Monday, July 12, 2010

Smart Art

“Art as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God’s grandchild.” Dante – Inferno

As we continue our series of Summer Fun Themes, we will focus this week on Smart Art. Several years ago my daughter Grace started an after-school art program called Waco Arts Initiative, and I thought we would glean some insight from her. I asked Grace to give me a few ideas she has used with her kids in Waco, so I could share them with you. Grace likes to use recycled or natural items as much as possible. You will see that the art projects don’t cost a lot of money and use good ole creative ingenuity. You can read about Waco Arts Initiative on her blog, and also view a video about Waco Arts at:

Activities: Visit art museum or art galleries in your area, go on a trash hunt or nature walk to collect potential items to use for the art projects listed below, visit an art store for inspiration and a few supplies, reach out to the community by bringing a simple art project to do with senior citizens or children in need, watch Waco Arts Initiative video together as a family, send art creations to grandparents or relatives.

Books: Art appreciate books, picture books that feature different artists or a variety of art genres.

1. Planters. Collect milk or juice cartons. Use wallpaper paste and news paper to paper mache the exterior. Once dry, decorate with paint, feathers, sequins, buttons, etc… Poke a hole in the bottom for drainage. Fill with dirt and plant seeds.

2. Vases. Collect glass jars or bottles. Using glue to attach torn pieces of colorful tissue paper. After covering the glass with tissue paper, spray or paint the jar with Mod Podge or clear finish. Display flowers from your garden.

3. Bird Houses. Gather recycled items such as plastic bottles, milk cartons and cups. Use masking tape to attach items together to create a unique bird house. Be sure to make at least one hole for the bird, and add a hook for hanging. Use wallpaper paste and newspapers to paper mache the houses. Once dry, paint and decorate and hang outside. You can view another video of the Waco arts kids making birdhouses by clicking:

4. Sail Boat. Use 2 liter soda bottles, cut in half lengthwise. Glue popsicle sticks to make a deck. Paint or decorate the deck. You can make a sail by using a stick from the yard or cardboard tube cut from a hanger, secure the mast using putty or glue. Use scrap material for the sail. Once you are finished, take the boat to the pool or creek to see if it is sea-worthy.

5. Decorated Boxes. Collect small wooden cigar boxes or cardboard boxes (even food boxes will do). Cut or tear out favorite pictures from magazines. Using Mod Podge (found at craft stores)and attach the pictures to cover the box. Allow time to dry. Line the inside with fabric and use for special treasures or give to grandma as a jewelry box.

This week focus on the creativity of God and how He has given each of us with unique gifts and talents. Throughout the week point out God’s handiwork in nature and the unique talents you see in people.
Creation – Genesis 1
Work of skilled craftsmen in OT Exodus 28 and Exodus 35:30-35
Gifts and talents of the Proverbs 31 woman – Proverbs 31: 10-31