I love art.
Art, art, art.
I could wander through the Art Institute of Chicago for hours, maybe even a week if given the right amount of simple carbs and sweets…oh and coffee. Because of this I created a program at the library focusing on art, particularly Latin American artists to tie into my “bilingual programming” efforts.
I was tricky in marketing this so that parents would feel excited to bring their kids so I used the buzz word, “camp” and “free” not a likely combination when dealing with art programs. Parents were thrilled there were no fees associated, which is what I wanted to avoid. There are plenty of art camps out there that cost an arm and a leg…and yes, i’m sure the art instructors are oozing with credentials—but…I said i’ll give this a shot and muster up some of the Latin American art knowledge I learned in my DePaul days.
I gained some more knowledge of how to go about this from the wonderful world of Youtube Oil Pastels Technique and an amazing website called Deep Space Sparkle DSS that has a lot of great podcasts related to art—(last “and” I promise) and the Milwaukee Art Museum has a great simplistic teaching technique to engage kids in critical thinking called Visual Thinking Strategy VTS that worked out really well!
The series focuses on three different artists: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and a student rendition of Cesar Chavez’s Si Se Puede poster.
Our summer reading program is called, Engage 8: Build a Better World. I took Diego Rivera’s painting, The Flower Carrier and cut it into sections. Each child took a section and used oil pastels and pastel paper for their square. At the end we combined all our pieces to “Build a Better Mural.”
Parents were thrilled at the experience and if ever there was an ounce of disappointment from a child it was taken away by Mexican sweets at the end. I also gave the kids pencils to sketch out the ideas. My trick was, the pencils had no erasers. Many of the kids asked for erasers and I told them more than once, “there are no mistakes in art!” Big smiles all around 🙂
Picture of setup before and after kids came in 🙂
Group photo of Young Artists: