Thursday, March 18, 2010

Art NOT chocolate for Easter 2010!

Ballygarrett Art Studio is contiuing the 'Art not Chocolate for Easter!' campaign in 2010. Now in it's second year we suggest the following reasons why everyone should be supporting this campaign:

1. Art has no calories.
2. Art lasts much longer then flowers and out lasts some relationships, it adds something to memories...

3. Original art is affordable. Prices at Ballygarrett Art Studio start at €25 for small original paintings, prints and textiles. Whatever the budget or occasion we have something to suit or to recommend.
4. Support your local artist.

What you can do;

· Instead of buying chocolate view and purchase a piece of Roisin Markham’s art work or commission work, gift vouchers are also available.
· Forward this to all the people you know and ask them to forward it so that this campaign can gain support
· If you’re an artist steal the idea and start your own campaign

Last year I started and shared this campaign with others I hope this year to extend it's reach and get other artists and galleries to steal this idea, share it and garner support from their communities.
All I ask is that you share with me how you used the idea and how it went for you. Let me know how it goes at ballygarrettartstudio[at] or tweet me @creativedynamix and there is always Facebook...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New experiment: access to art for all

I have been thinking for the last year about…well lots of things. That is part of what I do I think deeply about things and try to find ways to solve them, meaningfully share or process it by making my own visually work.
Part of what concerns me as an artist is how
• much access do people have to the arts and at a basic level to art materials
• do people engage with art or do they?
• Art can be used as a vehicle to teach other things; open learning, communications, lateral thinking, civic and community spirit.
• the arts can support community development, social inclusion, self esteem, education, personal development.
...and that is before I get into my own mark making, where I try to make sense of my world and perspective through creative process and visual imagery.
If you have been reading my blog or following me on Facebook or Twitter you will know that I have been teaching art as part of an after school program at a local national school in Gorey. The age group is Junior and Senior Infants ages 4-6 years. The offer was so popular that the class filled up instantly and a waiting list was offered a second class. Which is great and I have been having a very good teaching and learning experience with twenty one children. I've been getting feedback from parents that their children love the class and comments from the children "I wish I lived in my art class" and "art class is better then treat day". I have also been asked by parents if I run classes to give them support on what to do creatively with their children at home. So I have been thinking about that.
I’ve been also been thinking about ‘how much access people have to art materials. I’ve had this idea for a year or so about getting families to make and create art work together in community and sports halls but I have n’t brought it to reality yet.
The next thing I wanted to solve was making art more accessible at the local national school where I am teaching the after schools art class.

This is what I proposed to the school principal:
I’d like to offer art in a more accessible way at the school and use it to build community also. The aim is to offer a creative session to all children in junior and senior infants and their parents or guardians. I would like siblings to be welcome also. I will need to have an idea about how many children/families are going to present themselves so I can prepare the space and activity. If we exceed classroom size can we have permission to use the multi-purpose activity room or the hall?
In principle I’d like to offer a donation/ honesty box system with a €5-€7 suggested donation per family. This is about access to art so I would like to cover my costs; time plus art materials for the session. If there is money after that it can be donated to art projects at the school or to fund the next ‘experiment’. I want families at the school to feel they can just come no matter if they can afford to or not. I do not want money to be a barrier. This has to be balanced with people valuing and respecting what is being offered.

This is what I propose:
An art experiment and your invited!
Children in junior and senior infants and their parents/guardians are invited to participate in an open art session with artist Roisin Markham on 25th March; 1.30-2.15pm, in the Art Room upstairs.
A ‘make and do’ family activity will be offered along with ideas for creative projects at home plus a focus on thrifty art supplies.
Suggested donation €5. An honesty box system will be in place. Book a family space by signing your child’s name on the board.

I'm delighted to say the principal has given the go ahead and the experiment will take place. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Art projects and Creativity in Context with Children

January – March: After School Art Program for Junior and Senior Infants, Gorey Educate Together National School (GETNS)
February: The magic of Felt, exploring thread as part of the National Curriculum. Demonstration and workshops on making hand rolled felt with Sixth Class GETNS
August: Murrintown Community Summer Camp: arts and craft activity with children aged 5 – 12. Six sessions designed to open up ideas and creativity towards expanding skills and communications. A broad variety of materials were used; clay, paper, paint, glue, crayons, pastels, cloth and fiber, buttons. Techniques included design, collage, group work, team work, individual, colour, reuse and second life for rubbish, make and wear.
July: Gorey Family Fun Day ; devised, project managed and participated in community arts element of the fun day in Gorey with Wexford County Council. A variety of arts experiences were offered; make and do; paper airplanes, felt making and traditional crafts; ‘That’s rubbish! but is it art?’, community circus. Read more.
Make and Do: wrote and illustrated website content for, downloadable easy to follow make and do activity including instructions and illustrative graphics, ages 2 - 12.
Spring - Summer Programme Ballygarrett Art Studios. Weekly Children’s art classes; The art of construction with recycled materials, Choco-Tastic! Edible art and construction. The stay and create philosophy and why parents drove 20 miles plus for an art class.
September - October: ‘Poet-tree’, School arts project, GETNS. Designed and created a tree in the new school library as a place to hang English projects and art work. Worked with 1st – 6th class, teachers and parents. The project work included concept, construction of tree, guided visualisation, decorating the tree in layers with images the pupils created about their ideas of what the tree could be for them, plus using a list of words that came from the visualisation. The words together, imagine and friendship were translated into different languages representing different cultures in the school. Using different typefaces and fabric textures the words were cut out and incorporated into the design of the tree.
April: ‘FISH’ School arts project based on using recycled aluminum cans and foil, Ballygarrett National School, County Wexford. Working with 180 pupils and staff to create fish made from recycled materials. The fish are hung from catgut suspended in air to form a shoal and a fish ball. They are free to move and also generate sound.
April: Being me. 'No table day', Senior and Junior Infants group GETNS. Workshop about being unique, being different being the same and being in a group, with art materials and movement.
March - February: School Community Multi-disciplined arts project, Gorey Educate Together National School (GETNS), County Wexford, street theatre entry for Gorey St. Patrick’s Day parade. Developed concept, co-ordinated and organised pupils, teachers, musician, parents and guardians for the overall wining entry of the parade. Theme ‘Grainne Mhaol’, incorporated music and art workshops for the development and production of street theatre, included musical instruments made from recycled materials.
Spring - Summer Programme Ballygarrett Art Studios. Introduction art materials. Basic techniques for making and creative construction with art and recycled materials, Weekly Children’s art classes in Clonevin School House, Ballygarrett.
Autumn - Winter programme. Introduction to art materials and perspective, Weekly Children’s art classes. Ballygarrett art studios, Gorey, Co. Wexford.
October: ‘Planting a rainbow’ Gorey Educate Together National School. School project planting spring bulbs in the shape and colours of a rainbow. Project taught children how to plant bulbs, practical use of Maths, colours in the spectrum, basic horticulture, value of teamwork, provided a sense of inclusion and developed civic awareness.
March - February: Gorey Educate Together National School (GETNS), Wexford. St. Patrick’s Day parade entry, School Community project, first prize in group section.

2006 May: GETNS, Senior Class (Ages 8 - 12). Team and communication workshop based on creating group clay model, where verbal and written communications were not used.
2005 - 1997: Creative Visualisation, Art and Creative play, Communication and team building, Community Children and Adult workshops. Various locations in Dublin.
2000 July: Whitechurch Summer Camp, (Ages 14 – 17). Community Art Workshop with challenging teenagers. Dublin.

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