Under the Sea!!!

On June 15, 2012, Coonley Elementary School will unveil a brand new Under-the-Sea-themed mosaic mural. ArtReach teaching artist, Melanie Weeks, and students from Coonley Elementary spent more than 11 weeks creating hand-made ceramic pieces for this project. Enjoy this video of ArtReach volunteers and interns installing the first part of the mural 🙂

https://vimeo.com/43273894

Clay and Carnival

What can be better than spending an evening at a carnival and a ceramics studio at the same time? Lane Tech’s Clay Fest last Friday featured a full blown carnival that included dozens of rides, games, and of course, funnel cake! In addition to viewing the gallery of paintings, sculpture, and ceramic pieces made by students and alumni, visitors to the ceramic department could have a go at wheel-throwing, taste kiln-fired chocolate chip cookies, and dunk teachers in slip! ArtReach is proud to have partnered with the passionate and creative community at Lane Tech College Prep.

Young Visionaries

Last Thursday, ArtReach had the opportunity to witness the works of future architects and visionaries at McPherson Elementary School. ArtReach teaching artist, Elena Rakochy, gave new and recycled materials to students in the after-school art class and asked them to build – a building, a city, a scenery,…anything their imaginations could fathom. Here’s a preview of what this talented group of students came up with…

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Mosaics at Friedman Place

Since October of last year, ArtReach has had the opportunity to bring art experiences to the residents of Friedman place. With the guidance of art therapist and ArtReach teaching artist, Ashley Ausikaitis, the residents of Friedman Place have been working on a collaborative mosaic tile project. As an assisted lifestyle community for blind or visually impaired adults, Friedman Place strives to provide health, dignity, and stimulation to all its residents through various activities. In line with their mission, art workshops provided by ArtReach help to promote self-determination and independence in the residents. In addition, working on a group project allows residents to interact with others in the community. Stay tuned for photographs of the final piece!

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Art Overcomes

Pablo Picasso once said, “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.” Art is, to a certain extent, a lie whenever it attempts to describe a future reality or hoped for condition. Art is a lie whenever it depicts how the world should be  instead of how the world really is. Art  is required to become a lie in order to unveil a truth. Artists play a crucial role in inspiring society to change and show them what the world should – and could – be like.

On April 1st, ArtReach teaching artists Cathi Bouzide and Robin Power had the opportunity to collaborate with Thresholds Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center artists in creating an artwork that communicated a powerful truth. Organized by Nancy Little of Thresholds, and in partnership with ArtReach, these artists created a clay mosaic that represented the stigma surrounding mental illness and the hope for its total eradication. The resulting artwork is a call to change existing thoughts and notions about mental disability and those who suffer from it.

.Click here to view the event flier.

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380 The Reveal…

The online unveiling of the McPherson Elementary art project has arrived…as promised. 380 students + 1 multi-talented ArtReach teaching artist Elena Rakochy = TWO (we couldn’t fit them into one) amazing masterpieces. We bet you’ll never see anything more colorful, more vibrant, and more one-of-a-kind than this!

Congratulations to the James B. McPherson Elementary School on the opening of the Art Room…we look forward do many more projects like these.

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380

380 students walked through the doors of the brand new art room at the James B. McPherson Elementary School last Thursday. 380 students drew, colored, and embellished square card stock…using everything from crayons, markers, tissue paper, construction paper, jewels, buttons, cotton balls, and pipe cleaners. 380 students worked together to create the final masterpiece – a patchwork of unique collages. 380 students (and many more parents, teachers, and visitors) got to enjoy their wonderful creation and celebrate the unveiling of their new art room.

Here’s the piece in progress. Stay tuned for the final result of the collaboration….

 

Spring Break at Lillstreet

As part of their Spring Break camp, students from the Ravenswood School dropped in Lillstreet Art Center for a tour of the facility and an hour-long clay class taught by ArtReach teaching artist, Elena Rakochy. The first group of students were an eager bunch of 3rd and 4th grade students. Elena demonstrated how to build a pencil holder using red clay. She then showed the students how to decorate their creations using colorful underglazes. The students’ pencil holders were unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Some had octopus arms and eyes hanging on the sides, while others had spirals and sunshine painted on them. One student even disguised her pencil holder as a mug.

Since the second group of students were much younger than the first, Elena decided to show them how to make landscapes with clay. The young students were eager to make clay animals, trees, humans, fire and even volcanos! The tool of the day was undoubtedly the grass maker – a pressing tool which shaped clay into spaghetti-like strands. The students could not wait to get their hands on this popular device and make grass – or even noodles – with it!

 

 

 

Paint, Pencils and Pastels

Last Wednesday, the classrooms at the Academy for Global Citizenship bustled with students engaged in various art projects. The Kindergarten class learned how to make self-portraits using crayons and cut-outs. The First-graders had a course on drawing with pastels. The Second-graders learned about color-mixing and the variety of brush stroke movements. The Third-graders decided to take full advantage of the amazing weather and headed outdoors to sketch trees. With ArtReach teachers by their side their artistic skills are guaranteed to be in full bloom long before Spring comes around.

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From a larger-than-life butterfly to a sunrise rising over the hills to a rocket soaring in outer space, there is nothing that these students from the John C. Coonley Elementary School can’t create from fragments of colorful mosaic tiles. It’s amazing to see what a handful (or maybe two) of ceramic tiles, a little bit of adhesive mastic, a lot of imagination and a whole lot more patience can create! In a couple of weeks, the works of these artists-in-the-making will be proudly displayed at Coonley Elementary. We’ll keep you posted 🙂