Many parents encourage their young children to enroll in art programs or buy art supplies to keep them busy during long days. Art can be a fun entertainment for kids but it does so much more. Most parents don’t realize the important life skills that art strengthens in young art makers.
Academically, art leads to improved testing because it exercises higher order thinking skills. Each step of art making, which include motivation, instruction, assessment and practical application leads to a child’s deeper understanding of process. In other words they get to experience processes from beginning to end. Our art program allows children to not only solve problems but to find them as well.
Communication, independence, collaboration, self-expression, fine motor skills, social and emotional skills, and most importantly creativity, are just a few of the many life skills that Monet & Me wants to teach your child through the arts!
Monet & Me
Looking for a creative way for you and the kids to give back to the Austin community? Look no further! If you appreciate fine art, and self-expression Art From the Streets (http://artfromthestreets.com) is your answer.
Art From the Streets was created to provide a source of income for the homeless living in Austin. The organization is a volunteer run program that allows for a safe, empowering, and encouraging environment for Austin's homeless population. These men and women are given the opportunity to create meaningful artwork in open-studio sessions held at St. Davids Episcopal Church (http://stdave.org) downtown. And I'll be honest, these guys are creating some really cool stuff! During a yearly exhibit, participants are able to display and sell their work. The Exhibit will be held December 6th and 7th, 2014 at the Austin Convention Center (http://austinconventioncenter.com).
To donate or register as a volunteer visit their site, listed above. Let's support the healing and transformative practice of creative arts in Austin!
Monet & Me
Photo Credit: Art From the Streets
Looking for an easy art activity for the kids? Try Marbling! The art of marbling has been around since the 1100s in Turkey and Persia. This once popular decorative paper technique received its name because the finished product looks similar to a marble or rock. Marbling can be a fun at home activity for you and your kiddos. It’s easy to create an infinite amount of patterns and color combinations with just a few items you can find easily around your home.
What you’ll need: Large tray or pan, ink, paper, water, toothpick/pen/spatula/stick (anything pointy you have around the house to swirl the ink)
One: Fill the tray with water.
Two: Scatter drops (with a paintbrush or eye dropper) of ink into the water.
Three: Use your pointy tool to swirl the ink as little or as much as you want until you are satisfied with your pattern.
Four: Carefully place a piece of paper flat on top of the ink.
Five: Carefully pick up the paper after a few seconds and place somewhere to dry. Voila! You have yourself your very own marbled masterpiece!
X.O., Monet & Me
Looking for literature to cultivate your child’s Art History knowledge? These are some of our favorites...Enjoy!
Monet & Me
1. Andy Warhol's Colors by Susan Goldman Rubin: Children will learn their colors while discovering the exciting world of Warhol's Pop Art.
2. Let's Make Some Great Art by Marion Deuchars: This interactive art book encourages children to try different creative techniques which were adopted by iconic artists including Picasso, Pollock and Van Gough.
3. Alexander Calder by Patricia Geis: Geis's Meet the Artist series is perfect for introducing legendary artists to children in a fun and exciting way. This pop-up book invites children to visualize and mentally process while imprinting art history knowledge into their expanding minds.
Looking for something interesting to do with your child in the Austin area? Our recommendation...Second Saturdays at the Contemporary Austin!
Every Second Saturday of the month the museum offers a Family Day between 11AM–3PM. Second Saturday’s are recommended for children between the ages of 2-11. During your time at the museum your child will have the opportunity to watch special performances, meet local artists and create something to take home.
Orly Genger’s large scale, 3-D sculpture is currently on display at the Contemporary Austin. The artist creates her installations with a variety of mediums including painted swaths and woven rope in which she weaves, knots and crochets. The enormous installation cascades down the museums hill and covers the amphitheater at Laguna Gloria. Children are invited to interact and play on this all-encompassing masterpiece making Genger’s exhibit ideal for the playful kiddo!
Monet & Me
Pop Art, one of the most renown Artistic Movements in 21st Century America. When you imagine Pop Art who unintentionally crosses your thought process? Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Hans Hoffman, right? Yet, there are a handful of icons from these era who go unnoticed, the Cincinnati born Tom Wesselman being one of them.
Defining Pop Art, this profound movement not only refers to painting, but sculpture and printmaking as well. The term Pop Art originated in London during the mid 1950's yet American Pop Art did not emerge until the 1960's. So what exactly is this Pop Art? British, Richard Hamilton, one of the first originators of the artistic form defined the era as,"Popular; Transient; Expendable; Low Cost; Mass Produced; Young; Witty; Sexy; Gimmicky; Glamorous; and Big Business." Although true, I wouldn't consider his definition as the most aesthetically pleasing so let's have a look at MOMA's. MOMA describes Pop Art as, "aggressively contemporary imagery, anonymity of surface, strong, flatly applied colours and a stylistic unity often associated with centralized compositions." That's better!
I had the opportunity to admire Wesselman's art recently during a short stint in Denver, CO. The Denver Art Museum was checked off my extensive travel list the first day. I quickly skimmed through the first and second floor permanent exhibits (as most do) but stopped while approaching the Wesselman Exhibit. Wesselman's subject matter wasn't necessarily complex, which consisted mostly of the female body as well as mass marketed consumer goods but it was the use of his medium, cut steel which was fascinating. The cut still welded into free standing, three dimensional, still-lifes was all encompassing. Interesting fact, it was actually the powerful and moving work of De Kooning (see previous blog post) which inspired Wesselman to become a painter. Wesselman's life ended in 2004, but his legacy lives on. Admire the most recent Wesselman exhibit at DenverArtMeusuem.Com!
Monet & Me
A favorite of Monet & Me's is De Kooning...where to start? De Kooning, a Dutch, Abstract Expressionist most known for his painting "Woman 1" 1950-1952, noteably said, "Flesh is the reason oil paint was invented." De Kooning experimented with a variety of subject matter, but was most fascinated with the human body as are most men, can we blame them? Like most creative minds, De Kooning wasn't spared hardship and struggled with bouts with alcoholism, scandalous love affairs, and eventually his battle with Alzheimer's.
Shall we rewind? So, what exactly is "Abstract Expressionism?" Abstract Expressionism can be defined as a post WWII Art Movement which began in New York. These free spirited painters resisted a cohesive art style and broke away from traditional processes. Instead, Pop Art painters used unconventional materials such as house paint. This movement put New York City on the map, for hundreds of years Paris was considered the birthplace of all creative styles mothering Matisse, Picasso as well as hundreds of artistic legends. As some of you might be thinking, "Who else was a part of this unorthodox artistic motion?"Abstract Expressionist Icons include Hans Hofmann, Mark Rothko, and Franz Kline.
Let's turn our gaze back to the talented, De Kooning. The prolific artist was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in the last decade of his life. With De Kooning's mental state, his daughter Lisa became the executor of his estate and eventually created the De Kooning Foundation which houses most of his art. De Kooning's work was eventually recognized by the MOMA in the 2002 solo exhibit "Retrospective" which studied his artistic development over seven decades. Can you imagine, 70 years of masterpieces? Our hope is for a De Kooning Exhibit in the near future, celebrating his unparalleled style and inspiring life which produced some of the most famous artwork to date.
Monet & Me