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! 
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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. 

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. 

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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!

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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!

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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

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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!