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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002

Hours

  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

Gabby's Face Game

The past few weeks we've been saying our goodbyes to all of our fabulous student staff members as they finish their semesters and head home on winter break. Recently our fall semester intern, Gabby Rosenberg, completed her final project, The Face Game, an interactive display for Museum guests in the Art Studio.  Below she shares documentation on her progress creating the game this semester.  Great job Gabby!

The Face Game was a chance for me to design an engaging activity for all ages. The goal for The Face Game was for guests, primarily children, to create funny faces on their own or collaboratively. The Public Art Project running while I was designing my final project was Face It, making portraits with colorful cut papers.  I wanted to create a humorous and open-ended activity to match the personality of the Studio space and the art project. The features I created are all intentionally outrageous in shape, color and proportion to lessen any pressure for realism or perfection. In addition to being silly and having fun, The Face Game helps young children learn the names and shapes of different facial features, their correct placement, and identifying different facial expressions: happy, sad, angry or surprised.

The first step in the creation of the face was making a big oval from brown paper, about two feet wide by three feet long. Diana and I discussed how to make the face more sturdy and our solution was to attach the paper to cardboard with spray adhesive. I struggled with which facial features to include and which to leave out. I ended up using eyebrows, noses, eyes, and mouths.  I created multiple variations of each feature with different colored and patterned papers.  To make each feature easy to recognize, I attached the parts to the same larger background shape that can be matched to an area on the face. For example, all of the eyes are glued on to larger circles, eyebrows on rectangles, and noses on triangles. Some of the Studio staff helped me finish mounting the features to their brown paper backings and get them laminated.  For the back of each piece I made a label with what part of the face it was (i.e. "eye", "nose," etc.) and a small strip of sticky-back Velcro so it could be easily rearranged on the large face shape. Before having guests play with the game, we did a little test attaching and detaching the face parts.  We realized that the brown paper face might tear if a child pulled hard on the Velcro.  Diana suggested brushing acrylic matte medium around the pieces of Velcro on the face to help strengthen the paper and prevent it from tearing.

Once all the parts were complete, Diana and I made an area on the front bulletin board in the Art Studio to hang The Face. We hung it at a height so even littler children would be able to reach and interact with the game.  Here is a photo of me talking with two little girls playing with the game shortly after we hung it on the wall.  Instead of making traditional faces, they had a lot of fun mixing up the parts and putting them in an unusual order: noses instead of eyes, mouths instead of eyebrows and eyes instead of noses!

 

Final reflection The idea of The Face project started because I wanted to make something that could stay at The Carle beyond my internship session. After discussing possible ideas with Diana, we came up with The Face Game. Personally, I was interested in designing an activity that was all about the face because faces and people are primarily what I focus on as an art studio major at Hampshire College. I think people of all ages can learn a lot from practicing how to document and represent other people, or just creating a made up character to strengthen their imagination. This project is a chance for people who don’t normally feel like artists to act like one, by designing a face and having fun while doing it! BIG thank you to everyone who helped out!  

 

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We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 

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