Sunday, August 30, 2009

The KIDSART Art Show---Save The Date!


KIDSART: The Art Show! With a Special LIVE performance by Oscar Fuentes and Friends at 7:30PM!

The kids worked hard creating their projects for five weeks and now they are ready for their Opening Night! Come see their work at Wynwood's Second Saturday Art Walk!

On Saturday mornings this summer, KIDSART brought a group of kids right into the studios of five notable Miami artists. Each week, a different artist led the kids in a workshop they created based on community-oriented themes, like sustainable art, recycling, or diversity. The kids learned the importance of having art and creativity in their lives, and got to know artists, and each other, in a very personal way. Working on arts projects together, and then sitting down to lunch to discuss their work, brought them a new, and bold perspective on art in Miami, and in their lives. Come see their collaborative creations, and get a glimpse of the artists' work as well!

Where: Damien B. Contemporary Art Center
282 NW 36th St. in the heart of Miami's Wynwood Arts District

When: 9/12/09 6-10PM

Refreshments will be served!

The Artists and their KIDSART projects:
John DeFaro The 'Bottle Tree'
Tracey Hagen Photo Assemblage
Oscar Fuentes Theater and Improv
Agustina Woodgate Felting/Installation
Johnny Robles The Mural
Luis Valle Associate Program Coordinator

KIDSART made possible through the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Special thank you to World Resource Café for providing lunch each week; and to Ms. Manuela Mueller for bringing the cakes! And to Damien B. for donating the space!

Artoconecto/KIDSART is a federally recognized 501(c)3 arts non-profit. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

See you there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

KIDSART Mural with Johnny Robles!

KIDSART started with all the kids creating their own 'bottle branches' to make a 'bottle tree' in the first week. Then they took photos of their families and friends and assembled them into montages. The following week they learned, rehearsed, and performed, a Native American play. In week four, they learned the ancient art of felting. And finally, week five brought all the kids together to collaborate on one big mural, with artist Johnny Robles. Johnny has done some great work with kids before, painting murals for Habitat For Humanity, among other things. He suggested a paint-by-numbers mural, from a design he came up with, for the kids to paint.

He would mix all the colors and do the drawing on the plywood. Each color had a number, and the kids went to work painting between the lines-more or less!

Johnny kept a close eye on the kids, but encouraged them to be as creative as they wanted to be.
The kids got up close, and before long, there was paint all over the studio, and the kids. Luckily, there was plenty of soap and water, and a big drop cloth.

Some of the adults chipped in, too, while the kids took their 'Arnold Palmer' break (iced tea and lemonade mixed together). It was pretty hot!

The kids worked really hard to finish this very big piece, and they learned a lot about teamwork, group creativity, and crafting an artistic vision-Johnny's design is very cool-and the kids were inspired by it, and, of course, Johnny's enthusiasm and excitement..

Johnny gives the thumbs up, as the kids exchange colors and start painting different sections of the mural.

Maybe a little touch-up here...the kids get a lesson in being patient with a design they must follow. But they also are able to improvise and let their creative juices flow, as they exchange ideas that help to organically change the final look of the mural. Some of the kids took photos of the mural, and of their personal handiwork.

The infamous 'paintball'....

I believe there was some iPhone photo sharing, too

Some arrived via skateboard...

Some came by bicycle...

But in spite of the threat of a downpour, no one left before another amazing lunch from World Resource Cafe Thanks to John DeFaro for encouraging WRC to sponsor KIDSART, and for delivering the food every week-you are one dedicated artist, John! And thank you to World Resource Cafe for feeding a bunch of 'starving artists' every week!

And TWO cakes for the 'kids' brought by the wonderful Manuela Mueller, who has been at all of the workshops, and brought cakes for the kids each week. Bravo, Manuela, and thank you!

The kids really attacked that mural! What a team-the KIDSART kids!

Stay tuned for the KIDSART Showcase, September 12, 2009, at the Damien B. Contemporary Art Center; to be held in conjunction with the Wynwood Arts District's Second Saturday Art Walk. All of the work the kids have created will be on display. Plus, all of the artists who participated, including our very own Luis Valle (an amazing artist in his own right, and a great guy with the kids, right?), will be exhibiting their work next to the kids' creations. This is going to be a lot of fun, and a great learning experience, as well.

And on a personal note, a big thank you to all the parents, who came out every Saturday morning during a very hot Miami summer, to help put some art into their kids' lives, and helped make the whole KIDSART program a huge success. See you all soon! And the kids! You are amazing-I believe you could do anything you set your minds to. Stay creative, kids!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Felting with Agustina!

It all starts with an innocent-looking box of wool and a theme-organic and sustainable art.

KIDSART with a view, this past Saturday. Artist Agustina Woodgate has a studio that overlooks a golf course. Not all artist's studios are crowded lofts! Part of the uniqueness of KIDSART is that each artist demonstrates not just their talents for the kids, but their environment as well. Kids can see the raw materials that go into an artist's creations, as well as the tools to assemble them, and the space where it all comes together. Agustina does many things-one project she has come up with is a bearskin rug made out of teddy bear skins.

These are the leftover heads...

And this is the work in progress...

She also spins!!!

Agustina started the kids off by explaining what they were about to create. 'Felting' is one of the oldest arts known to humans. Back in ancient times, humans actually made the first shields by felting. She asked if the kids knew what painting was, and printmaking, and sculpture, and finally, 'installations'. She explained that a sculpture is a three-dimensional object, and that an installation may use not just an object or objects, but the space around them as well. The kids were enthralled! They would create objects by felting, and then these 'objects' would all become part of an installation.

Agustina made the process easy to understand for the kids....

...and then they were off!

There is some work that goes into felting, as the kids soon found out. The wool fibers are changed by hot and cold water, which makes them relax, and then stiffen. Then the kids had to stretch their chosen colors between two screens. Ordinary dish soap is applied to adhere the fibers (I hope I have all that right, Agustina!).

You can see the vivid colors of the kids' creations, as Agustina and artist/coordinator Luis Valle discuss ideas for the potential installation.

The kids worked up such an appetite that the lunch from World Resource Cafe was devoured!

As was the cake donated once again by the fabulous Manuela Moeller!

Some rolling....

Some thinking...

Even some parents got involved...

You can see how vivid the colors were, and how the kids' creations were all so different and clever!

Wool, soap, hot water, and cold water. Plenty of imagination, and of course, inspiration as well. And voila! Art! Thank you Agustina for an amazing, delightful, entertaining, and educational workshop. Muchas Gracias!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wolves! Possums! Skunks!

The wolves have arrived!

The multi-talented Oscar Fuentes (actor/director/musician/poet) got the kids awake fast with a great theater workshop that included some pantomime, some acting, some rehearsing, and a performance! Hard to believe he could get the kids so into acting and performing on an early Saturday morning. And so quickly! He started the kids off by showing them how to mime their way into, and then out of, a box. Some of the kids pretended they were circus strongmen. Then Oscar did a pantomime of someone bowling.

The kids really loved it. And then tried it too. And, as Oscar remarked, made it their own, with their own little touches. We were in a space in the South Florida Historical Museum (big thanks!), that Oscar had dressed to look like a theater, colorful backdrop and all.

The kids then rehearsed a play based on a Native American myth. When Oscar felt that they had a good rhythm, they broke into groups to make their own costumes. There were wolves, possums, and skunks.

I don't want to reveal the surprise ending, but let's just say that everything works out in the end, and the kids learn a great lesson about family, community, and cooperation. The kids really performed for Oscar-he was very inspiring in the way he managed to get the kids to overcome any shyness and really let themselves go. An amazing feat in such a short period of time!

The kids had worked up a good appetite by now, and they plowed through some great shu mai, edamame, pad thai---another delicious lunch provided by World Resource Cafe. The kids chatted about the play, and acting, and how amazing it was to create different costumes out of simple baseball caps-great idea, Oscar!

Ms. Manuela Moeller brought dessert again, and the kids were definitely not shy about getting their slice of cake!

Thanks Manuela. And thanks to Oscar for a truly riveting workshop, rehearsal, and performance. The kids laughed a lot; and also managed to take away some important lessons.

Oscar rehearses the kids, then calls for a new bowling ball!