Do your kids like to make stop motion movies? My son uses Flipagram as an easy way to do Lego stop motion animation.
All posts in Art Projects for Kids
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.
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.
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.
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!
Pratt Institute Tour
Pratt Foundation Year: Freshman Year
What Foundation Year is like at Pratt.
Really cool things about Pratt Library.
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
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
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.
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.
My kids were able to hang out with their cousins and were on their best behavior at Victor’s art studio.
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.
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
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.
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.
This kit has 18 water colors pans, with a refillable water brush and sponge.
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 Kit To Encourage Creativity
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.
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.
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 Supply Gift Guide for SERIOUS Arty Kids
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!
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.
My arty daughter helped me create two arty gift guides for kids. This is the first one: 10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids. I basically collected the art books over the past few years that my daughter and son enjoy. Grasshopper and Sensei also created a list of art supplies for VERY SERIOUS arty kids that I will be posting on soon.
p.s. More Art Gift Ideas for Kids here:
10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids
Learn about Art History, Illustrators and Illustration
Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of Art by Michael Bird, illustrated by Kate Evans
This is a beautiful art history book with works by major artists and really interesting stories about their lives, with particular detail to the work featured. If you want one art history tome for you kids, use this one. Enjoy it cover to cover, or just flipping around as the art catches your eye. [art history chapter book, ages 6 and up]
This Sun Catcher Craft is easy and fun. I like it because it uses things you find around the house (with the exception of Epson Salt which I had to purchase).
Supplies on Hand:
- 1/4 size measuring cup
- clear, plastic lid; I used the lid from a takeout container
- knife or scissors to punch hole in lid
Supplies You Might Have to Buy:
- Epsom Salt. I bought this Espon Salt, $5.21, at my local drug store. You don’t need much but you can use the leftovers in a relaxing bath. It’s lavender scented too!