917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
By YIA Mentor Artist – June Li
I mentored students in creating a beautiful recycled tree this year. We collected recycled materials and found objects in nature, such as junk mail, paper plates, and falling branches. Instead of buying products, students turned waste into creative art projects to share with their friends and families. By completing our recycled tree, students became more aware of our environment and what they throw away on a daily basis, and used their imagination to transform junk into beautiful objects. My goal for this course was to inspire students to buy less, reuse and recreate; own less and live more. We will live healthier and the planet will be greener.
Mentor Artist Kdub Williams transformed the Art Class at Willow Creek Academy into an eighth grade portrait studio. Students learned about the artistry of Chuck Close, mural creation, grid and transfer and painting techniques before they sized up their self portrait photographs into larger then life images on sheets of plywood. Meanwhile, outside the classroom, students worked to paint the skatedecks which will be the featured items at the upcoming Willow Creek fundraising auction.
Third graders at Willow Creek Academy have been working with Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal to utilize visual arts to make their creative writing richer. We have been learning to look: how can you find every detail, and draw what your eye SEES, not what your mind REMEMBERS. Today we worked on observational drawing, both Gesture and Contour. The drawings of animals made from 3D sculptures were inspiring.
Students have been working hard on their COLOR poems in Language Arts Class. They used what they learned in our Exploring an Orange lesson to add more descriptive words to their poems. This week in art class, students chose the strongest line from their poem as the subject for their illustration on black paper.
We compared the word “composition”: how do we compose WORDS to make a strong poem? How do we compose a PICTURE to make a strong image? What is most important about our picture? Where should it be placed? How big will it be?
We sketched first, then we drew with glue.
After, students were asked to REFLECT: “What did you NOTICE about drawing with glue?”
“When you paint with glue, be careful: you can smudge.”
“I noticed that painting with glue is not easy at all, and painting with glue is fun and sticky!”
“Painting with glue is art. Glue is hard to control.”
“I notice it is harder than using paint. Also, you can get more texture using glue.”
Practicing Blind Contour Drawing with Fall Leaves: We again brainstormed descriptive words using SIGHT, SMELL, SOUND, and TOUCH ( we didn’t TASTE the leaves!)
Willow Creek’s 3rd graders are exploring ways to use all of their senses to tell a more complete story (in their descriptive non-fiction, myths, and poetry). Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal has been working closely with third grade teachers Anne Siskin and Maya Creedman to create an in-depth project combining fine art techniques with writing lessons to enhance stories. In class, students have been writing in-depth poems about a color. In our first art meeting, we began by writing 3 things we know about an orange, and then drawing one from memory.
“An orange is orange.”
“An orange is round.”
“It is fat.”
Then each child was given an orange, and together we brainstormed words describing what we could see, smell, feel, hear, and taste of our orange. Students then practiced blind contour drawing (learning to tell our hand to draw what our eye actually sees, not what we remember). And finally, children drew their oranges again, and wrote three more sentences about them. The results were amazing:
“Oranges are sweet, sour, and juicy.”
“If you split an orange in half, it looks like it has guts inside.”
“I felt delighted when I tasted the orange.”
On Sat. May 25th, the Marin City Recreation Department & The Hood Games present another day of skateboarding, youth performances, music, art-making & community love. The 12 noon – 4 p.m. event is all about keeping our youth safe, active & creative. Local co-sponsors include: Youth In Arts, Prooflab Skateshop, Triumph Skateshop, Marin City Health & Wellness Center, Marin City Health & Human Services, CA4Health, Venture Trucks & Big Thanks to S-One Skate Helmets! – Let’s Roll!!!
Youth In Arts art instructor K-Dub & his middle school Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito students mix & create fun cultural masks. After researching traditional masks from around the world, students were instructed to create masks that includes their own “Flava”.
Willow Creek students “Go Wild” with a fun project designed by Mentor art Teacher Mr. K-Dub. Students were given the task to design their name in “thingys” as their letters. They were instructed to carry a theme throughout their artwork foreground & background. Objects & thingys used were tools,fruit,sports equipment,trees, art supplies and Mr. K-Dub’s favorite selection Bacon! The final watercolor & color pencil works created were very fun and flavorful like this inspired Dr.Suess themed Lorax by a 5th grade student.
Message to Our Community
Mentor Artist K-Dub Williams has designed a year-long project with the teachers of Willow Creek Academy which will culminate in PSA’s by “Elder Avatars” (unique masks created by each teacher). The first Professional Development Workshop explored answering the question “How can we use what we create to inspire Youth and Community?”
We began with theater exercises designed to engage the whole body in the creative process. Teachers were asked to think of a word that represented the superpower their own personal superhero might possess: Listening, Strength, Caring, Inspiration.
When people were warmed up, we moved on to visual arts and began to brainstorm on our “Elder Avatar”. How do we design our masks to visually represent the characteristics of our personal character? First, we worked in paper. We practiced patterns, symmetry, cutting, and attaching pieces securely.
Next time, we move into cardboard and plaster.
Large ears represent a good listener.
Creating a Community SuperHero: Expressing character and a positive message through physical movements.
Collaborating to Create a Tableau Vivant: each person's pose represented the word they contributed to the group's message.