I hope to revisit school projects this year to see how they look today. I worked in an after school program for several years on a small garden. We started in 2009. Students designed and I helped build these sculptures. Landis is no longer a school but looks like a construction site today. It is a historic building so it is being renovated in some way for a new purpose. Trailers were removed so one side of the garden is open now. Flourishing weeds surround the sculpture. It has faded but still looks good. Alphonso the squirrel still greets whoever comes by. To see the garden at the height of it’s glory check it out at sjmoc.com/community/Landis’09
In the 2016 school year I got to do a STEAM project at Mercer County Special Service School with yanjep.org. I had so much fun. A big chunk of my life has been working in the trades especially things electric. This was doing work I don’t normally do as an artist/ teaching artist and I had a blast. The students had a great time but couldn’t possibly have had more fun than I did. The residency was a short one about 12 days and with my favorite population of learners. What I did was use a basic electric circuit and tweak it into many projects. I also tried to keep the materials simple and adaptable for many lessons. The basic materials were a mini motor, mini latching switch, craft sticks, beer pong balls, colored plastic cups, duct tape, rubber bands, batteries, battery holders and LOTS of hot glue. At least for me, Amazon is the answer to a teaching artists prayers. Anything I needed I could order and get in days. We started with stick bombs which are fun and a way for me to get to know the students. The best info out there is to google the Kinetic King. I can’t think of ANYONE that pushed stick bombs to the limit like this guy. His site has the best instructions for making them. We made squigglebots(lots of examples on youtube). Creaturebots another take on vibration motors. We made Ping pong ball and stick vibration motor contraptions (an improv off of you tube videos)and catapults that shot ping pong balls. We also made small spin art contraptions. In one class we experimented with motorized doodads. I didn’t take enough pictures. I hope to improve on that this school year.
a spin art contraption in progress
my creaturebot I simplified this for the students
I did a short 12 day stopmotion residency for a second grade class at Sumner School in Camden this school year with Ipads. A grant from Suburu provided 4 Ipads for us to use. To get started we invited the poet Anndee Hochman / anndeehochman.co to help us write some lines to animate about the butterfly life cycle. I made stands to attach to tables. I will share that later. I do cut paper animation. That is what I know and what we did. We used Istopmotion to film each line and edited in Imovie. Istopmotion isn’t free but very easy to use and to add sound. The animation chefs on youtube are a great resource. If you are on a very tight budget Imovie works and is free but barebones. We divided the class into 4 teams. this is one of their movies. they are rough but so adorable.
This little gem was made by a very gifted third grader named Gemmanie
I was the resident artist at Grace Norton Rodgers for the 2016 school year. It was a 20 day residency working with 2nd graders mentored by 5th grade art leaders. Our mural was designed by the students and facilitated with me. It was a small budget and to fill an 8′ x 11″ wall we used high relief papermache and glass mosaic for details.
the finished mural
a scale model of our design
playing around with the butterfly designs
a butterfly in progress
another butterfly in progress