Monday, November 16, 2015

Artist Adjoa Burrowes Conducts Sculpture Workshop

This article appeared in the Critical Conversations on Art Practice, Theory and Research blog that captures the artistic practice and research of students in ARTE 780: Cultural Diversity in Art and Society class at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Collaborative Art Making at VCU

Grad student Anika, created her sculpture from recyclables.
I had a great opportunity to be a visiting artist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA this week as a guest in Dr. Pamela Lawton's "Cultural Diversity, Art and Society" class. During the three hour class with graduate and doctoral students, I shared my latest sculptural art form with them through  a visual presentation and invited them to experiment creating a small sculpture from recyclables. The last part of the session was dedicated to collectively creating a cardboard sculpture that was placed on display in the VCU Arts building.

Dr. Pam Lawton working on the collaborative sculpture.
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Ginger's sculpture made from recyclables.
David, a musician and doctoral student at VCU's sculpture.

VCU's graduate and doctoral students at conclusion of workshop.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Turning The Page "Community Nights" at DC Public School Engages Families

"Turning The Page" invited me to engage with families and teachers at an elementary school in SW D.C. as part of their “Community Nights” series that give families a chance to meet an author or illustrator, learn about their writing and art process, and discover what inspired the book. I read to an audience of children, teachers, parents and other family members. Each child walked away that evening with a signed copy of my book, Grandma's Purple Flowers, compliments of TTP. Turning the Page is a non-profit organization that supports DC public schools in Ward 8 to increase their capacity to engage families in their children’s education.
First, third and fourth grade classes made cut-paper portraits of their grandparents inspired by my book  "Grandma's Purple Flowers. Photo by Vvdaul Holloway
Sharing my art process with students, families and
teachers. Photo by Vvdaul Holloway

Friday, August 21, 2015

Last Day Art Camp

Students worked so hard on their artworks at the Black Rock Art Center mixed bag week long art camp in Gaithersburg, MD. On the last day students displayed all their work for parents and family to see. Students printed, painted, sculpted with clay and paper, drew, made book forms and had a whole LOT of fun!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Figure That!

Students sketched their peers in a figure drawing exercise. 

Art Element Exploration.

 I love working on paper sculpture with students where they can explore line, shape, color and other art elements with paper to create a playful composition.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Prints on Display

My students displayed their glue prints, which were printed on rice paper, on the wall. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pour Your Art Out - DC

Surrounded by Arts on the Block - Pour your Art Out teen apprentices. 
Invited by Arts on the Block - Pour your ART Out - DC lead artist, Sonal Sheth, I shared my art and books with high school teen apprentices. I talked about my journey as a visual artist and how my career has taken many exciting twists and turns as a visual artist, author/illustrator and graphic artist. 
Apprentices working on a mosaic tile commission.

Arts on the Block in the Washington, DC area offers young people a unique chance to learn directly how art, design and business are linked by getting involved in "real-world projects" over the summer and throughout the school year. Apprentices will showcase their creations at an Exhibition and Reception on Thursday, August 6 at 5:00 pm at Pepco Edison Gallery in Washington, DC. For more information go to 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Picture Books in a Diverse World

Over 150 reading specialists, classroom teachers, school librarians, and school administrators attended the 19th Annual Summer Literacy Institute at Longwood University in Farmville, VA, July 24 and 25. The theme was Real World Literacy. In my presentation Picture Books for a Diverse World I shared how I use picture books in my teaching practice to help students make meaning in an increasingly complex and diverse world. I demonstrated how picture books could be used to help students connect to real world issues. Attendees walked away with a resource list. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Drinking Gourd Map Murals Readied For Festival

We spent the afternoon putting finishing touches on the murals, getting ready for the Festival on Tuesday that will include a reception and a concert by the Nalle All Stars. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bold Butterfly Books

Students at Nalle ES finished their custom butterfly books using papers painted with salt. The bright, bold colors were painted with liquid watercolor. The textured effect was created by sprinkling salt into the wet pigment. The lyrics from Mrs. Cunningham's Butterfly song was written inside. This session marked the last session of 10 in the Kennedy Center custom art residency.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Drinking Gourd Festival Marks End of Collaborative Art Residency

The Drinking Gourd Festival is an artistic and musical celebration of the song "Follow the Drinking Gourd" and the Underground Railroad.  Little Lights Arts presents The Drinking Gourd Festival in partnership with the Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library on Tuesday June 16th at 11:30 am -  3660 Alabama Avenue SE Washington DC 20020. Come see the amazing 8-panel paper collage mural created in my art residency in cooperation with Nalle Music teacher, Mrs. Cunningham. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Final Lessons in Drinking Gourd Residency- Lesson 8

In this last session of the Follow the Drinking Gourd Music Map Murals residency students worked hard to add all the finishing touches to the mural and checked to make sure each section relates to a verse in the song lyrics. During the course of the residency, students also learned the Follow The Drinking Gourd song. The 8-part mural will be on exhibit at a special Drinking Gourd Festival on June 16, 2015. Nalle Stars Children's Chorus will also perform. The artwork will be on display through July 16, 2015 at the Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library in Washington, D.C. 

Student making collage flowers to add to the mural.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Creating The Mural Map - Lesson 7

Students work diligently to tear and paste painted papers to make the collage.

Music teacher, Ms. Cunningham admiring the work. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Building the Backgrounds - Lesson 6

Students now have the opportunity to put everything they learned together and start building the mural background, piece by piece with their torn painted papers. This is the 6th of 8 sessions in the Follow the Drinking Gourd Music Map Murals residency.

Students collage the night sky from painted papers. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Blues Have It!

Students painted a variety of blue tones to use in the night time sky in the Follow the Drinking Gourd Music Map Murals.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Paste Paper Patterns - lesson 5

The fifth session of the Follow the Drinking Gourd Music Map Murals residency consisted of painting papers using a paste mixture with tempera and creating texture using a paint scraper. The colors used corresponded to the object that would need to be created. The orange would be used for flowers or clothing and the green textured paper would be used for grass in the collaged landscapes, for example.

Drawing It Out - lesson 4

In the fourth session of the Follow the Drinking Gourd Music Map Murals residency students worked in teams to sketch out drawings after looking for clues in the lyrics of the song. Each student was encouraged to use lessons learned from one-point perspective and landscapes.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Stars Lead The Way - Lesson 3

Enslaved Blacks used the Polaris constellation, called the Drinking Gourd for its shape, as a starry map toward the north and freedom. Students practiced drawing the constellation using crayon on paper in this Follow the Drinking Gourd Music Map Murals residency.

Friday, February 6, 2015

What's Your Perspective? - Lesson 2

In the second session of the  Follow the Drinking Gourd Music Map Murals residency students learned about one-point perspective and how objects appear smaller as they are seen further away. Students created their own drawings using the concepts they learned.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Artist Books Final Critique Ends Residency

Accordian based books with cut-outs

Altered artist book

Traditionally bound book with signatures and a leather cover

Our final critique at Wilson H.S. marked the end of my residency there. Students presented their final books and talked about why they chose the book form they did and noted any successes and challenges in the process.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Learning About Landscapes - Session 1

As students begin the art residency, Follow the Drinking Gourd Music Map Murals, I gave a lesson on landscapes to prepare the students for the mural making.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Follow the Drinking Gourd Music Map Murals

I am excited to start a new art residency Follow the Drinking Gourd Music Map Murals this winter. It's made possible with a grant through the  DC Education Fund. This program was originally designed by Little Lights Arts and was conducted with a large group of elementary school students in New York City. Music educator Maya Cunningham has brought the program to D.C. I am pleased that Ms. Cunningham and I will lead 2nd and 3rd grade students at Nalle Elementary school to create eight large-scale cut-paper mosaic panels. 

Each panel will correspond to a verse in the Follow the Drinking Gourd song, which was used by enslaved African Americans as a ‘code song’ to be sung while working in the fields. The lyrics contained important information on how to escape from slavery including the season to leave (Spring), and which rivers and trees to use as northward guides, as well as how to use the Polaris constellation (called the Drinking Gourd for its shape) as a starry map toward the north and freedom.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Marbling Magic

My new residency at a local high school with AP students continue. Each student will create an artist book based on a pre-selected theme. 

Students experiment with marbling papers for their books.

Discussing and demonstrating the process 
One of the marbled papers created by students

Experimenting with marbling silk with art teacher Ms. Lambert