I love museums. All museums. But I really love art museums. Sure, I'm an art teacher so I'm supposed to say that, but really, it's because of the memories that go with museum visits!
Over the years I have been to a lot of museums. My parent's took us to museums growing up and one of my enduring memories is seeing the Faberge egg collection at the Kimball Art Museum. I would have been about 9 years old. I can still see those eggs in my mind's eye.
Moving forward.. remember this picture from a couple of years ago? This is Lexi standing in front of the Remington at the Amon Carter Museum. I love this picture, it so captures her love of the painting!
And here she is today. (well, actually yesterday).
Look at how much she has grown! And I have to say it makes my heart happy that the girls remember the paintings and ask to go "check" on the black horse!
There were so many wonderful pieces of art to look at and ponder. Of course, there isn't much pondering when you have a 3 year old. I know that the docents were worried as Kylie and I were discussing which of the masterpieces that she could recreate at home! Kylie was sure that she could create this one easily...
I'm sure Morton Schamburg would be so pleased!
One of my favorites is Hidden in Plain Site by Sedrick Huckaby. It is enormous, it's an 18'x14' oil!
There was also an exhibit of Romare Bearden. This was my favorite. What I loved was seeing his small watercolor paintings and then the large collage of the same thing! It was really cool!
There are so many other incredible pieces that I would tell you about, but really if you live within a few hours of Fort Worth Texas, you should go see them yourself! The Amon Carter Museum is FREE everyday!!!!! Where else do you get to see works by Calder, Cassat, O'Keeffe and many more for FREE!
This is why I think the Amon Carter is one the best museums for families. There is plenty of space between pieces, the workers are pleasant and if you can only get your 3 year old to "enjoy" the museum for 45 minutes, you aren't frustrated, because it was FREE!
Then when you go out front, there is a lot of space to RUN!!!
If you have never taken your children to an art museum, you should! Here are a few tips:
If you can contain your small child in a stroller, do so.
Practice walking up to a picture and looking at it with 2 feet between the picture and the body. Practice wrong and have your child correct you!
Go to the museum with no expectations!
Challenge your child to find his/her favorite piece in each gallery. Have him/her find the one with blue, or the cutest kid.. or something simple like that.
Preview the museum, know where the nudity is... if you don't want to have "the talk" about human anatomy with your small child, then you might avoid the statuary with anatomically correct bodies!
Leave while you are all still in a happy place! This means that you will leave before you have seen all of the work. This means that you will not have time to read the information about the pieces. This means that you will practically be looking at the art at a run! But what is important that you leave while the kids still think this is fun.
Another year of camp complete! It was a great week, very busy, but very fulfilling too!
I think we had about 50 campers plus maybe 10 high school volunteers. This year we added a Photography Camp to the Performing and Visual Arts portion and I think that went rather well. The yearbook teacher taught that portion, the theatre teacher taught the performing arts portion and I taught the visual arts portion. We made a great team and I think all of the campers left happy.
I didn't take very many pictures of camp in progress this year... the photography kids did. But now I don't have them to blog about. I'll have to get some in action shots!
Here is one camper and her completed sculpture. I have to say, I love the sculpture project. I might even use it in my art 1 class!
Below are some pictures of the 20 minute musical the kids performed. It was called Spaced Out and they did an awesome job. We love these musicals and will use this company for next years production. It is published by Hal Leonard.
The campers made their costumes/props, "painted" murals, screen printed their tshirts and learned lines, songs and choreography!
Don't you love the changing murals! We used periaktoi (tall triangles that turn) and covered them with black craft paper. Then I sketched the scene on the paper and the kids using oil pastels "painted" the murals. It worked fabulously! I can't believe theatre people haven't started using this in shows! It's cheap, easy and no clean up! We are going to be doing this for theatrical productions starting in the fall! I had one classroom set of the crayola oil pastels and figured we would use them as long as they lasted. Umm. We didn't even make a dent in my supply! I am really pumped about this find!
With this year's camp complete, summer really begins for me! And we are already thinking of next years camp!
With art camp this week, I have been working on screen printing tshirts with the kids. My issue is different than a normal/typical DIYer. I have screen printing stuff.. the real stuff.. but in order to use the water based screen film that I would normally use, I would then have to use smelly not-child-friendly paint. So, I looked to another format. And it was a LOT of trial and error. But I was determined!
I have used my Pazzle in the past to cut vinyl and use it to make a temporary stencil on my screen. This works great for a simple image with little to no text and very few small lines. The reason is that the vinyl just doesn't last on a screen for more than a handful of prints. This is a GREAT way to make screen prints for a small project, but not when I need to screen something 60+ times.
So, I have looked at the Tulip Screen It machine a number of times over the last year and really wanted one, but I didn't want to spend the money on one. ($150 normal price)
But, last week at Michaels they were on clearance! So, I invested $50 in the machine and bought 2 extra films also on clearance. I figured with 4 films, I could do a lot of fun things.
I took it up to school and read all of the directions. I thought, cool I can do this. My gosh, I am a seasoned traditional screen printer. This should be easy.
WRONG!!!!!!! And if I hadn't been determined to find a way to print with water based inks I would have given up!
Take a look at the process... side note: all of the films have ink stains as I tried in vain to see if they would work...
This is the graphic that I wanted to burn into the film. The real copy didn't have the green background. It was a really nice black and white super clean print.
Film 1. Done EXACTLY to the second based on the written directions IN THE BOX.
You can see that it is a partial burn. I scrubbed and scrubbed and all it did was nothing...
Film 2: Once again done exactly as directed. I thought, maybe I just didn't do something right.
Results? Better... but still not a full burn.
Film 3: I let this one burn a little longer thinking that maybe the machine needed to warm up.
Results? Its a beautiful UNUSABLE film. The image is burned on completely, but the pink stuff didn't release fully. At this point I am soo frustrated.
But I have one more shot.
An almost full burn, but the Out burned through.
So at this point, I am beyond frustrated and I have figured out that the problem is that the machine burns too hot where the lamps are hitting and not hot enough elsewhere.
I'm ready to throw in the towel, but I can see that this would work, if only I could figure out how to make the burn right.
So I go online. And guess what? THEY HAVE REVISED INSTRUCTIONS!!! You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! I just burned FOUR FILMS at a total waste of money and effort because they did not put a message on the packaging that the directions were WRONG!
So I go to Walmart where I remember them having the film and bought ONE MORE film. At full price ($18) no less. I follow the new instructions EXACTLY and look.
Film 5 is perfect.
This picture is AFTER over 60 prints. Amazing. This is what I was hoping for!!
And here is one of the shirts.
The kids had such A-HA moments when they made their shirts.
But sometimes, you get bad bleedouts. Like this one. I hate to waste shirts. ugh.
So what do you do? You paint a black square and print in another color!
Here is the stack of shirts that the kids help to print. Every child pulled his or her own shirt. I am so proud of that. It is soo worth the effort in my book.
And what kind of ink did we use?
It was awesome, no stink and easy clean up.
And truly, this is why people hate DIY projects.
I'm proud that I persevered and got the job done. It is so much more meaningful to the kids to learn the how and why's of something. The junior high students that were too cool for some of the activities got to see in action how to fix a screen, clean a screen and all of the ins and outs of screen printing. These kids will remember this project every time they buy a tshirt.
Hopefully I'll have some pictures of the kids in action to share soon!