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I take it you are responding to the Family Day at the Wichita
Art Museum? (Gyotaku) The hands on activities were to relate in some
way to the exhibition, "A Personal Gathering: Paintings and Sculpture
from the Collection of William I. Koch" Mr. Koch, a Wichita native, has
been very generous to this community and it was certainly a privilege to
work on the educational programming for this illustrious exhibition.
Mr. Koch is most well known for winning the America's Cup in 1992 and
his recent women's team entry in the race. He has a substantial
collection of marine paintings, and since the event was for the Wichita
River Festival, a number of our activities had a nautical theme.
#1 Gyotaku--Japanese fish printing--previously discussed.
#2 Scrimshaw switchplate covers--students drew with black ultra fine
Sharpie markers onto ivory colored plastic switchplate covers. I had a
number of photographs of scrimshaw for inspiration.
#3 Nautical Flag wind socks--I made up stamps from wooden blocks (cut
from 2" lath into squares) and that self adhesive rubber material from
"design a Stamp" (Triarco?). The designs on the stamps were all from
nautical flags--the International Flag alphabet. Red, blue and black
stamp pads were available (which rapidly became burgandy, navy and
black). Students stamped flag designs onto a 9" X 12" white
construction paper rectangle which they then enhanced with Crayola
markers. (Binney and Smith has been a very generous donor to the
Wichita Art Museum--there is a plant in Winfield, KS.) Crepe paper
streamers were taped to the bottom, the paper was stapled into a
cylinder and yarn attached for a wind sock. This was very popular with
the preschool and primary students.
#4 Spinnaker Kites--This sled kite design was courtesy of David
Robinson, Educational Curator of the Vero Beach Center for the Arts.
Whole families got involved with this one! The kites, constructed from
"dropcloth" plastic and 1/4" dowel rods were decorated with scraps of
computer vinyl--a wonderful FREE material from sign shops--which the
children cut into a variety of shapes with Fiscar fancy-edge scissors.
#5 Wooden Sculpture--I got this from a workshop at last year's NAEA
convention and it was a hit! And so easy! We purchased a couple big
boxes of flat, die-cut, wooden shapes (Chaselle?) and about thirty bags
of the lathe cut shapes from Hobby Lobby (but they're also in catalogs)
An electrical power strip was duct-taped to the bottom of each table and
six cool glue guns were pugged in. In this very open-ended activity,
students could let the shapes suggest ideas to them. This was very
popular with all ages, children to adults.
In Vero Beach, Florida, every November they hold a Children's Art
Festival with about 30 different hands-on activities. This is possible
by getting the community involved. Different clubs (Kiwanis, Optimist,
etc.), area preschools, churches, etc. each sponsor a booth, and supply
it with volunteers. For years Marsha Sesack dreamed up all the projects
(she is one incredibly creative lady) and there was a theme--Japan,
Italy, etc. But after awhile the clubs sometimes developed their own
projects, prepared the materials, and manned the booths. Children
purchased tickets to cover the cost of materials. Activities cost from
$.10 to $1.00. A child could have a wonderful and very full day and not
spend over $5.00. We moved from Vero Beach seven years ago, but I
assume it is still going on. It was a community "happening".
Best of luck with your Youth Art Month festival! These events are a LOT
of work, but the public seems very grateful for the opportunity to
create. I go to bed tired, but happy!
Marcia Scurfield, Derby, KS