Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Than Words Exhibit at Pyramid

Artwork from Pyramid Atlantic Art Center's More Than Words after school art program was on exhibit Saturday at Pyramid's gallery in Silver Spring, Maryland. Students from Silver Spring International Middle School came with their parents and other family members and proudly showed off their creations. For most, this was the first time their work had been exhibited in a professional gallery. Several students led a mini hands-on bookmaking workshop to parents demonstrating one of the bookmaking forms they learned in class - the accordion.

The More Than Words program focused on using storytelling, bookmaking, and printmaking techniques to promote creativity and build youth literacy. This time the focus was on recycling. The exhibit featured altered artist books, prints made from styrofoam plates and collographs, collages made from recycled slideholders, and magazines and a paper quilt featured above, made from paste paper squares created by the youth. I team taught the 20 classes with master storyteller Ellouise Schoettler.

Banners of Hope

I started leading art workshops for teen girls at a Juvenile Detention Center in Maryland again. So far we've created several accordion books and just finished our printmaking unit. I taught them how to print using stamps they carved out of thick blue foam pads using a pencil. After creating the linework, they inked up the pads and stamped onto handmade Japanese papers. Last week we talked about spring and the hope that is inherent in it. I read from my book Grandma's Purple Flowers as they listened attentively and anticipated the impending death of the grandma. Using long strips of white paper, they stamped their hand carved images on them using bright colors and then cut shapes from paper to add to their designs. The banners they created were cheerful and encouraging.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Express Yourself at the Library

I made books with young people starting with Mount Pleasant Public Library in Washington D.C. as part of the summer "Express Yourself at the Library" program for teens. Students made books out of a single sheet of paper and learned several paper decorating techniques including using plastic wrap to create texture. I'll be visiting 21 D.C. public lbrary branches throughout the course of the summer.