Our local LGBT family group held an art party over the weekend. All four of us painted ceramics at Young at Art on 19th Street. We can't wait to see how they look after being fired in the kiln.
The first drawing is a place where you go to adopt a dog or puppy. In our neighborhood they have an event like this once a month, and a coalition of animal rescue groups participate. The second picture is a groups of dogs having a party or festival. Naturally each dog has his or her own drink with a straw sticking out, and the sky is filled with hot air balloons and fluffy clouds galore.
Often my own response to poverty--my response to seeing a person who's homeless or begging or sleeping on cardboard--is to avert my eyes. This reaction is a complex one which involves judgment and respect and fear and shame. Rather than processing what I've witnessed, I often move mentally a.s.a.p. to an new idea. Pretty much any idea will do.
The exhibit currently showing at DiverseWorks in Houston is called Understanding Poverty. With photography by Ben Tecumseh Desoto and text by Ann Walton Sieber, the exhibit provides us a way to examine our reactions to poverty in a safe space so that we do in fact understand better. Understanding poverty will not solve the problem but it's a smart place to start.
Photographs by Ben Tecumseh DeSoto
Words by Ann Walton Sieber
Curated by Clint Willour
Works by Sarah Whatley Ayers & Forrest Prince
DiverseWorks, Houston, TX
September 19 - November 1, 2008
If you blogged about poverty for Blog Action Day 2008, would you please leave the link so that we can read your post? Thanks!
Just in case you missed the spectacular opening ceremonies on television last night, Carrie (age 2.5) did a report in her notebook that will give you a true you-were-there sensation. I captioned them, as instructed by the artist.
Captions: Fireworks, Flag, Drums, Fireworks, Drums for Kids (this is wishful on Carrie's part--although there were drums and kids there were no drums played by kids), and Big Fireworks!
Storytelling is one of those primal experiences, and I think that by trying out both the telling and listening roles, children get an early introduction to literature that is powerful and memorable. I mentioned Pearl's adventures in bookmaking last month, and my friend Doodaddy kindly asked for a peak at one of them. So I set up a photo album so that you can see a sample six-page tale. The writing is done by dictation, although Pearl did write her name and "The End." When we shared this book with Pearl's cousin Maya, she (Maya) immediately wrote and illustrated one herself. It was really good too!
Last week I told you about a group of artists who hold weekly Pixel art contests. The challenge last week involved using one of Pearl's "story maps" as a starting point to create a new piece of artwork.
Now that the deadline has passed, they've asked Pearl to choose one winner, and the group will vote on the others. If you'd like to guess which one of these Pearl chose as the winner, feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to choose a favorite yourself, check out the Pixel Joint forum.
Pearl decided to do her own "pixel art" project based on her original drawing done last year, but she substituted crayons for pixels. Her offering is called "A Girl Lion Shaking a Lizard to Find Food."
Here's a picture that Pearl drew about a year ago:
A group of graphic artists in a group called Pixel Joint hold weekly design contests. Members come up with a variety of challenges for the group. They asked if they could use Pearl's picture as their prompt or springboard for one of their contests.
The entries are still being submitted this week, but you can see what some of the artists are doing with Pearl's drawing as the base of their work on the Pixel Joint Forum Page.
As she was drawing this picture, she kept up a running monologue:
This is a T-rex. RRRaaaahhh!
And here's Simba.
This is a girl. Me. Carrie.
Each thing she draws is some form of a circle. As you can see there are circles within circles and half circles, but most of the shapes are circles.
Okay, here is a balloon for me, Carrie.
Now I draw a road.
And a room.
And a MONSTER!
Oh, the monster is HERE! (She dashes away.)
Circle beside circle, she draws as she speaks. I feel pretty sure that Carrie sees the thing clearly in her head. Maybe she is merely mapping the story, rather than actually trying to draw the characters.
I vaguely remember that Pearl went through a similar phase when she was two.
Sometimes Pearl hears things. Marcia and I have been planning for the summer. We have conversations, and we think she's not paying attention. For example, we've been thinking about keeping the girls home this summer. Pearl is thrilled with this idea. We've also talked about removing the downstairs television and using that space for something more creative. We didn't think she knew about this part of the plan, when she brought home the drawing below from preschool yesterday.
This is our home from an aerial point of view. The large rectangle is our house, and the small one on the right is Jay Jay's house. (Jay Jay is the dog we gave to another family over 2 years ago.) The house is filled with televisions. They have antennae and smiles on their faces. Even Jay Jay and Riah have their own TVs. The squiggles on the left are stairs. Notice there are even 2 suns in the sky. Paradise!
This has been going on for a week or so. Today I set her her up with her watercolors. Of the sixteen pigments, black was the furthest color from her pad of paper. She used it exclusively.
She calls it "dark" instead of black. She sometimes refers to the white spaces as light. Yes, friends, another day in Grrrlville.
Carrie continues to be very action-oriented in her artistic style.
Eventually those paintbrushes become cumbersome, and she resorts to her hands. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.
Pearl is really into coloring books lately. She completes entire coloring books before moving on to the next project. Her favorite pictures are one of mother and baby animals. As you can see, the example that I scanned is clearly deficient.
She doesn't enjoy painting as much as her sister does, but every now and then, she joins in.
This is a picture of a house. She drew houses for about a month, starting in December when she (and we) learned that her best friend is moving away.
This one depicts Marcia, Jay Jay the dog, and Riah the cat. The wee bairn in the top left corner is Carrie, looking down from the top of the stairs.