This month at Bancroft I’m doing the typical Picasso portrait lesson of abstracting a face but with a new twist. Being a facilitator I drew the shape of each kids head and drew the figure eight and some lines to divide the head into shapes. The students made color choices and sometimes provided some direction as to where to put the color or pattern. Jaquese made some marks of his own and crumpled the paper as usual. I then took a photo of the drawing and used an a free app Gifycam to add a gif to the drawing. These kids often respond in some way to movement and light close to their faces. There was a good amount of reactions today because of the gifs. Reactions can be an awakening, a smile, eye movement, a vocalization or in one case holding the Ipad up to a face. Every response is so small. One just has to believe that something is happening. They help me live in the moment,to really listen, and better accept what I don’t understand. Adding the gif was fun for me and I think my enthusiasm rubbed off on the staff and students. I really had fun today.
This month we made sguigglebots and it worked very well with these kids. Vibration motors were a hit with most of the students. They seemed to enjoy the feel of them and we had good reactions. The sound was stimulating to them also. Visually they were less interesting to the students but the staff loved it. A few more able students picked them up and were fascinated by the spinning propeller on top.
Patrick was engaged with the contraption without the markers. Check out that smile! Next week we move on to moving gizmos with ping pong balls, sticks, and more vibration motors
I love this photo of the proud artist and it’s even in focus.
Yesterday I did 3 workshops at the Moore symposium “Sculptural Practices for Diverse Learning Needs”. I work with kids and doing the professional development with teachers required by grants always scares the shit out of me. I’m not a real teacher and I find them intimidating. I had to write an academic sounding description for the workshop so it was Creating a Large Vision through Cooperation. Writing really isn’t my thing as those of you following this blog may have noticed.
Most of my photos are out of focus but I’m adding some anyway. Not only do teachers scare me but I rarely agree to do one time workshops. I think of them as fast food artmaking like a McDonalds happy art meal. I like to work with a group for at least 12 days so I get to know students. I found that it wasn’t so bad and wasn’t so scary once I got started. Somehow there were classes full of grownups smiling, talking, and playing nice with others. The room was full of laughing, and chatter. The big creative mess we made pleased me the most. It is possible I prefer the longer experience because I see progress. In these one time workshops I just have to have faith that some learning has taken place and get used to it.
It went well. When I looked at the photos I took there were lots of smiles in a room that looked like art was happening. I might be open to doing this kind of thing again!
One young woman disappeared at the end of class and left this piece. It says it all.