Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stories & Art Around the World, Part 2

Students of Stories and Art Around the World have continued to amaze me with their creativity at mask-making, watercolor painting, and a musical lesson inspired by a musical folk tale.

I'm pleased to share this short collaborative Stories and Art film with our community of learners, family and friends around the world, and a widening circle of supportive folks who appreciate the ancient arts of puppetry and storytelling. We can now record and access these beautiful human resources in fresh ways using new media. I hope that hearing the voices weave together will inspire you to tell a story of your own!

Storytelling and Puppetry by Youth Artists of Stories & Art Around the World. Recording, Filming, Editing, and Ukulele by Teaching Artist Sarah Browning.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Art Elements

Art Elements, a class at Family Learning Program for artists ages 4-7, is underway with explorations of line, color, shape, and texture through super fun collaborative poster design, weaving, printmaking, collage, painting, and color wheel projects!

Pictured here are color wheel and Kandinsky-inspired painting activities:

The students persevered to meet my challenge and impressed me with their understanding of color juxtaposition!

I can't wait to see what they'll create next.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stories and Art Around the World

Stories and Art Around the World is a new class at Family Learning Program for 5-8 year old artists. Shown here are our own hand-made books, a large Story Map that we are fabricating together, and a handful of our many stick puppets.

Some of the Big Ideas that drive our lessons are:
1. Stories and Art connect us to people and places all around the world.
2. Words and pictures can tell a story together.
3. A story needs all different kinds of characters.
4. Something always changes in a story.

Our class has launched an exciting collaborative project, combining the ancient art of storytelling with high-tech multi-media. We started by capturing the spontaneous essence of spoken word using a sound recording device.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Place for Ideas to Grow

A sketchbook is a perfect place to capture sparks of inspiration. The low risk atmosphere lets your imagination play freely, allowing ideas to emerge while your inner critic is lulled into a sense of security.

Later on, during that unavoidable, ever-terrifying part of your creative cycle, when you temporarily believe that you will never have any ideas, ever, pick up one of your sketchbooks and read it like the book of designs that it is.

Follow it like a direction manual and map back to your creative zone.

Your "sketchbook" could also be any sort of notebook, or could even translate to any of the infinite iterations of data capture introduced by contemporary digital media, so long as your creative self feels protected when you engage there.

How do you keep and use your sketchbook?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Big Words for a Big Idea

Gearing up for my final session at the TATLab, a teaching artist training lab that may well turn out to be a life changing experience for this teaching artist, I'm still trying to get comfortable crafting a Teaching Artist's Big Idea. How about this version:

"Engaging in the Visual Arts activates metacognition, empowering students to make integrative connections."

It's a mouthful.
Photo by Youth in Focus

Words like "activate" and "empower" easily roll off the tongue, but who says "metacognition" in an elevator speech?

"Integrative connections" are where I try to elaborate: in art and in life, connections within and between systems, across diverse disciplines, is what I want my students to find the power to enact.

What better place to foster this synergy besides an arts rich learning environment? Where tools and training are readily at hand, and a spirit of inclusiveness clears a path to creativity and collaboration?