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Four Wild Weeks of Marinwood Summer Camp

The first four weeks of break-out sessions with Marinwood Summer Camp have been tons of fun! Here are some of the projects we have enjoyed so far:
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Four Classes, Five Teachers and a Huge Range of Abilities

This was my fifth year teaching Music and Movement in Youth in Arts’ VSA program, and I was lucky enough to be assigned to four classes this year, Linda Breakstone/Stacey Hall, Rockne Beeman, Corrie Johnson and Jessica Leaper.  We had a wonderful time singing, dancing and playing.
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Cave Dwelling Artists at Marinwood Summer Camp

Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal joined Marinwood camper artists again for another Thursday full of art-making. This time, we focused on early cave dwellers, and asked the questions: What would an early Cave Dweller Paint? What would they use for tools? and How would they make their own Paint?

We created our own small caves as we searched for the answers to these questions. Artists used paints made from food (tea, coffee, and cherries), and from the earth (ochre, sienne, charcoal, and gold). Our tools were simple: sticks, flowers, feathers, and our hands. And we made pictures of what we SEE and what an early cave dweller would see (animals, plants, friends and family).
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Back to Basics At the Marin County Fair

Artists and volunteers with Youth in Arts provided five days of hands-on projects at the Marin County Fair this year. In keeping with the Fair’s theme, “Made in Marin” a celebration of our agricultural heritage, all of the projects honored the art and skills of our settler ancestors. We made rag dolls from rags and fabric scraps, wove bracelets using leftover yarn on a loom made from recycled mat board, and hooked a beautiful, soft rug with only feed sacks and old t-shirt scraps.

Every day at the Fair was a beautiful one, thanks to the tremendous help of our 30 volunteers and the creative energy of our thousands of artist visitors!
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Marinwood Campers Making Books

Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal worked with young artists at Marinwood summer camp to make a series of wonderful mini-books. We started by making hard covers: we learned the book making technique of covering a piece of stiff mat board with paper (plain and fancy). Artists could then learn a variety of techniques to build the inside of their books. Read more…

Parent Art Night Becomes FAMILY Art Night at Venetia Valley

Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal met with a group of parents and teachers at Venetia Valley School in San Rafael in June, and what was meant to be a small gathering of Art Parents soon turned into a large group of families eager to explore their creative side together. Families worked side-by-side to create their own personal colograph prints.

We explored the question: “What is a PRINT?”

We used old file folders, and began by cutting a variety of shapes in different sizes. We experimented with the design by placing and moving and layering the shapes before we glued them onto a larger piece of file folder.

This is when the fun really began: we used four different colors of ink, and 10 different colors of paper, and experimented with how our choices of each affect the final design of our print. Artists of all ages were able to make many different artworks with their brayers, ink, and paper.

Masterpieces on the Ground at Davidson

This Spring, seventh graders at Davidson Middle School culminated their year of Social Studies & Arts Integration by studying the artists and artwork of the Italian Renaissance with Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal. Students learned about the Renaissance technique of Italian Street Painting, where street artists (Madonnari) honored the masterpieces to be found in Italian cathedrals by recreating them on the piazzas nearby. Passers-by would reward the street artist’s hard work by tossing coins to them on the street.

Davidson Artists recreated three Italian Masterpieces on their blacktop, on a very large scale. The Last Supper,  by Leonardo Da Vinci, was recreated in approximately actual size, 22′ x 14′. Mona Lisa, also by Leonardo Da Vinci, grew from actual size of approximately 1 1/2′ x 2′, to 14′ x 16′, and St Nicholas Taming the Tempest by Fra Angelico grew to nearly as big.

Each piece was divided into equal square grids, and students were each assigned one square from one of the pieces. First, students practiced enlarging their tiny 2″ square onto 9″ square papers. This gave them the opportunity to practice using chalk, and blending colors.

On our second visit, we moved out to the playground. First, we recreated a grid of much larger proportion using tape measures, chalk, and a snap line. We numbered each square (now grown to 2′ x 2′), and then each class joined us to recreate one more time their piece of the larger whole.

Students practiced blending, shading, tone, and collaboration as they worked closely with their neighbors to recreate, in two days, three very large masterpieces for their playground. Students learned that it is challenging to work outside in the sun and wind, to be sitting on the hard ground, and to use our hands to blend and draw.

The final pieces were a testament to the hard work of the students, and were a wonder to see.