By Natalie Caro and Yolanda Rodriguez
As schools become increasingly test-centered and everything academic seems to be focused on standardization, the Arts are often the last bastion of imagination, creative learning, and play.
In an article written in 2008, Laurie E Hansen describes her arts in the home project and illustrates the ways in which "[a] parent art program is one way to enhance the visual arts curriculum in early childhood settings while promoting positive home-school connections and interactions with the community."
In much the same manner, our second Nesting the Arts Project workshop was an another opportunity, in a series of many, to work with 'parents as partners in Arts education.'
Virtual Resident Artist, Lovie Pignata, guided groups of parents to work together and create their original Pizza pies. Pizza pies made from paper, an easily acquired material. The activity sparked conversations and created an atmosphere of collaboration. The activity was successful on many levels that were modeled in the interactions between parents.At home, it can be used to aid in the socio-emotional development of children. Table top conversation help children foster stronger communications skills and vocabularies, which are becoming increasingly atrophied with the use of technology.
Cutting up slices is also a really great way of reinforcing quantitate reasoning skills. Sharing pizza makes everyone do fractions to make sure that we all get an equal piece of the pie!
We think you can do this at home. Below please find a supplies list and instructions. Remember to follow our Facebook group to watch videos and hear from participating parents: : Virtual Residency: Nesting the Arts Projects by BxArts Factory
Pizza Night is a fun art version of a favorite NYC staple, Pizza! Families will paint, glue, color and cut slices of pizza with their family members' favorite toppings.
--Pasteboard paper (or large piece of heavy paper) 1 piece per family/group
--Colored pencils or markers
--blank paper (decent weight for coloring, size doesn't matter, it's to make the 'toppings')
--red paint (for the sauce) with sponges
--shredded paper (a few handfuls from a shredder)
--paper plates (I have these!)
Using approx 20" circle cut from heavy paper as the 'pizza', participants will draw slices on the circle; one for each person in the group (or 2 slices each if there are 2-3 people). 'Sauce' will be painted on with red paint, allowing room for the 'crust' along the outer edge. Once dry, glue is drizzled on the sauce layer and shredded paper is applied as 'Cheese'. The pizza toppings can be used from the project's coloring sheet or drawn on blank paper and cut out. Toppings are added for each family member. Members can also make slices for one another, guessing favorite toppings before gluing them into place. The pizza is cut into slices and can be glued to paper plates and 'served'.
Nesting the Arts Project has begun and our Virtual Artist in Resident, Lovie Pignata, did a wonderful job during our first workshop! On October 21st, she presented parents with a simple activity, sure to be easy to replicate at home, with their families.
The activity was called Secret or Hidden Message Paintings. Parents were asked to create secret messages on watercolor white paper using white oil pastels. Each parent created a few hidden messages. We collected all the papers, shuffled them and then distributed to all, randomly. Now was time to reveal the secret messages they have chosen by painting the paper over with watercolor paint. Participants created great color designs and had great fun discovering the secret messages written by other participants. Soon they were all trying to guess who wrote them.
This activity is a wonderful way to incorporate art into your family time at home and all parents were pleased to see how it can be adapted to do with children of all ages.
You can replicate this at home too! Lovie provided us with a list of materials and instructions. Enjoy with your family and bring art to your household with BxArts Factory
We would love to thank Wonderfully Made, Frances and Richard Rivera for hosting this amazing project. We love collaborating with them and look forward to the second workshop on November 4th.
To follow along, watch videos and enjoy exclusive content join our Facebook Group: Virtual Residency: Nesting the Arts Projects by BxArts Factory
Secret Message Paintings
Secret Message Paintings are great for any age or art experience level. Messages are written or drawn with white pastel on white paper and the hidden images are revealed by painting the paper. The techniques are simple but the process makes it an engaging activity with an element of surprise.
Supplies: white crayons or white oil pastels, watercolor paper, watercolor paints, brushes, clipboards
Instructions: White crayons or oil pastels are used for drawing on the watercolor paper. Participants can write a message using words, draw, use stencils or scribble using the crayons on watercolor paper. Each participant should make several quick pages with messages. All the papers are shuffled and dealt like cards to each participant until there are none left. The 'secret message' papers are painted over with watercolor paints. The painting part of the exercise is not about any technique, just covering the page and seeing the 'secret message' that is revealed when the wax crayon resists the paint.
Photo Credit: Omesh Persaud
BxArts Factory is proud to introduce to you our very first Artist in Virtual Residence, Lovie Pignata.
We received excellent proposals for the Nesting the Arts Project, and after a very competitive review, we selected hers for its simplicity and family friendly activities.
Together with Wonderfully Made we will begin this unique initiative on October 21st. Our very first Nesting the Arts Project (NAP) will run for two months and will connect the participating parents with their artistic side.
NAP is a unique initiative created by BxArts Factory to nurture the use of art at home. We’ve seen the impact of the Arts, its influence on creativity, empowerment, development of confidence and unification between generations. It's also known to improve communication and emotional connection among family members. Through a series of workshops, we will bring parents and children together to create art. Our hope for the program is to spark parent’s desire to nest the arts as part of their parenting legacy.
Join our Facebook Group Virtual Residency: Nesting the Arts Projects by BxArts Factory to receive updates on the project’s development and exclusive content!
Bringing Art to Every Household.