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Art Projects for KidsPragmaticMom : PragmaticMom

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My Book of Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

#BeautifulOops! Prize Pack GIVEAWAY

I’m thrilled to be doing a giveaway with Workman Publishing on an arty interactive board book journal to inspire young artists. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.

My Book of Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

A Scribble it, Smear it, Fold it, Tear it Journal for Young Artists

My Book of Beautiful Oops! is a hands-on journal that’s designed to help young hands and minds turn an “oops” into art. The friendly green alligator-familiar to readers of Beautiful Oops!-prompts the reader to imagine the possibilities of a bent page. Decorate a smudge. Play with splats and spills. Even complete a poem that was accidentally ripped in half. [interactive board book, ages 3 and up]

Read more…

My son's Korean and Japanese Sword Making

Korean and Japanese Sword Making

My son has always loved making weapons from bows and arrows made from sticks, to wooden swords that he carves and decorates himself.

He made this Samurai armor and sword upcycling sketch book covers and cardboard boxes. Duct tape was also involved. It always is involved in his projects.

Korean and Japanese Sword Making

In earlier days, he made swords using aluminum foil and duct tape for a Percy Jackson book club with his friends. Now, he needs a run to Home Depot to buy wood without a curve in it, drawing out his designs that his father cuts out for him. Read more…

Kid Vid Fest

Summer Stop Motion Contest for Kids!

Kid Vid Fest

Do your kids like to make stop motion movies? My son uses Flipagram as an easy way to do Lego stop motion animation.

Stop Motion movie Contest for Kids Read more…

Visiting Pratt Institute

Visiting Pratt Institute

Visiting Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute is just outside New York City in Brooklyn. From lower Manhattan, it took us about ten minutes to get their by cab. What’s nice about Pratt is that it’s a campus with a defined boundary, and plenty of public spaces both inside and out for community building. In fact, the spaces for learning are enticing, full of natural light with high ceilings and an easy going creative energy.

Visiting Pratt Institute

The Pratt Institute Tour was run by students and they were impressive in their knowledge of Pratt as well as for their enthusiasm for their school. Not everyone lived on campus as off campus housing is nearby and much less expensive.

Visiting Pratt Institute

The overall vibe that we got from the campus is that it is brimming with creative talent and nice, happy people. (One negative we’ve heard about RISD from my daughter’s friends who visited there is that the people can be off putting). It’s a beautiful campus with buildings specific to majors. The student work that we saw on exhibit was impressive.

Visiting Pratt Institute

Overall, we all liked Pratt and it’s on my daughter’s college list to apply to. I think she would be very happy here!

Visiting Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute Tour

Pratt Foundation Year: Freshman Year

What Foundation Year is like at Pratt.

Pratt Library

Really cool things about Pratt Library.

Visiting Pratt Institute

p.s. More about Art Colleges from our college tours:

RISD Pre-College Program

Top Art and Design Colleges

Applying to Art School: School of Visual Arts

and some fun stuff …

If you are visiting New York City, here are our cheap foodie finds.

Our NYC (Cheap) Foodie Finds

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids (by my arty daughter)

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

Best Toys for Arty Kids

An Arts Studio of One’s Own


Civil Rights Movement through Art and Books for Kids

Civil Rights Movement through Art and Books for Kids

Today, I wanted to look at the Civil Rights Movement told through art and children’s books. Both are powerful communication tools both to educate and as a means to connect with emotionally with what happened.

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter & Shane W. Evans

How many bubbles are in a bar of soap? Name all sixty-six judges in the state of Alabama.

These “tests” were forced on African Americans to prevent them from voting prior to the Voting Rights Act.

Lillian Allen inspired this picture book. In 2008, at age one hundred, she campaigned for Barack Obama and cast her vote for him as well. Her efforts to bring in voters for him on a hilly neighborhood is also serves to portray the symbolic struggle for voting rights that African American had to overcome: slavery, poll tax, ridiculous and impossible trivia tests, angry mobs, KKK threats, and police violence. [advanced picture book, ages 5 and up]

This book is in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. In 2014, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1065, allowing states to create “voter ID laws” which require all citizens to present a state-issued ID when voting, even though this is a financial obstacle for the poor and elderly to obtain.

The right to vote still needs protection today!

For example, this powerful painting depicts the murders committed by KKK, still not labeled as a terrorist organization today!

National Gallery of Canada

Civil Rights Movement Art
IMG_7920

Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood

Augusta Scattergood tackles a little known subject: that Asian Americans were also subject to Jim Crow laws in the South. In this chapter book, she gently weaves together a story of Azalea, a rising fifth grader sent to live her grandmother in Arkansas that she’s never met before. Grandma Clark is a woman with a towering presence; she encourages Azalea to make friends with Billy Wong who is also new to their small town. He’s living with his Great Uncle and Aunt so that he can attend a previously all white school and works in their small grocery store. There’s also the bully, Willis, and Scattergood shows us that things are not black and white; behind his prejudice are family responsibilities heavy for a young boy to bear. Grandma Clark’s plan for a more tolerant community is simple; she utilizes Garden Helpers to help out while she’s recuperating, thus forcing everyone to work together. Azalea discovers that she’s more similar to her grandmother than she realized, and their relationship, like hers with Billy Wong, strengthens from the adversity of facing racism around them. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

 

Gordon Parks: An African American Photographer Who Used His Lens to Expose Racism

My favorite children’s book on a photographer who used his lens to capture the separation of races which makes a powerful statement is the little known Gordon Parks.

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jamey Christoph

Weatherford is an outstanding voice in children’s literature and here she tells the story of Gordon Parks who overcame racism himself, and used his self-taught photography skills to capture a segregated America. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

I have a post about Gordon Parks and here are some of his photographs that he took for a Life Magazine article that never ran.

Gordon Parks: Black History Month Read more…

Visiting Artist Victor Hugo Zayas

Visiting Artist Victor Hugo Zayas

Having enjoyed over sixty exhibitions to date, Victor Hugo Zayas is best known for his paintings, vigorous depictions of landscapes and cityscapes, as well as still life and figural subjects that mediate between realism and expressionism…

Their subdued palette evokes the tonalism of Rembrandt, Velazquez, and Manet, but their expansive, forceful brushstrokes hark back to Titian and even van Gogh. by Peter Frank of Visions Magazine

Thanks to Photos by KAG, we were able to visit the artist Victor Hugo Zayas at his home and studio in Los Angeles after spending the morning Stand Up Paddleboarding during our trip to Southern California.
stand up paddleboard in Redondo Beach

My kids were able to hang out with their cousins and were on their best behavior at Victor’s art studio.

Visiting Artist Victor Hugo Zayas

My brother-in-law met Victor Hugo Zayas years ago in South Central Los Angeles, and photographs him at work in his studio. It’s always a treat to see how an artist works. Victor’s studio is 6000 square feet of creativity.

Visiting Artist Victor Hugo Zayas Read more…

Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Grasshopper and Sensei and I are huge fans of watercolor painting. We are especially fond of travel size watercolor kits, even though we rarely paint en plein air. We have fantasies of painting outside while on vacation or at an art museum; fantasies that never come to pass. It’s probably because we don’t have the right art supplies. That’s right! That’s our reason and we are sticking to it.

If only … if only we had these kits. We’d be painting up a storm! Here’s a sampling of some of the art we’ve produced over the years, sadly indoors, and not with these irresistible travel watercolor kits. But if you want to know what to get us for our birthdays or Christmas — hint, hint to relatives reading — now you know!

Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: The Classics, $15

This is really good paint because it’s very pigmented. It comes in a metal container which folds out so there’s more mixing room.

Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: The Classics

Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Sketchers Pocket Box, $12

This pocket-sized watercolor travel set has 12 half pans of colors in a plastic box with a mixing palette in the lid.

Winsor & Newton Cotman Brush Pen Set, $22

This is a watercolor paint set with 12 half pans PLUS Windor & Newton water brush pen.

Watercolor Kit Gift Guide

Jerry Q Art Water Colors Travel Pocket Set, $18

This kit has 18 water colors pans, with a refillable water brush and sponge.

Read more…

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

These are art kits that my daughter and I put together when I realized that our lists might be overwhelming: 45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my daughter, and 10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids.

p.s. More art gift posts:

Art Activity Books

Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading

Art Kit To Encourage Creativity

 + = a book of fun art games plus washable markers makes a great art gift for on the go that the entire family can enjoy if you just add some blank paper. This DIY art kit is $17.

Tangle Art by Jeanette Nyberg Read more…

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my Arty Daughter

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my Arty Daughter

My oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, wants to go to art school in two years. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program last summer, which exposed her to many different art supplies. Her favorite birthday gift from us these past few years is an annual subscription to art supply box ArtSnacks which is how she discovered Copic Markers. These days she watches arty kids wax poetic on YouTube with their favorite art supplies. Today, she does the same here.

My Daughter's Pieces from RISD Pre-College Program

Grasshopper and Sensei at the RISD Pre-College Art Show in front of her piece.

She has tried everything on this list — and more — to hone down her favorite art supplies for serious arty kids. She thinks this list is for high school students, but I’d suggest using her suggestions for your arty kid as the situation warrants. For example, her brother, now 12 years old, started out drawing stick figure comics using pencil and spiral bound lined notebooks when he was 9 and 10. He progressed to sketch books and inexpensive Crayola markers that I bought from Target, and his art became more manga based. For his 12th birthday, he requested a small set of Copic Markers and Rendr Paper Sketchbook which does not bleed through. His manga art, self taught through YouTube videos, has now included more anatomically correct manga figures.

My Daughter's Pieces from RISD Pre-College Program

Her best work from the RISD Pre College Summer Art Program. It’s seed pods rendered in pencil.

In this list, my daughter who is very price conscious since she buys many of these materials with her own money, suggests different options: INVESTMENT, INEXPENSIVE, SPECIALTY, and MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. I hope this helps you find the right art supplies for your seriously arty kid!

p.s. More Art Gift Ideas for Kids here:

Art Activity Books

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Art Supply Gift Guide for SERIOUS Arty Kids

ArtSnacks, $20/month

This is a monthly subscription kit in which you will receive 4-5 full size premium art supplies including unique items that are not available elsewhere. They are starting to make their own art supplies as well. My daughter gets really excited about the kit every month! When she was at RISD, she discovered other students who also subscribed to ArtSnacks from the stickers on their stuff and it was a bonding moment for her!

Art Snacks

Alcohol Based Markers for SERIOUS Arty Kids

Investment Refillable Markers for Arty Kids

Copic Markers, about $8 each and also come in sets.

They are really expensive but they are worth it because they are refillable and have the best brushes and nibs. The ink is also very high quality. These are alcohol based professional markers that you can use for a lifetime.

As long as you take care of your Copic Markers (store horizontally NOT vertically) and don’t press really hard on the nibs, they should last a lifetime. You can REFILL each marker and the ink is readily available. You can also start out with a small set and keep adding over your lifetime.

Here are two starter sets: the first is just basic colors, the second is skin tones. If you have both, you can draw manga figures though you might want to fill in specific colors that you use most and in several hues.

Read more…