazing manic work.

This sheet of paper was 4.5 x 9-feet. Click image to view a 21 x 33-inch enlargement.

This sheet of paper was 4.5 x 12.4-feet. Click image to view a 22 x 44-inch enlargement.

Artists transforming rock and roll energy into visual energy.

This sheet of paper was 4.5 x 12.6-feet. Click image to view a 21 x 52-inch enlargement.

These backdrops and displays have become so much a part of Candy Band's look that sometimes when the Band shows up now, they find that the school or organization that has invited them to play has gone ahead and created a backdrop for them. These backdrops are almost always a collaborative effort. A few examples of these host-created backdrops are presented below.

© 2005 Allen Bukoff & Candy Band