Saturday, November 15, 2008

Building Books

November's turning out to be a pretty busy month. I'm pictured here with D.C.'s Seaton Elementary art teacher Terry Thomas (on left) looking over decorated papers her third grade students made with watercolor and plastic wrap, in my hands-on workshop in collaboration with the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Bridging Communities program. The students will use these papers in one-of-a-kind artist's books they create. Students learn from professional artists, writers and illustrators how to write, illustrate and develop unique book formats. At the conclusion of the program the student's book are exhibited at the woman's museum downtown in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hope's Harvest

My program Seasons of Hope concluded today with a show and tell of the female inmates accordion artist's books. Each woman read the story or poem that they wrote and proudly talked about their books. I was quite pleased with the dedication these women exhibited. Each book represented countless hours of cutting and pasting and imagining. I was quite impressed by one woman in particular, being denied scissors, used nail clippers to meticulously cut out tiny shape after tiny shape to form the image of luscious leaves on a tree in full bloom.

Through bookmaking, collage and storytelling, Seasons of Hope invited women to take a critical look at the natural world around them through the changing seasons. By looking at nature with its abounding beauty and change, the woman identified elements in nature that paralleled changes in their own lives. Participants explored their selves as being a part of nature with all its inherent changes and glimmers of hope.

Through the art of collage, women explored how bits and pieces of paper can be cut, torn and assembled to form something new and unique. With these materials they are literally piecing together new personal expressions and ways of being. Using paste paper as a paper decorating technique, the participants painted expressively and uninhibitedly using bold bright colors and subsequently used these papers in their collages to form their unique one-of-a-kind artist’s books.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bibi, Tutu, Nana... Picturing Grandma at the Kennedy Center

What makes your Grandma special?
Is it her silver hair or yummy pies?
Her hefty hugs or sparkling eyes?

I led an interactive art workshop encouraging families to picture Grandma in cut-paper collage at the Kennedy Center's Annual Multicultural Children's Book Festival November 1 in Washington, DC.

The room was filled to capacity with over 100 mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and kids of all ages utilizing cut and torn papers and other assorted materials to create their lively mixed media portraits.