Tuesday, December 7, 2010

K.I.D.S. Art Ed After School brings Dean Haspiel to The Red Hook Community Justice Center

This week students participating in K.I.D.S. Art Ed after school programs with Good Shepherds Services and Red Hook Community Justice Center (RHCJC) gathered for Career Day at RHCJC to hear graphic novelist Dean Haspiel talk about his career as a cartoonist.  The students have been exploring Dean's work on view at K.I.D.S. in "Cuba: My Revolution-The Making of the Graphic Novel and Related Drawings." Their explorations have included a visit to the exhibition and art making sessions with our teaching artists.
Teaching artist Katherine Gressel and RHCJC students exploring "Cuba: My Revolution" at Kentler.

During the gallery visit students explored the content of the artwork through discussion and hands-on art activities.  In their follow up art making sessions, students are learning about symbols, figure drawing, layout, drafting, and composition to created their own original comic-inspired artworks.  Our goals in these workshops are for young people to have a positive experience making art, to feel more confident expressing themselves, and to have a better sense of what goes into being an artist both personally but also professionally.  Since the workshops are mostly focused on art making, we decided to invite Dean Haspiel to talk to the students about the more professional side of being a cartoonist.

Dean's talk took the students through his development from when he got his first drawing gig to the present.

Dean's slideshow.
One on one with the kids.  Great questions.  Great answers.
Forthcoming about the good and the bad, Dean described his passion for drawing and stories and his desire to develop his own ideas along with his need to make money and take on jobs that weren't always feeding his soul.  When a student asked about how one could "get started," Dean's advice was this (I paraphrase): Find other people who like to do what you do. Hang out with them, talk, share ideas and challenge each other.  If you like someone else's work, talk about THEIR work (not just your own) to others.  In other words, help each other out, support each other! Don't get upset if a buddy gets a gig you were hoping for.  Remember that they got hired because their work looks the way the employer wants.  When you get hired, it will be because of YOUR "look" and your look alone.  Dean reminded the students, "Don't be shy to be who you are."  Thank you, Dean!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Drawing Together Family Workshop (11/13)

Inspired by the characters in the Kentler's CUBA: MY REVOLUTION exhibition, families worked together to create their own character drawings.


Using cut and torn pieces of thin cardboard, kids and parents designed the portrait of their imaginary character. After designing, they glued the cardboard down to their large piece of posterboard. This not only made a unique drawing, but created the perfect low-relief surface for a rubbing! This technique of "drawing with cardboard," or other papers or fibers, is called "collagraph" meaning glued, or collaged, print [colle = glue in French].

Next, families used paper with winter designs on it to create a rubbing with dark cray-pas. We were all excited to work at such a large scale and to see the differences between the two characters! Everyone got to leave with not just one giant drawing, but two! And students can make more rubbings of their drawings for their friends after -- or are well-poised to explore other collagraph ideas!

This DT Workshop was led by Kentler K.I.D.S. teaching artist, Meghan Keane.


View all photos from this Drawing Together workshop here

We look forward to seeing you at the December 18 DRAWING TOGETHER workshop, led by teaching artist Ruth Wetzel.

Email K.I.D.S. Director, Mollie McQuarrie, to reserve a place for you and your child: omcquarrieo@gmail.com
Spaces are limited so reservations are suggested.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Art Ed at "From Studio to Classroom"

Mollie McQuarrie will be Guest Blogger at "From Studio to Classroom" this month!  Check it out.

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Cuba: My Revolution" inspiring student explorations of characters

Here is a link to some photos from our first Art Ed classes that came to see
the show Tuesday.  In the morning we had a first grade class and in the
afternoon a 5th grade class.


Kentler/RHI After School Artmaking Adventures Continue

As mentioned in my first blog post, students participating in the current K.I.D.S. + RHI after school program are exploring color and texture to create a mood. Inspired by the Kentler exhibition of work by installation artist Ilene Sunshine
the students are exploring the idea of creating art  that is both TEMPORARY and SITE SPECIFIC. Our final after school project will involve creating an installation. Students will work in the BCS classroom using all the drawings made over the course of the seven week session. They will wrap two tables, Christo-and-Jean-Claude-style, with their drawings that explore mood. One table will be positive moods (happy, excited, vibrant) and the other will explore negative moods (sad, disappointed, somber).
We will see if our audience can tell that we are using color differently in each table!

Check out a great video about the installation works by Ilene Sunshine and Mary Ting here that are inspiring our after school project!

Check out Wikipedia's definition of installation art here.

Until next time,

Teaching Artist, K.I.D.S. After School

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Drawing Together: Site Specific Installations

Last spring, K.I.D.S. Art Education teaching artist Ruth Wetzel led local children and family members in an art making exploration at the Kentler International Drawing Space. In response to the installations of Mary Ting and Ilene Sunshine, participants created their own installations. After examining the work in the gallery through inquiry and observational drawing, partners worked with post-its, twigs, ribbons, tape, toilet paper rolls, pencils, Styrofoam meat trays, oval-cut mats, and phone cords to change the materials and then arrange them in an assigned section of the room. These site specific installations were terrific displays of collaboration and imagination and were poetic reflections on materials, the space and the artwork by Ilene Sunshine and Mary Ting that was already occupying the space.  Everyone had a great time!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pictures Come To Life! This Saturday at 3 PM!

Artist/storyteller Jeff Hopkins will be transforming our blank white walls into a story-mural that you and your family will participate in.  Its going to be fun- don't miss it!!

If you DO miss it, please join us next weekend for a follow up DRAWING TOGETHER workshop with Jeff.

Please NOTE: the performance on Saturday, September 11th does not require a reservation but the follow up workshop NEXT weekend does.  See below for details.

For more information on Jeff Hopkins: http://www.picturescometolife.com/

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Drawing Together Family Workshop at RHI

Blog post written by K.I.D.S. Teaching Artist Meghan Keane

Today was our first Drawing Together Family Workshop hosted in the Red Hook Initiative space!

Today's workshop focused on creating colorful line drawings that related to a favorite summer activity or summer word.

To warm up, kids and their parent or accompanying adult brainstormed words that reminded them of summer. Then, we made a group list and everyone shared two of their favorite words/activities from their list.

Our fantastic group list of summer activities and summer words (that could have gone on for another 5 pages!)

Next, students were asked to think of colors related to their word/activity (i.e. sun = yellows, reds, oranges). Ready to start their drawings, students, with help from their adult, created drawings using just the colors that they thought related to their word. They worked hard to only use line and to create patterns or designs, but sometimes it was challenging!

Can you guess what summer word / activity each artist was thinking of by looking at the colors in the drawings below? Give it a shot!

Ricky (RHI) and niece with "House" drawings

"Pool I"


"Pool II"

"Grow flowers and plants"

Young artists, their drawings, and their moms : Estelle with Jasmine and Simone, Tiffany with Natalie

Longtime DT fans: Sarah with daughters Chloe (l) and Josie (r). Their artwork shows is about their visit to Connecticut and a pool with a rainbow.

Looking forward to more DT this fall!

Want to join us at our next free workshop for families?
Email KIDS Director Mollie McQuarrie to be added to our FREE Drawing Together Family Workshops e-newsletter! mollie (at) kentlergallery (dot) org

Thanks and Happy Summer!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reflections: Our first after-school program with RHI

Blog post written by K.I.D.S. Teaching Artist
Meghan Keane

"This past spring 2010 I taught the first collaborative Red Hook Initiative + K.I.D.S. After School Program.

I spent six after school sessions with eight young, creative, energetic guys. The program I designed was a response to the current exhibition at the Kentler -- two temporary art installations created by artists Ilene Sunshine and Mary Ting. Both artists created their installations during the month of January, using the gallery as if it were their own studio space.

For the after school program, our main theme was exploring color and its expressive potential. However, we were inspired by the exhibition's impermanent, large-scale, architecturally-responsive qualities. Ultimately, the students spent each week talking about, thinking about, and making art that explored positive (colorful) expression and negative or weighty (colorless) expression. We saved the art work at the end of each session in preparation for using ALL the work (drawings, mixed media) in one final installation -- wrapping two classroom desks as an on-site installation! For this final project we not only spent time looking at the works by Sunshine and Ting in the gallery, but also at works by Christo & Jean Claude, best known for wrapping historical buildings and designing The Gates in Central Park.

Our six weeks together were incremental, dynamic and, as you'll see, built up to our final collaborative project...

WEEK ONE: Creating texture, Exploring color
Students explored texture and color through rubbings of hardware supplies: filters, washers, etc. Students noticed that the rubbings that were made only with pencil (graphite) were not as lively or as positive feeling as the rubbings they made with vibrant colored pencils.

<----- sample student rubbing

WEEK TWO: Responding to Haiti devastation
Students were asked to imagine a city before and after an earthquake. They were also asked to use color to help their audience pick out the city in its prime vs. the city after a disaster. We had a good conversation about what sort of colors could not only illustrate (cement gray, rubble brown) but express devastation and desperation (dark, muted colors). Many students noted they were tired of talking about the subject but were intrigued by the challenge of visually representing these hypothetical cities. One student taped piles of rubber bands to paper and flipped it upside down to indicate tremors -- a shakable, quaking conceptual drawing!

WEEK THREE: Drawing to Music
Students made a series of drawings to music -- fast music and slow music. They chose colored pencils or colorless graphite depending on the speed and emotion of the music. At the end of the day we divided the drawings into two piles, thinking of our future installation that would likely be in two parts. The piles were: drawings that expressed positive emotions (usually colorful with fast lines) vs. negative or more brooding emotions (less colorful with slower lines).

WEEK FOUR: Field Trip!!
During our class visit to the Kentler International Drawing Space, almost thwarted by snow and skunky weather, the students glowed and showed off their amazing perceptive skills. They pointed out that this was not your normal picture exhibition: this new art hung from the walls, the ceiling, wrapped around corners, took up floor space, and required your total attention so as not to step on it!

Above: Ilene Sunshine installation, February 2010

WEEK FIVE: Analyzing Color, Playfully
Photocopying a recent art book I had created, the students were asked to revisit the idea of texture through coloring and color designs. Students used artist quality markers on these ready-to-color images, but had to keep in mind which pile they would like their drawing to go towards at the end of the day: the positive or the negative expression pile. Students colored liberally but kept the colors true to the +/- theme.

Taking the dialectic we had been working with all along, we decided to name our forthcoming installation project in advance: during this session we also brainstormed, discussed, and voted on titles for each installation. The guys ended up finally agreeing upon the titles BEAUTY and GORE as the two words that they wanted to describe their upcoming wrapping installation. Quite a busy day with lots of good art-making and art title debating!

Above: Students designed fonts for each of the titles out of wiki-stiks; they decided together that they wanted to include the hand-made titles in the installation the following week.

WEEK SIX: "Beauty : Gore" Final Project, Student-designed Desk Wrapping

Keeping in mind all that we'd worked on and discussed over the past five weeks, the students divided into two groups, each working on wrapping one giant desk (table) with the artwork they had created over the course of the spring. The Beauty installation-wrap used the drawings that had been placed in the "positive emotion" pile; the Gore installation-wrap used the drawings that had been placed in the "negative emotion" pile. The students spent the whole session creating their temporary installation, covering the desks with works from the past six weeks, while I documented the process with guest filmmaker, Michael Keane, who shot video of the process for the students.

Above: Detail of the title GORE, each letter wrapped around one leg of the desk.
At the end we celebrated, took final photos, and delighted in the ephemeral quality of the work by allowing the boys to help deconstruct the installation! A great finale to six weeks of hard work and lots of colorful fun!

I look forward to teaching this coming fall session of RHI+K.I.D.S. After School and to the Kentler's ongoing collaborations with RHI! Onward!"