SchoolArts Magazine

APR 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 12 of 62

A D V O C A C Y CONTINUED ON PAGE 53. W alk into the children's area of Belle Isle Library in Oklahoma City on any day of the week and you will find children reading books, putting on puppet shows, playing with toys, and creating make-believe stories. It is a place to both learn and have fun. But until recently, the bare walls of the space did not reflect this energy and vitality. Enlivening the Walls On a mission to enliven the walls of the children's area, we (Katherine, the children's librarian and Heather, a local art educator) designed a sum - mer workshop through which Belle Isle Library families helped to cre - ate a mural that was installed in the library. Involving the children and their caregivers was impera - tive to cultivate a sense of owner- ship and to reflect the creativity of the youngest library patrons who play and learn in this space. When planning for the mural, we looked to Eric Carle illustrations, not only for their obvious literary connections, but also because of their visually recognizable style that families adore. Little Hands Art Camp For the summer edition of Belle Isle Library's Little Hands Art Camp, materials creatively to design tex - tures for their plants or animals. For example, the family who was assigned the hawk used forks to create the lines for feathers; the family who had the turtle mixed salt with their paint to create a rough and bumpy texture; and the family who painted the horse used their own handprints to cre - ate spots. Since Heather would be cutting out the animals and plants later, families did not need to "stay inside the lines" or paint a realis - tic animal. This allowed for free expression and creative play with the materials provided. Everyone got a little messy painting under the trees in front of the library. The Unveiling Families were invited to return one month later for the unveiling of the mural and an art opening in their Art on the Range Katherine Hickey and Heather White Empowering children to adorn their librar pace transforms their perception of the librar rom a "book warehouse" into a destination for their enjo ment. a free monthly art-making work- shop for families, young artists and their caregivers created Eric Carle– inspired animals and plants (horse, coyote, tarantula, squirrel, sun, scissortail flycatcher, firefly, bison, turtle, red tail hawk, prickly pear cactus, fox, cottontail, frog, snake, armadillo, yucca) using acrylic paint and poster board. We chose to feature local Oklahoma wildlife, and asked a local park ranger to review the selec - tion to ensure accuracy. When families arrived on the day of the program, they were assigned a plant or animal and given paint and poster boards in corresponding col - ors. They also received a fact sheet, which included a physical descrip - tion of the animal, photographs and information about its conservation status, and eating habits. Line, Pattern, Texture We challenged participants to cre- ate interesting lines and patterns for their plant or animal using materials from a "texture cart." The texture cart held an assortment of things to paint with, such as card - board, rags, bubble wrap, Popsicle sticks, carpet scraps, straws, salt, paintbrushes, crumpled brown paper, cotton balls clipped on clothespins, and paper towel rolls. We encouraged families to use the 8 APRIL 2018 SchoolArts

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