Thursday, September 1, 2011

Around The World With Picasso's Basement! First stop: New Zealand

I’m incredibly excited! I am planning Picasso’s Basement first Art Show complete with a Gallery Opening. (Yes, I'm excited enough to feature BOLD TYPE!) It will be held at the Scotch Plains Library in N.J. on Saturday, September 10th from 1:30-3:00pm and the work will remain on view afterwards. Highlighted will be the art created during our weeklong Around the World Art Camp.

This was my first attempt at an Art Camp and I’m thoroughly convinced that I had even more fun than the kids! Each day we went to a different country, created a piece or two of art, had an appropriate (although at times disastrous) snack and played games. It was hard narrowing down the countries and I did my best to vary it up. This week I’ll try to do a post for each day. Most of the lesson plans were self-created and most of them were even successful.  Less successful was attempting to get my older son to man the phones. Many thanks are owed to my wonderful teen assistant, Nancy, who helped all the kids and kept me from making too many mistakes!

OK: Here goes the week! 

DAY 1: NEW ZEALAND, The Maori People and their art 
After learning of how the Maori people traveled to New Zealand and were it’s first inhabitants we looked at their absolutely gorgeous art. Exquisite intricate carvings, amazing tikis, and beautiful tattoos. Virtually everything the Maoris wore, lived in, or used was adorned with incredible swirling designs.

The Artists looked at pictures of the Maori sea monster, the marakihau, a mermaid like evil creature that was thought to have a hollow tongue that could suck up the sea, boats, even men! Using pencils they sketched pictures of their own sea monsters and then created a finished drawing with oil pastels. Then, using a black tempera wash, they painted their papers. Pop! Nothing like a little water-based resist to make your oil pastel colors really stand out!

Following that we drew facial tattoos.
Even the Maori women tattooed their faces: in fact some still do. The kids enjoyed their tattoos a heck of a lot more than the “banana scallops” that we made (think Fried Plantain Ala Kellogg’s). Most of them chose Goldfish crackers instead. Ah well, more for me!

Campers sporting facial tattoos. I'm not sure if their parents were happy about this!

As a last activity we looked at the huge variety of tiki faces and everyone made a tiki necklace out of recycled paper. We “laminated” them with clear contact paper and by the end of the day we were a mighty festooned bunch!

Whoa. I’m exhausted just thinking about all we did! But I guess it wasn’t TOO much activity because they all came back the next day!

IN OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: Picasso’s Basement’s trip to Russia! See you back here for more fun!

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