Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bookmaking and Plein Air

These are pictures of my students. I'm looking over one of my second grader's shoulders while he and his classmates are making books. This book project was a collaboration between me and the two second grade teachers. The books haven't been completed yet. We worked on them for at least four or five weeks. I think the second graders were ready to kill me. The last bit of work is for me to do. I'm going to sew up their signatures, cover the boards, and laminate their dust jackets.
I'm developing my philosophy and approach to elementary art everyday. I feel that each time I meet with these students I'm sending them down one of two paths: one ends at the steps of the Met or the Louvre, the other, the automatic sliding doors of Wal-Mart. (Not that there are Wal-Marts in Malawi.) The two things that I think influence and guide them on this journey is my choice of materials and the way in which I encourage them to work and think. I rarely feel successful, and I have not yet found very many inspiring and beautiful materials.

If this boy keeps thinking this way, by third grade he'll be ready for his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design--his book is about tigers, and so he has incorporated that element even into the letters of the title.
This is Hannah. I love this child.
Mikey, from Zimbabwe I think. He is in the four-year-old Reception class.
Kondwani(left) and Emma(right), also in the Reception class. Kondwani often comes to visit me in my "office" after school, demanding supplies like paper, clay, and sticks.
From left to right: Al-baatin, Megan, Vandell, and Zobran. Megan hangs on to me constantly, which makes me wish (even more) that I was a father tomorrow with lots of girls.


Nancy Page said...
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Nancy Page said...

I miss ya'll soo much! Holidays always remind me of ya'll and how much fun we had; ya'll were too sweet to let Katherine and me be your "third wheels"!
I still can't believe ya'll are in Malawi... I reallllyyy want to go to Africa next summer. Need a housekeeper? hahah. MISS YOU BOTH!

ps marley-- every time i see a penguin anything, i think of you. then i try to determine whether or not it is "tacky" or "cute", which you tried to teach me once, but I'm not sure if I ever caught on.