Friday, May 29, 2009

Our 2009-2010 Schedule of Projects

At the brunch on 29 May, we unveiled the six projects we'll be presenting to students in 2009-2010. They are.... (drumroll optional here)....

Pastel Wolf
a lesson in wildlife drawing
by Julia Tedesco

Myth and Mystery
a lesson based on the art of Jesse Reno
by Marianne Coble

The Color of Snow
a watercolor landscape project with a twist
by Birgit Snodgrass

The Poetry of Iron
a sculpture project based on the art of Julio Gonzalez
by Carrie Powers

exploring traditions, symmetry, and shapes
by YaVanna Baird

Wild Things
a lesson based on the art of Maurice Sendak
by Marianne Coble

Stay tuned for details as fall approaches!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tar Heel Readers for Hands on Art 2008-9 projects

Tar Heel Reader is an innovative literacy website that provides age-appropriate and interesting online picture books for new readers of all ages. (Because a new reader who is 16, or 36 or 56, doesn't generally want to read only about puppies and kitties and teddybears, eh?) In the past year, I've made Tar Heel Readers to go with several of our Hands on Art projects. Check them out! These books can be used online by one student, or downloaded as powerpoint presentations for a whole class, in case those modes are useful to any of our docents.

Watch for more Tar Heel Readers that match our 2009-10 lesson plans--they'll be linked here as supplements as we go through the year.

Enrichment material for "Fixing a Shadow" lesson: Anna Atkins (1799-1871)

Our Fixing a Shadow lesson focuses on the work of Fox Talbot. But.... did you know that the very first book of photography was made of sunprints, just like we're making?

Anna Atkins (1799-1871, pictured at left) was the same generation as Fox Talbot; her father was a scientist and a librarian at the British Museum. When her father published a translation of a French book about shells in 1823, Anna provided over 250 illustrations. In 1839, Anna was recognized for her work when she was elected to the Botanical Society of London. It was around this time that she started making cyanotypes (sunprints) of different species of algae, based on Fox Talbot's method. In 1843, she began publishing British Algae, and followed that with another compilation of cyanotypes, The Ferns (1854). Because each print was unique, these books were published in very small runs, and only a few copies remain today.

Check out selections from the New York Public Library's set of Anna Atkins's stunning algae cyanotypes here.

Our History

South Bay Hands on Art can trace its roots back to 1975, when budget cuts in the Palos Verdes Unified School District deeply affected the arts in the schools. A program known as Art at Your Fingertips was created by a group of parents who would continue the art experience for their school-age children. This program was so successful that by 1982 a new pilot program was started which, for the first time, broadened the reach of the program to include schools outside the PV USD.

One of these "sister" programs was South Bay Hands on Art, born in 1987, with only four elementary schools and thirty docents. In 1994, yet another sister program was born when Torrance formed their own group, Adventures in Art. This allowed Hands on Art to expand to the entire Redondo Beach Unified School District. The program continued to duplicate and there are now six sister groups in the area. (See our sidebar for links to some of them.)

Today, South Bay Hands on Art proudly boasts nineteen schools, both public and private, and over 350 docents. We bring six different art projects to students in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms, and afford the children the opportunity to experience the joy and magic of art in a non-judgmental, non-threatening environment.

Thanks to the efforts of parent volunteers, whose passion for art illuminates our children's world, Hands on Art provides a rich and stimulating opportunity to experience art in different and exciting ways.