Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Save the Date! 7/13 Family Day at Bard Graduate Center


image via http://www.bgc.bard.edu/
Today I'd like to highlight a gem of a gallery space on the Upper West Side: Bard Graduate Center. I've invited their educators to my art classroom for several years now and can fully attest to their quality of teaching and unique collection. They don't only focus on visual art, but also on cultural artifacts. 

Don't miss their Family Day on Saturday, July 13 from 11:30 am - 4 pm. The theme is "Carving Marvelous Mementos" where a professional carpenter will work alongside gallery educators to facilitate a carved object project! Ages 6 - 12 accompanied by guardians. $25.00 per family. Advanced registration is suggested: programs@bgc.bard.edu or call 212-501-3011.

If this humidity keeps up I may take permanent residence at a perfectly temperature controlled museum, how about you? :) 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

collaboration with Makers Toolbox this weekend!!

Come visit and create collages & paper sculptures while browsing the amazing DIY toys by my friends Makers Toolbox!! details below


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Need a unique gift? Product Spotlight: Paper Hat Press

I am in love with Paper Hat Press products. These are the types of gifts families and children will keep forever! Custom-made with beautiful illustrations, they create books, sketchbooks, and my favorite...stickers! I had the pleasure of checking out their products and it made me think about how important books are in my classroom. Here's why kindles will NEVER replace actual books! (via the Paper Hat Press blog)
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image via http://bit.ly/LV8Jz6
Living and working in New York City can sometimes feel like everyone and everything is functioning at lightning speed! What I love most about being an elementary school art teacher - beyond sharing the beauty of art and art-making - is that in a small way I promote the beauty of observing and taking in the moment through doing a read aloud. One book with a similar message that’s been a perfect complement to my lessons is “Sky Color” by Peter H. Reynolds. There is nothing more magical than when nearly thirty young children are gazing at you like you are a gatekeeper to a fantastic land of word and pictures.
I have an affinity for all books by Reynolds (“The Dot”, “Rose’s Garden”) and recently read “Sky Color” to my 2nd graders. It’s about a young girl named Marisol and the setting is appropriately in a school. While working on a group mural project, Marisol wants to paint the sky, but there is (gasp!) no more blue paint! Confused on what to do, she begins to observe the colors in the sky as she takes the bus home, looks outside her window before she goes to sleep, and has a whimsical dream where she’s floating in a sea of colors swirling together. You’ll have to read the book to see what happens next!
The blue paint just happened to run out in my art room and I wanted to remind the children to stop and take a look at the world around them – especially when they are depicting the sky in their own artwork. I couldn’t help but laugh while reading this story since my students have definitely chanted at one point or another, “there’s no blue left for the sky!”
The connecting project involved painting the background for a piece that would eventually become a collage of their community. Their “sky color” mixtures are beautiful, unique, and memorable – just like the book. Ever since we read it, I hear my students referring to the story in conversations to each other as they work. That could be the best kids’ seal of approval!
I’ve always been a visual learner and loved when my parents, grandmother, and older sister would read to me. The fanciful illustrations and imaginative stories of Paper Hat Press books are perfect for guiding a family read aloud at home. With summer on its way, what could be better than having a Paper Hat Press sketchbook for the creative child in your life to keep a drawing journal documenting their vacation adventures? I may order one for myself too!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring...I mean...BOOK-store fever!

Well, if you live in NYC like I do, it definitely does NOT feel like Spring! So what does one do on a cold, rainy March afternoon such as today's? Cozy up at one of these three kid-friendly bookstores:
image via: www.booksofwonder.com

1. Books of Wonder in Chelsea18 West 18th StreetNew York, NY 10011, (212) 989-3270. I love how spacious this store is. Storytime every Friday from 4pm-5pm and Sunday 12-1pm. Did I mention there's a bakery inside too? 


Home
image via www.mcnallyjackson.com
2. McNally Jackson in Nolita52 Prince Street , New York, NY  10012, 212-274-1160.  The children's section of this store makes you feel like you're in your own little library. They also have live puppet shows once a month! Plus, you guessed it, they also have a little cafe area to fulfill your caffeine and baked good needs. 

image via: www.scholastic.com
3. Scholastic in Soho: 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, (212) 343-3166
You'll be greeted by all sorts of characters from Clifford and Magic School Bus! This is the one store that actually wants your child to play and make noise. Plenty of space to read and browse their organized and leveled selections. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2 must-see art exhibits closing soon!

One thing I tell my students is that they're never going to like EVERY art piece they encounter or see. Who actually does? The great thing about art and learning in general is that we get to form our own opinions and have a voice about something. When building curriculum, I make it a point to include extreme opposites when it comes to presenting artistic style and movements. Perfect example: two exhibits that you MUST see this weekend where one show is mostly representational and the other... well, anything but that!

Does your child love nature and meticulous detail? Visit New York Historical Society's "Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School" closing 2/21/13. I've used a few of the pieces in this show as classroom visuals and my students are now landscape experts! 
image via http://www.nyhistory.org/exhibitions/return-of-the-hudson-river-school
Thomas Cole (1801–1848), Catskill Creek, NY, 1845. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection, S-157
Suggested activity: Identify and discuss foreground, middleground, and background! Bring a sketchbook and draw your own landscapes in the gallery. 

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Does your child like to draw on walls, think out of the box, and create characters? Then head to Children Museum of the Art's Rammellzzee Galaxeum! That's right, not a typo. Enter the world of the NYC hip-hop and visual artist Rammellzzee. You'll see hanging sculptures, handmade costumes, drawings, and more! The best part is that many of the pieces were created from salvaged materials. Hurry though, this closes this Sunday, February 3. 

image via http://www.cmany.org/event/therammellzeegalaxseum/
Shun-U The Loan Sharker
Suggested activity: If you can, try to participate in one of the museum's programs. If not, create collages at home using found objects or from the recycling bin. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Art Program at Museum of Motherhood!



I am so delighted to collaborate with Museum of Motherhood on Manhattan's Upper East Side. They are devoted to the history of family tradition, motherhood, and personal stories from all over the world. It serves as a community hub that offers a play space, classes, and workshops for families. This Sunday, January 20, I'll be hosting a drop-in art workshop for children from 1pm-3pm. Materials provided. 


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

travel the world in a teapot!


image via: barnesandnoble.com
When it is completely silent and my students are painting I have to stop a moment and be grateful. Watching children so immersed and focused on a project is probably the best aspect of being an art teacher! Second best thing is being able to share stories through books. The unseasonably warm weather inspired me to read one of my favorite books, "Rose's Garden", by Peter H. Reynolds.

It is about a girl named Rose who travels around the world in a teapot! She loves to collect seeds to document her travels and has high hopes to plant them. Sadly, a bunch of birds eat the seeds (eek!) which leaves her with only a few left...and it is taking a long time for them to grow! Losing hope that the flowers will never grow and as the seasons pass, the children of Rose's community brighten up her mood and faith by giving her handmade paper flowers! She receives so many as gifts, she creates a garden full of them! There is a very happy ending... you'll just have to get the book to find out! 

**Connecting art projects are LIMITLESS! Here are some ideas I've implemented with kids:

*Create paper flowers using paper & fabric scraps with wire or wooden dowels as stems
*Collage or Painting of your ideal garden
*Drawings of an imaginary way of traveling the world!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bunnies at the Library? You bet!

image via: http://www.amazon.com/Tale-Peter-Rabbit-Commemorative-Potter/dp/0723258732
Happy New Year! Is your child an aspiring writer or illustrator? One of the first things on the to-do list during my week off was to see the Beatrix Potter: The Picture Letters exhibit. Displayed in the serene and gorgeous Morgan Library in Midtown East, it was a nice break from the crowded museums uptown. You'll see Potter's original drawings, manuscripts, and of course, the "picture letters" she wrote to children, most were to those of her former nanny.

Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)
"My rabbit Peter is so lazy." 
Autograph letter signed to Noël Moore, 4 February 1895
Gift of Colonel David McC. McKell, 1959; MA 2009.2

image via: http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/exhibition.asp?id=67

The exhibit will definitely inspire your children to create characters and illustrate stories of their own!  It is impossible not to spend an hour or two looking at the intricate pencil and ink work. I am a huge admirer of picture books and grew up reading about all her characters: Pig Robinson, Squirrel Nutkin, and of course, Peter Rabbit. Fall in love all over again and take a break to read the classic tale featuring Peter getting into all sorts of trouble!

**The show closes on January 27, so only a few weeks left. HOP on over to see it soon!