Now Hear This: Arts Matter Day!

Arts matter to Boston Public Schools because they embrace diversity and inclusion. The arts also help express and explore emotion, ideas, one’s identity, and more. That’s why I’m celebrating Arts Matter Day Oct 26! Please sign up at http://bit.ly/amd18signup and spread the word why arts matter to you.

AMD18DEI

Advertisements

More on my latest collaboration

The pièce de résistance of “Force for Good” ready to be attached.

For the last several months I’ve been working with ten teen artists (and their friends) to create an installation that speaks out against racism in conjunction with the Culture for Change program of Boston. The group and I are finally ready to present our nearly 24′ piece to the public tomorrow evening. What follows is our artists statement. For more on the process, please check out the YES for Change Tumblr page.

A Force For Good (Against Racism)

papier-mâché (head), clear tape & saran wrap (spine), wooden frames (body), sequined fabric (skin), mirrors, and other medium.

Being given the opportunity to create some sort of artwork that educates the cause and effect of racism is both exciting and a little daunting. The subject of racism is very broad, as were our choices of art to use to translate our message. Following the process of an artist, starting with an idea, continuing with research, practicing with trial and error team building projects, and finally execution, we arrived at what stands before you.

During the course of the year we researched a variety of issues and events related to racism and in particular our community of Chinatown. We also sought out to learn more about the broad medium of installation art, knowing we did not want to necessarily produce standard 2D artwork. We learned about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, one of the most significant restrictions on free immigration in the US. Our investigation of racism and installation art brought us all over Boston and beyond. Our group visited the Chinatown Library where we viewed an Atlas timeline of Chinatown. It was a way for us to learn and find our roots and to see how it was like for our grandparents and great grandparents to deal with the obstacles presented to them in a new country. We visited the ICA to view installation art and hopefully inspire us. We learned about Ai Wei Wei and how he used installation art to oppose the Chinese communist government. Another famous installation artist, Yayoi Kasuma, taught us that much of installation art is conceptual, meaning that the artist’s ideas or concept are more important that the actual beauty of the piece.

Our team combined ideas collected from months worth of projects and field trips and drafted a final form for our installation. What we present to the community is a Chinese inspired dragon, its spine built of interlocking lit hands, surrounding a plastic figure and several mirrors. The mirrors reflect our audiences’ faces and positive phrases allowing viewers to become a part of the piece. The encircled separated plastic figure amid the sea of reflections is used to show the effects of racism, something, at one point, everyone has encountered, making us feel isolated or less than a whole. The dragon represents our main message, coming together we become an unstoppable force against racism. We are equally proud of our final piece and of all the work our team has done. This installation is our reward to show everyone what we’ve learned about art, racism, our culture, and each other.

Let the debate — BEGIN!

The Fall of the Roman Empire

The Fall of the Roman Empire

One of my favorite times of the year is when I begin to explore Impressionism and Expressionism. Often times students and I (with our imaginations) transform the art room into a time machine to travel back in time to learn of our past and how it influences us now. This week we’ll be stepping into a classical senate and dividing classes into two groups to discuss the importance of each era. Each group will conduct its own research and present evidence of artists’ work to support its cause. Two students take the floor at a time, each member of each group will have a chance to take the floor and prove his/her point, plus argue against the teammate of the opposing group.

The idea came to me late last night watching the 1964 film, The Fall of the Roman Empire. One never knows where inspiration will come from! This should prove a great introduction into Impressionism and Expressionism, with projects following dedicated to both that will likely take us right to summer.

Goodbye to one of the greats

“How I Draw the Flash”, by Carmine Infantino, 1963.

It’s no secret that I’m a comic book fan and that comics turned me onto art and lead to my career as an artist and art educator. Yesterday comic book fans lost one of the great creators who left a lasting legacy with his work during the Golden and Silver Age of comics. A touching farewell was written by his former colleague and popular comic book creator in his own right, Paul Kupperberg.

“Call me … Carmine!”

End of Winter Term

Greenware, bisqueware, and glazeware, collectively. 5th Grade.

The winter term has wrapped up in public school and slowly at the art center where I teach afternoons. This week has been a perfect week for me to reflect on students’ progress by reviewing past lessons and projects since mid-January. As a whole it seems everyone’s had fun and learned quite a bit. I’m pleased with the successes had then till now.

6th Grader working intently on his comic book.

I get ‘a little’ excited talking about art.

A history of abstract art

Abstract Art is always a fun subject for students and it’s a great tool for imaginative exploration of creativity. I was excited when a friend shared this article with me. I have to take time for a trip to New York City to see this exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Anyway, it’s the perfect excuse for a worthwhile experience.

Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925 – The New Yorker

New classes!


Happy new year! I’m pleased to announce my upcoming Saturday classes at the Worcester Art Museum. Classes begin January 14th and end March 10th.
With a variety of materials students and I will be exploring and creating landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes, and more. We’ll also be learning about famous artists from different parts of our world!
Students will be studying works of the past to inspire new works of their own with subject matter that is real, and some that is surreal. Lessons will be both two dimensional and three dimension with a final project that incorporates both.
To register for my classes, simply click on the links above.