Saturday, September 19, 2009

Monkey Business

Well, I took a couple days off from blogging simply out of exhaustion.  This *cough, cough, hack* wicked little cold I've been fighting is lingering in my chest and it seems there is never enough sleep to be had.  However, when I'm upright, I'm on the run and going and doing, and being at the speed of light.

I met my middle school monkeys yesterday; 38 of 40 showed up, eager to hang from the ceilings as only this age group can.  I have to note that because the school is so small, "middle school" (traditionally 6th, 7th & 8th) in this case, also includes some 4th and 5th graders, who are particularly adept at monkey shenanigans.  My son tagged along to act as assistant monkey wrangler and together we wrestled the babes into their seats so we could get some fantastic art-making done.  As part of this year's "Art Around the World" theme, we have started with African-American artist Romare Bearden, using his nearly 18-foot collage "On the Block"  as inspiration for our own neighborhood collages.  Colored paper bits were everywhere, scissors were carving out all sorts of wonderously imaginative shapes, and glue sticks were used to stick fingers together as well as paper.  This collage process is a multi-layered affair; yesterday, the kids got started on their backgrounds, gluing down their big shapes.  In the next couple of weeks, we will add more and more details and I plan on bringing in a bunch of cool, textured and printed papers for them to choose from as well as magazines so they can add people and objects to their cut paper worlds.  When all is said and done, I plan on displaying the finished works all in a row to create one gigantic paper neighborhood stretching across the school walls.  


sharon said...

Ohhhh, what a fantastic project, so many children and personalities involved! A little piece of everyone!! I am so glad to hear from you today, so sorry that cold is lingering. Seems like you are having fun already!! Your piece today is terrific as always....such movement there!
Enjoy your weekend!

Terri Kahrs said...

YAY! Thank goodness - you ARE alive and (ummmm. . .) well!!! I'm happy to hear that the germs are loosing their battle, and that you're back amongst the monkeys and flying squirrels! LOL

Your description of the mayhem and artistic madness reminds me of my days in the artroom. (In a past gig, I was a teacher's aide for special needs kids. Applied for the art teacher's position, but didn't have enough teaching credentials, so took the aide's job instead!) I LIVED for that artclass, much the same as I LIVED for my artclasses in high school. They were my respite - even WITH all of the craziness.

Your project sounds absolutely phenomenal! I can just see the colors, the texture and the vibrancy of a gigantic neighborhood paper piece winding along the hallways. So many spirits united in one beautiful artistic effort. BRAVO, Michelle! You're an inspiration to many!!! Love & Hugs, Terri xoxo

PS - Hope you have a bit of "down time" this weekend!

Ragamuffin Gal said...

How LoVely is your blog! Are you an Art teacher? How wonderful!!!

Anonymous said...

Glad you are on the upswing, Michelle! Love the Romare Bearden post and you have given me a great lesson idea for a future art class with my kids! Thank you for sharing it.

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Hello! I have just discovered your blog and I am so glad I did! I've been going throught your archives and enjoying all your artwork. It speaks to me in ways that I've not felt from other artists. I hope you are feeling better today! Twyla

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