Arts Education

Bibelots and other nautical hijinks

A few months ago I was asked to judge Improbable Baubles at the Headley-Whitney Museum in Lexington. This hands-on program is designed to give Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Scott and Woodford County public and private school children the opportunity to create, perform and respond to art.  Participating students “learn the history of George Headley, his artwork and bibelots, and his significance to Kentucky.” This event benefits participating schools, as it directly ties into the Kentucky Department of Education Program Review in Arts and Humanities. The museum curator provides materials and lesson plans from which each child can make his or her own bibelot. Students then write artist statements, critique the work or their peers and choose among themselves who will go on to the main competition.

That’s where I came in. This must be a red letter year, because I have been invited to participate in four arts-related activities in as many months. They have all been fun, exciting and fulfilling, but this was by far the most amusing. And, this was just the judging!

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This Saturday, Improbable Baubles opens to the public with a grand reception, complete with a candy buffet. First, second, third and fourth place awards will be given, and each of us bestowed a judge’s choice award. Thanks to Toyota, students 18 and under will receive free admission for the duration of the exhibit, so don’t miss these objets d’art.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director 

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Categories: Arts Education | Tags: , , ,

Making the Most of Murals in Lexington

In the second installment of our summer public arts scavenger hunt, we feature the city of Lexington and one of its newest murals, a colorful depiction of Abraham Lincoln created as part of last year’s PRHBTN street art festival. The mural, located on the back of the historic Kentucky Theater building on Water Street, is 60 feet tall and was painted by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and his team.

PRHBTN is a celebration of art forms that have been criminalized, marginalized, and underappreciated in the mainstream. The festival was started in Lexington by John and Jessica Winters and will celebrate its fourth incarnation this October.

Lexington's Abraham Lincoln mural was completed in November 2013 by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and his team.

Lexington’s Abraham Lincoln mural was completed in November 2013 by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and his team.te its fourth incarnation this October.

In addition to Kobra, three other well-known artists visited Lexington during PRHBTN who left a lasting mark on the city’s walls and buildings.

On the corner of West 6th Street and Bellaire Avenue, art seekers can find a large mural of horses created by street artist Gaia. Known for his use of animals in various forms, Gaia is a Brooklyn native but creates art in public spaces around the world.

Portuguese artist Odeith, another internationally recognized artist who created work during the PRHBTN festival, also left his mark using horses. In a scene that’s familiar to Kentuckians, Odeith depicts racing horses and their colorfully-dressed jockeys. The mural, dedicated to “the amazing people of Lexington,” is located on the back of the Lexington Rescue Mission building that faces Loudon Avenue. The art itself faces the railroad tracks and is visible from North Limestone.

Across town, on Manchester Street, residents can find the third mural painted during the festival on the back of the Barrel House Distillery building. British street artist Phlegm painted a towering pyramid of figures holding up a dinner for two at the top. Nearby, one can also spot the work he did on the old water tower on the property.

In addition to the murals created during PRHBTN last year, numerous other creations have popped over the last several years in Lexington.

On the corner of East Sixth Street and North Limestone, on the old Spalding Bakery building is The Little Giants and the Goddess of Dreams, a mural by German street art duo Herakut. The same team painted “Lilly and the Silly Monkeys” at 156 Market St., as part of their Giant Storybook Project.

Want more?

Lexington is a city filled with murals and these are just a few. Get a list and continue your hunt for great murals and other public artworks by checking out Lexarts’ public art page!

Alex Newby, Communications Assistant

Categories: Arts Education, Other, Visual Arts | Tags: , , , ,

Celebrating summer with Kentucky Arts Partners

With school ending for the summer, families around the state are looking for unique ways to fill the blissful summer months.  Here at the Kentucky Arts Council, we’ve highlighted a few of the programs and camps being offered by Kentucky Arts Partnership organizations this summer.

Travel WritingThe JetSet Lifestyle – Explore the world without leaving Lexington! At the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, you’ll learn to capture your journey and share it with other adventure-seekers. Through creative writing exercises, photography, and field trips, you will learn to convert your experiences into engaging and informative stories. By the end of the week, campers will create a colorful and insightful travel presentation, featuring photographs and fiction or narratives, highlighting a noteworthy destination.

Teen Art Camp – Attention teens! It’s time to take your artistic skills to the next level this summer with the Community Arts Center in Danville! At Teen Art Camp, participants will work closely with professional local artists to delve deeper into a different artistic medium and technique each day.

Audition Skills Held at the Walden Theatre, this camp is for anyone who has thought about auditioning for a play or musical or for anyone who has an upcoming audition and wants to be prepared! Students will learn or improve the process of selecting, studying and performing a monologue, learn how to approach “cold readings” from a script, and even navigate their way through a 16-bar musical piece and a dance break. Time will be given to help create an audition package of two song cuttings (one up-tempo, one ballad) and a monologue. All levels welcome.

Puppet Antics Camp – Do you like puppets? Were you in kindergarten through third grade this year? If you answered yes to both questions, then you will love “Puppet Antics” hosted by the Richmond Area Arts Council. Here, students will make several simple puppets and learn to make them dance, sing and perform a variety of silly antics. You’ll share the fun with family and friends with your very own short puppet show at the end of the Friday session. Bring a snack for a daily break and a short puppet show. This camp is presented by Mary and Richard Brown of Puppets and Such in Berea.

Makin’ Music Junior Camp – Grandparents and grandchildren can enjoy summertime activities together at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington! At this camp, participants will enjoy skits, games and crafts as they learn more about music. Campers will even make some simple musical instruments of their own!

For the full list of camps and programs being offered this summer. Visit http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Opportunities/SummerCamps.htm

Categories: Arts Education, Arts Organizations, Folk and Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Other, Performing Arts, Visual Arts | Tags: ,

Berea artist brings diversity and color to Frankfort classrooms and hallways

Walking through the halls of Frankfort High School (FHS) these days, you might notice things look a little different. That’s because, with the help of teaching artist Alfredo Escobar, students in Spanish and art classes at FHS recently designed and painted a tradition-inspired mural on the once drab walls outside the school’s cafeteria.

The mural, completed in early February, was the culminating project of a two-week artist residency with Berea graphic and fine artist, Alfredo Escobar, a teaching artist in the Kentucky Arts Council’s Teaching Artists Directory. FHS and Escobar partnered to create the mural through a 2013 Teaching Art Together grant from the arts council. The painting is made up of images that uniquely represent the school and the community of students’ within it. The mural was inspired by Escobar’s work “Mi Vida,” an acrylic piece that depicts the artist’s life from childhood to adulthood. Escobar worked with multiple classes over the two-week period to brainstorm concepts and incorporate those ideas into the mural design.

“I never tell the students exactly what they should paint; I lead them into their own decision-making process through which they choose their own content, spatial organization and color scheme,” said Escobar. “The emphasis of this project is not on the realism of the final product; rather, it is on the students’ expression of themselves and what is relevant to their lives.”

The full-time artist completes residencies much like the one at FHS with students and schools across the state. Using his own career and creative process as an example, Escobar strives to teach students how to creatively express themselves, whether through art, writing or other career paths. Parents, teachers and fellow students were invited to view the finished product.

The Teaching Art Together grant allows teachers to collaborate with practicing, professional artists on the design and implementation of residencies like Escobar’s. Ranging from one to four weeks, the residencies provide teachers with the tools to continue to incorporate the arts into the curriculum long after the artist is gone. In Frankfort High’s case, Escobar’s residency has allowed teachers to incorporate more art concepts into Spanish classes because the students have a better understanding of the steps and processes involved.

“The mural project was a great way to bring our student body together and give them something to be proud of,” said Tabatha Doyle, one of the teachers involved in bringing Escobar to the school. “The students take great pride in their work and our mural has motivated them to continue art projects throughout the entire school.”

Schools and teachers may apply for the next round of Teaching Art Together grants until April 15.

Alex Newby, program assistant

Categories: Arts Education | Tags: , , , , , ,

Kentucky Crafted brings hands-on fun

It’s hard to believe Kentucky Crafted: The Market is right around the corner! While artisans across the state make final preparations for the show, the Kentucky Arts Council has been working with local arts organizations to ensure this year’s event will be fun for an individual or the whole family.

A part of The Market for almost 15 years, the hands-on activities are a chance for people of all ages to find their own creative side as they explore the ways in which art overlaps science, literacy, and even nature.

Working with the Louisville Visual Arts Association, Market-goers will have the opportunity to create their own animals and characters based on the work of beloved children’s author Eric Carle. Don’t recognize the name? Maybe you’ll recognize the titles. Carle’s work includes “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” a book about the fun, yet massive diet of a caterpillar as he transforms into a butterfly. This simple project allows participants to get as involved as they choose, making it the perfect pit-stop during your time at The Market.

For kids — and adults! — interested in building, the Lexington-based Living Arts & Science Center’s (LASC) Architecture of Life presentation will include an exhibit that illustrates how structures that exist in the natural world often become inspiration for architects designing structures in the modern world. Utilizing the LASC’s designs for an upcoming building addition, the exhibit will showcase the creative process that takes place from conception to construction. Opportunities for all ages to build with blocks of various architectural styles, and an area to design and create pop-up structures, will be available.

Kids — and kids at heart — can also build mini abstract sculptures out of reclaimed Styrofoam with the Josephine Sculpture Park (JSP), based in Frankfort. Based on workshops that are conducted at JSP throughout the year, each activity is appropriate for people of all ages and abilities. Participants will meet and work alongside local artists to create their own work of art to take home. They also can participate in creating community bee hive murals, sponsored by Bee Friendly Frankfort.  Examples include painting and collaging floral landscapes on beehives that will be installed at the park, and creating whirligig pinwheels from recycled plastic water bottles.

Finally, courtesy of Explorium of Lexington, guests will have a chance to create mixed-media artwork while exploring the human body’s five senses. By experiencing the senses through a creative process, participants will discover how much we rely on our bodies to send our brain important signals. In addition to creating original artwork, participants will test how well they know their five senses through a series of sensory stations!

If you’ve exhausted your entertainment options thanks to recent snow days, Kentucky Crafted: The Market 2014 is the perfect option to explore your artistic side!

Alex Newby, program assistant 

Categories: Arts Education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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