21 August 2009

SUMMER! 3D Constructions & To Notice Things

Our fifth week's theme was 3D Constructions. The kids made sculptures from found objects, pipe cleaners, beads, and paper; created boxes inspired by the artist Joseph Cornell; created and photo-documented temporary arrangements of leaves, rocks, and sticks; and created soft sculptures from fabric, stuffing, and paint.
The theme of our sixth week was To Notice Things. During this week the kids created art while considering each of the five senses. The kids made touch collages; scratch n'sniff paintings; listened to sounds and then drew lines to represent those sounds; created two and three dimensional artworks from still-lifes and during a field trip to the flower garden at McCarren Park; and participated in a blind taste test of fruits and vegetables!

These last two weeks complete our Summer Camp series. It's been an extraordinary six weeks!!! Thank you to all of the parents for your interest and participation in our program. And a very very special thank you to all of the kids: Delilah, Elio, Ella, Finn, Gemma, Genevieve, Harper, Lucas, Malika, Mela, Mia, Oliver, Ranger, Simone, Skuli, Smith, Stella, and Wolfie, for your creativity, enthusiasm, and beautiful natures.

For more photos (including the photos that the kids took of their nature sculptures) please visit:


07 August 2009

Spirit of Fluxus/ Interviews

This week's Summer Camp theme was Spirit of Fluxus. The projects for this week were inspired by the Fluxus attitude that art and life and artist and audience are one. Taking certain aspects of life as materials and inspiration for art, we set out to have fun and experiment! During the week the kids created videos, performances, and ephemeral works of art. Rebecca and I tried to document the kids as much as possible to make a record and an experience for others of what these kids created. Because there are so many videos and photos to share I've broken things up into sections in the hope that your computers will have an easier time loading each page. And still this is only a selection of our documentation! Please look here for more:

We started off by asking the kids a few questions...

What is art?

Finn: Like a sculpture. Clouds can look like sculptures.
Bianca: Does that mean that clouds are art?
everyone begins shouting out "yes" or "no"
Lucas: Painting is art -- and wood. A big piece of wood.
Finn: Like a sculpture?
Lucas: No. If it's smooth. Very smooth. And a circle.
Mela: Art makes me think of shapes.
Genevieve: Paintings and shapes and pictures with different materials.
Delilah: Paintings.
Smith: Paintings.
Finn: Carpets and rugs could be art.

When are you an artist?

Mela: I'm already an artist.
Bianca: Why?
Mela: Because I make art like grown-ups who are artists.
Smith: Sometimes you can dress up like an artist in dress up clothes.
Genevieve: You're an artist when you make art.
Delilah: When people like making art.
Lucas: The older the artist is the better they are because they know more.
Finn: A person is an artist when they're making art.
Bianca: When that person is not making art what are they?
Finn: They're not artists.

What is Fluxus?
Delilah was anxious to share what she thought, but the rest of the kids looked confused. We asked them to think about how the word sounded and to make a guess at what it might mean.

Lucas: It sounds like "flex" in the gym -- when you flex your muscles.
Finn: Sounds like things can bend.
Smith: I don't know yet.
Genevieve: Like flexing.
Lucas: Like flap your arms like a chicken.
Delilah: When people and when things don't last very long, and when they go away.


At the end of the week we asked some of the same questions...

What is Fluxus?

Genevieve: Where you do some art and sometimes it breaks and you do funny things like tie your hands together to make a painting.
Finn: The paintings where we tied our hands together made me mad and it was an example of art and life all together.
Smith: It makes things move. Like people and animals and insects. You need to drink water and we had lunch time.
Lucas: Being silly is art and I think messing up and putting together.
Mela: Fluxus is making art. Paper hats and like when we did the shaving cream sculptures.
Delilah: Art is anything and it doesn't matter if it's painting or art because everything is art. Like buildings are art and it doesn't matter if you can take it home like the shaving cream or the poem in the circle -- we couldn't take it home.

What is art?

Finn: Art is very hard to explain.
Bianca: Why?
Finn: I can't explain because it's very hard to explain. Art makes me think of sculptures and food.
Lucas: You can use lots of different materials to make it.
Genevieve: Art is when you make things and you use different materials to make it.
Delilah: You use scissors, pencils, lots of materials, and you can use tape and glue to stick it together, and with drawing you can use markers and pens and pencils and recycled materials and yarn, and you can tie dye and you can use food to dye.
Mela: Sewing and beads.
Smith: When you make pizza paper.
Bianca: What is pizza paper?
Smith: It's paper that you can eat.
Mela: You can make flower petals out of paper and color it whatever you want. Many different colors.
Delilah: Yourself is art.


Spirit of Fluxus/ Poem


whale money fall spring giraffe seasons
sparkles camera winter squishy yellow stars
night carrots fit soft squishy sky

(said in a circle) by: Delilah, Finn, Genevieve, Lucas, Mela, and Smith

Spirit of Fluxus/ Happy & Angry: VIDEOS

Spirit of Fluxus/ Sculpting with Shaving Cream

Spirit of Fluxus/ Food Sculptures

Spirit of Fluxus/ Sound & Action compositions: VIDEO

Sound Composition

Action Composition

Spirit of Fluxus/ 6 Short Flux VIDEOS

For this project we began by watching 6 selected films from 37 Short Fluxus Films on Ubu (we watched #'s 2. 4. 9. 22. 31. and 41.). You can see them here:
Each child then had 20 seconds to make his or her own video piece. Here they are:

1: Delilah

2: Finn

3: Smith

4: Genevieve

5: Mela

6: Lucas

Spirit of Fluxus/ Painting with Hands Tied Together VIDEO

VIDEO: Finn & Genevieve paint with hands tied together