Archive for the ‘Public Art Program’ Category
Sunday, August 19th, 2012
The Studio experienced quite a production boom over the weekend!
We have a new train station
and even a City Hall
We’re quite pleased with how quickly Carleville is expanding
Saturday, August 11th, 2012
As we wrap up a fun month of tissue paper collage in the studio, I’m reminded of an experience I had with J and B (brothers), couple of young guests, when we did tissue collages last November.
The materials on the tables were: colored tissue papers, oil pastels, liquid starch, glue brushes, and scissors. Each guest also received two different size pieces of watercolor paper. Maybe you remember my post On Limitations explaining why we offer only certain materials or limit quantities for a given project?
I think it was B who first requested some tape. I asked him, “what is it you’re trying to do?” Whenever someone in the studio asks for a material that’s not being offered this is my reply. I’ve found that it’s a great way to find out whether they need my help in solving a problem or if they need a material for another purpose, like a temporary eyeglasses fix.
As we looked at his work, B explained that he wanted to put his tissue paper collage of a baby bird breaking through its shell on top of a larger piece of paper that he filled in with oil pastel.
I could easily have provided tape, but instead asked B, “Do you think there is anything here on the table you can use to connect your pictures?” Sometimes, just getting a child to re-notice what’s in front of him sparks the idea he needs to continue.
Sometimes he needs more questioning to help him see potential solutions. We talked about why tape works to connect things (it’s sticky) and I asked him if any of the materials on the table were sticky. We talked about how the liquid starch glue is sticky, but also thin, so maybe not strong enough to hold two thick papers together on its own. I also pointed out that tape is basically just sticky paper.
Now, I can’t remember if he figured it out on his own, or I wondered aloud, “could we use the tissue paper and starch to make our own tape?,” but it was something B was willing to try. He was excited to have worked out an aesthetically pleasing solution for his picture.
Later, when his brother J wanted to try it too, I asked B to explain to his brother how to use tissue paper like tape. Whenever possible, I try to get children to help each other problem solve. There’s another level of learning added to an art-making experience when the creator verbally shares the process or idea.
Sometimes, children come up with artistic solutions and test them only to discover they don’t work. Those are great moments of learning too! In those moments its important that I’m there to make non-judgmental observations encourage them to risk another solution. In those moments I learn too. That’s what making art with children is all about!
Monday, August 6th, 2012
We’re busy making Tissue Paper Collages in the Art Studio again! This is probably the most popular project we do all year. Below are a couple fun facts about the materials we use during a typical Summer Public Art Project.
· Museum guests create over 3,000 tissue paper collages in the Art Studio during the 6-week program.
· We go through nearly 9 gallons of liquid starch glue for making collages (the average collage requires less than 1-ounce to stick together!).
· If we lined all of the collages up side by side, they would stretch for 2/3 of a mile!
For more information about making a tissue paper collage at home or in the classroom, visit our Activities web page and click on “Tissue Paper Collage,” “Watercolor Tissue Papers” or “Homemade Liquid Starch Glue.”
Here are a few of our blog posts about tissue paper collaging:
Intergenerational Collage Activity
Watercolor Paper 101
Watercolor Wash Collage Papers
This project ends on August 13th, so be sure to stop by before then to make your own!
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Laurie, one of our summer interns, hosted a special Studio activity last week. Here is her report of the day:
This month’s Special Sunday was my opportunity to design a project that all ages could enjoy and explore. I realized how tricky it was to come up with an idea that not only allowed as much freedom as possible, but also encouraged our guests to be imaginative. After discussing a few ideas with Diana, we finally came up with Inkblot Creatures. I was inspired by the famous Rorschach Tests, which are symmetrical inkblots used to study people’s personality characteristics when they report the images they see in the forms.
The paint we used for this project was liquid watercolors, which worked well for a few reasons: they dry relatively quickly (when used moderately), they can be drawn on with watercolor crayons, and the colors bleed together quite beautifully.
To create an inkblot creature, I invited guests to put a few drops of each color on their paper, fold it in half along a center crease, then press and rub all around the folded paper. When they opened it back up, the paint had squished and spread into an interesting and colorful form!
After thinking for a few moments and turning their paper to get different views, guests used their imagination to draw in the rest of the creature with a black watercolor crayon. Some guests were inspired to see things besides creatures, like tree bark, a sunset, or a princess in their work too.
I prepared watercolor paper by pre-folding it so there would be a crease down the middle. I also mounted it on larger black paper, which gave it a frame but also allowed room for the paint to bleed onto if it went off the sides of the white.
At first I put the paints in a shallow dish, but I noticed that sometimes a guest was tempted to use ALL of it at once, so I tried using a smaller cap to encourage using an amount of paint that made sense for the size of the paper. The project works best when you start off with a little paint, then build on and add more as you go. I only put out red, yellow, and blue so beautiful secondary colors would appear when the paint bled together.
This project is really fun to create because the product is surprising and inspires the imagination. It’s also a good lesson on symmetry! The next Special Sunday project is August 12th, so be sure to stop in!
Sunday, July 8th, 2012
Last Sunday, children’s book author and illustrator Tracey Campbell Pearson stopped by The Carle for a fun art activity, storytime and book signing. Here I am with Tracey and an example of a finished “Yum Yum Bug Mobile” we made in the Studio, inspired by her book Bob. You can find more fun activities related to Tracey’s books on her website, here.
Tracey started out by drawing examples of colorful, patterned flying bugs, and then worked one-on-one with guests to help them add their buggy drawings onto a mobile. As a base we used pieces of chip board prepunched with 6-8 holes, pipe cleaners, different colored wire and popsicle sticks to connect the mobile parts together.
Guests created so many different colorful mobile variations!
After the art activity in the Studio, Tracey read some of her books in the Reading Library, giving the audience an inside scoop on where she gets the ideas for her stories and where the names of her characters came from.
She brought along the dummy book for Bob, to show just how much work went into creating a picture book. You can see the entire book stretched out in the image below!
Next time you’re at the library or the book store, be sure to check out Tracey’s fabulous books!
Photo credits: Laurie Mills
Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Last week I spent two days at Fausey Elementary School in West Springfield, MA teaching the the four second grade classes how to make two different styles of books. Based on the feedback from the children, their favorite part of the 75-minute class was learning how to turn a simple accordion book into a pop-up, complete with secret doors and tabs.
After we folded our accordion books, students worked independently deciding what to draw or collage, hiding secret things behind their doors and making something pop off of each page. They worked with solid and patterned paper shapes, colorful stickers from Demco and magazine clippings. (You can see my previous post about how we prepare magazines for projects here.) Here are a few more photos of the students’ pop-up books:
In addition to the popup accordion book, the children made a Rainbow book with sets of warm or cool colors (pictured in the photos above and below). I made the same style book with a classroom of kindergarteners last month (and posted about it here) but this version was slightly more advanced because the second graders bound the pages together with a rubber band and a stick.
We just started a new Public Art Project today that is very similar to the pop-up books we made at Fausey, so if if these photos make you excited about the possibilities of bookmaking, be sure to stop by the Studio before July 10th to make your own!
Lift, Peek, and Pull
May 31 – July 10, 2012
Free with Museum Admission
Many of Lucy Cousins’s Maisy books have special pages with flaps, tabs, and pockets; hiding characters and objects for you to find. Learn a few new paper construction tricks and create your very own story book filled with surprises using scissors, tape and glue.
Lift, Peek and Pull is inspired by the current exhibition Our British Cousins: The Magical Art of Maisy and Friends in the Central Gallery through November 25th. You can preview images of the exhibition here.
Thanks for having me Fausey Elementary!
Monday, April 23rd, 2012
In my last post I showed you how guests made foam stamps in our last public art project and promised I’d show you how we made stamp pads for the entire studio. So first, the how, then, the why:
Start with some upholstery foam. Sold by the yard at fabric stores, and sometimes in packages at craft stores, it’s worth the effort to find a coupon if you’re going to purchase a lot. It doesn’t need to be super-dense or thick, maybe 1/2″ or 3/4″.
Hot-glue a piece of upholstery foam (or sponge) to a plastic plate or polystyrene foam tray. The tray should be just larger than the foam, and the foam should be just larger than the stamps you will use.
Use a plastic spoon, palette knife or spatula to smear tempera or other water-based soluble paint into the upholstery foam. The first time you load the pad, it will take a fair amount of paint. Now its ready to use. Easy, right?
If you plan to use the stamp pad the next day, just slip it into a zippered bag to keep moist. Let it air dry (with the paint on) if you won’t be using it again within a few days. Too long in the bag and it gets moldy. Spritz with water and add more paint when you’re ready to use it again.
If you’ve been to the studio you know we offer a specific selection of materials to explore, and we arrange multiple sets of those materials around the room so they are available to whomever stops in to experiment. When we include stamp pads in our projects we make them the same color across the entire room. Usually that’s so they don’t all end up turning brownish-black from the stamps traveling around the room. With this last project is was also so that the activity focus could be more on shape and pattern than on color, though we did also offered colored pencils so that color could be introduced to the papers through drawing.
We’ve used traditional black ink stamp pads in public art projects before, but we find they work best for smaller, rubber stamps. They aren’t ideal for our large, handled stamps. They also make parents of very young children nervous with all their blackness and permanence. Kids do love black, but that’s a post for another time.
Monday, April 16th, 2012
During our preparation this week for the next Public Art Project, I was reminded of how much we love using magazine paper for programs here at The Carle. From time to time we’ll acquire a stack of cooking or home magazines from someone’s attempts to clear out their clutter. We cut out interesting patterns or textures and organize them in baskets by color (plus one basket just for fun, crazy patterns!) and set them aside until we might need them.
We’ll be using magazine papers (as well as other types of paper) for the upcoming project The Shape Game, which starts this Wednesday the 18th. I took a moment to play around with the clippings when I was photographing the baskets, and very quickly made a color wheel.
The magazine papers are so much fun to arrange and sort! It’s just another great way to explore color, pattern and visual texture with children.
By coincidence, one of our regular visitors (and mom of three) Sara G. brought by a whimsical tree she recently made with magazine clippings and other materials she had at home. This is a great example of a project you could work on as a family or a class to really customize to the style. Bright colored papers and drawing tools make a ‘loud’ tree, or just pencil drawings on neutral colored papers make a ‘quiet’ tree. Or go all out and make a color wheel tree!
Sara collaged both sides of every leaf on the tree with a mix of patterns and colors. The leaves are ‘laminated’ between pieces of packing tape and attached to the branches with floral wire. They still have a lot of movement and when I was photographing the tree in our orchard, the leaves were flapping in the breeze just like the real thing. The branch is attached to a block of wood, which she collaged with paper and brown beads (to represent the roots).
I even love the surprise birds’ nest she tucked into one of the branches!
For another color wheel project Meghan made click here, or search keyword “color” in our search bar.
Do you save magazine clippings for collage at your home or in your classroom? what’s your sorting system?
Thanks for sharing your project with us Sara!
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
Today, March 20th, is very special to us here at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and that’s because it’s the day each year that we celebrate Very Hungry Caterpillar Day in honor of one of Eric Carle’s most beloved picture book characters. This past Sunday, we pulled out all the stops for our fuzzy green friend and invited everyone to join us for art making, cookie eating, story listening, and the chance to win some fun prizes!
In the Studio, we challenged visitors to create their own version of The Caterpillar using an assortment of found materials. Here are just a few examples of what kids and adults glued together!
I love the variety of ways visitors used the mix of bottle caps, ribbons, paper, foam, corks and odds & ends. If you missed the party on Sunday, make your own Caterpillars with any found materials and email me a photo of the finished sculpture! Send photos to DianaM@carlemuseum.org, subject “Found Materials Caterpillars.”
In case you don’t own your own copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, you can check out this link to Eric Carle reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar on the Penguin Young Readers YouTube channel. Happy VHC Day!