art and design, education

Making Patterns – Week 3 of Noctiluna Camp

I think this may have been the most noisy week of camp so far, my ears are still ringing! However, it would also be one of the most astonishing weeks in terms of the work produced.

I would like to explain the theme of last week’s camp to you, but I don’t know where to start. I got a little obsessed with the work of Vera Molnar after seeing her work at MOMA last fall, and wanted to talk to kids about digital versus analog artwork, and systematic pattern making.  See – vague and complicated, but the kids got it!!!
We looked at Molnar’s work and her methods, and then I broke out various types of graph paper (a not very secret obsession of mine), and asked the kids to make drawings with repetitions, and patterns that looked like a machine could have made them. They came up with beauties like these:

Then we enlarged some of them, and looked at how changing a drawing’s scale affects the work itself.

After that, we loosened up and used masking tape and produced sheets of patterns separated  by blank spaces. Some people stayed within the lines, others lost control.

I teach the older kids at camp (4th-7th grade) and Steve, my partner in crime this week taught the mini-campers, who fell completely in love with him. They also looked at pattern making, but with a slightly heavier emphasis on dinosaurs and furry creatures :-).

At some point we got together and let all the kids loose painting papers in a variety of colors with interesting textures. We had Eric Carle’s work on our mind. However, while the little guys continued on with the Eric Carle theme, producing beauties such as this  …
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…the bigger kids, chose to look at mosaic work as inspiration, and produced these painstakingly detailed paper mosaics:

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It really was a productive, and messily satisfying week, and after many games of Apples to Apples, Candy Land, and Bowl Hockey – a genius, gladiatorial game of Steve’s invention, that left us all very sore and hoarse, but happy, I rolled home and fell face down on my sofa. Now I am somewhat replenished for week 4 – the final week of camp!
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite drawings by a little kid in the Minicamp. I defy you not to smile:
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Artist, Educator, Parent, Small Business Owner, Big kid from a big city, in a small town.

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