2013. I have decided this is also the spot for special projects in the classroom as well as outside of it. (Now that we have one)
Spring 2013: I have just learned about Free Art Friday(s), so I decided to involve a couple of the classes in preparing artworks for a local take on this international event. As far as I can see on various websites dedicated to Free Art Friday, one can participate on any Friday. Artists around the world are producing small works of art, and placing them in public places, generally with a note explaining that they are free for the taking. Though part of me wonders if this contributes to an already existing devaluation of art in our society (free after all), I have decided that this is just too cool to pass up the opportunity to make art and get it out there. And to inspire my students to do the same.
So, one Friday I gave the grade 6 and 7/8 classes some pre-cut cardstock with a challenge to produce at least one artwork for us to put about the town later in the day. They could use whatever materials and techniques they wanted, perhaps something from the projects we did this year, or something they could see in the Artroom. Subject matter – their choice, and no signature. I think the works would be best anonymous in this situation.
As they finished them, I mounted them on black foamcore and affixed a bent paperclip on the back for hanging. We put them in a ziploc bag and attached a note explaining Free Art Friday. After school, my son and daughter and I distributed them about the town, walking up and down the main street. Each time we placed them, we took a photo. We could see even as we walked back that some of them had already been taken. Woot!
Since then, we have continued to put some art about the town every Friday since. So, take a look:
Winter 2013: The biggest news is that we have well and truly started the bottle cap mural for the library at Parliament Oak. I think it was three years ago that Mrs. Hamdani approached me about doing a mural of some kind. I got the idea for doing it as a mosaic of plastic caps from my late-night searches on the internet. So, our family started saving plastic bottle caps. Everywhere. I was even picking them up along the way while travelling across Jamaica!
A few years later (NOW).
I made a 1 foot square prototype – to show others what I have been talking about AND to figure out how many caps/screws we’d need.
Then onto the main event: we now have two sheets of plywood cut and sanded, primed and painted a light dusty blue, masses of bottle caps saved, cleaned, and sorted according to colour. (Thanks to my Thursday Art Club core! You know who you are.) Penner HH gave us a deal on some 3,500 screws (we’ll need about 3,200, I figure), the design is done, rendered, and transposed to the boards. We are now beginning to screw the caps in, noting the modulations of colour when we can manage it.
Almost immediately, the need for more black and brown caps has become apparent, and for narrower caps, such as coloured felt marker lids, toothpaste lids – to fill in between the others, and give the detail of the branches.
These days …
Thursday Art Club and myself are using drills with driver bits to screw the caps in – they are learning to work with power tools! So we put some music on, get the pillows out for our knees and safety glasses for our eyes – go! It is slowly taking shape, I think right to the end of the school year. I would like to have it finished and hung by then. Anyone want to come in and help screw in some caps? Send me your cleaned marker lids, at least! (Please.)
This is the spot for what’s going on outside the classroom. Teaser snapshots only, so far.
2012. This summer and fall saw:
Our 13th year of serving up Bushy House B&B breakfasts!
R.A.W. / Random Acts of Watermelon
V.B.S. / the Art Day
B.E.E.S. / Sorry, couldn’t resist. Simply put, we have begun beekeeping.
Cleaning The Oyster House / South Thomaston, Maine.
Saskatoon Architecture / That is, celebrating at the opening of one of David’s church designs. (Once again, I am a fan.)