Fall marks the new year here at Creative Art Works. While we have been eager to share our back-to-school news with you, it has, candidly, been tough to find the right time. When even we adults feel buffeted by contentious political discourse and storms both literal and figurative, there is added urgency for those of us who have or work with kids.
CAW’s creative youth development programs provide safe space for our young people to step back from the tumult of the present and envision a bright future for their communities.
The artistic process provides a platform for healthy dialogue and collaboration when discourse has become divisive. And when young people are supported in respectfully and honestly expressing themselves, they feel more connected to their families, to their classrooms and communities, and to each other.
Art-making kick-starts imagination and invites kids to entertain the fantastic and the seemingly impossible. Art can even engage kids and adults alike in self-care – in physical activity, mental health, and personal safety.
In short, our programs activate body, mind and spirit.
As clearer and crisper air seems to finally be arriving in NYC, Creative Art Works will be continuing, and in some cases expanding, many of our successful programs from last year as well as introducing exciting new ones.
For now, we invite you to take a few moments and celebrate with us the beauties and joys of our young people and their abundant creativity.
P.S. None of this transformative work would be possible without your support. Thank you!
CAW has been awarded four Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) partnerships this academic year. We are back at PS 192 taking students on a new series of Art Voyages, and at MS 278 with some monumental undertakings inspired by the public art installations of Claes Oldenburg and others.
New CASA programs will have students at BronxMS 45 learning graphic design, critically digesting advertising and advocating for healthier food choices through Countermarketing. Students at Hamilton Grange Middle School will design and don their own whimsical Wearable Art.
The CASA Initiative of the New York City Council provides public school students with access to the wealth of NYC cultural institutions and arts experiences “of recognized quality” outside of the regular school day. We are grateful to Council Members Mark Levine, Ydanis Rodriguez and Ritchie Torresfor the designations. These programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
"My drawing shows my grandmother's hallway. I have spent most of my
life growing up in that hallway. I am pretty sure I took my first steps in that
hallway. When I think of my earliest memories my mind drifts to that hallway. The
hallway is a part of me." -- Artist Statement by Sophia, 7th Grader at PSMS 278
Sumi ink drawings by students at PS 192.
Shake a Leg! (And a Paintbrush!)
Activating spaces – and students – through art and design
CAW Program Director Daniel Bergman enjoyed spending this morning considering design and its impact on student health at FitKids 2017. Hosted by our friends at the at the NYCDepartment of Health and Mental Hygiene and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, the half-day symposium brought together “a cohort of leaders across education, health and design to share ideas and strategies for creating quality, active, and playful spaces in schools and surrounding communities.”
Below, please enjoy photos of our recent active design projects in schools. For more information on how to partner with Creative Art Works on a participatory, youth-driven active design project in your school, please contact Daniel.
Cafeteria mural painted by IS 18 and MS 278 students in a spring, 2017 Active Design program, implemented in collaboration with the schools’ Wellness Councils and C.H.A.L.K, and with the support of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
One of two stairwell murals painted by high school students at Global Learning Collaborative High School in a spring 2017 Out-of-School-Time program, implemented as part of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Mental Health by Design (MHxD) Initiative.
School yard activation resulting from a Family Engagement project at PS/MS 278 during spring 2017, implemented in collaboration with the school’s administration and Wellness Council, under a Family Engagement grant from the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects.
Flights of Fancy
Taking the Modern View at Two Historic NYC Landmarks
We're very excited about our new curriculum for the Saturday art-making workshops for kids in grades three to five. These upper elementary classes are inspired by modern and contemporary artists, including a unit on imaginary pets based on the work of Nellie Mae Rowe, fantasy landscapes based on the mixed media works of Max Ernst, and stained glass windows based on the theatrical vision of Raul de Nieves. Young artists will also explore styles and techniques inspired by Paul Klee, Elizabeth Catlett and BelkisAyon, just to name a few.
We will inaugurate a new Saturday program with long-standing partner WHGA expressly for the residents of the historic Randolph Houses on October 28th.
This Creative Art Works program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez and Mark D. Levine.
Active Imaginations Make Leaps of Understanding in a Single Bound
We've told you about art programs that encourage children to move their bodies; this one flips that equation. Students in the after-school Cartooning and Anatomy program at Isaac Newton Middle School are using X-ray vision to examine the underlying structure of the body, starting with the skeleton. The idea is that artists need to understand the basics of human anatomy in order to create a hero, villain or comic character with exaggerated proportions.
This class will engage students with examples of familiar genres, such as superhero comics and anime, then supplement their knowledge with independent graphic novels and titles that feature work created by and about female characters and people of color. For their culminating project, everyone will create an original character and then have the choice of writing and illustrating a comic book zine with an emphasis on storytelling, or a splashy comic book cover with a more detailed rendering of the main character.
This program is implemented in collaboration with our partner Citizen Schools.
Reflections on Safety and Self-Expression
We were thrilled to take part in Party on Park on Sunday, October 1st. This community event promoted pedestrian, bike, scooter, skateboard, and roller-skate and roller-blade safety, so CAW offered kids and their families a chance to make a personalized reflective button.
The creativity was phenomenal, and so was the attendance. When we ran out of buttons, we helped kids decorate their bike helmets with reflective tape so they could be both highly visible and super stylish!
When Whole Foods Market wanted to commission art for their new Harlem location, they decided to source it locally. Creative Art Works assembled a team of nine Youth Apprentices from A. Philip Randolph High School to create three large canvasses for the newest grocery store in Harlem. Our young artists decided to capture the flavors of the past, present and future of their diverse and dynamic community.
The work, installed in the first floor cafe and visible from Lenox Avenue, was officially dedicated on Wednesday, September 27th. James P. Thomas from the Office of the Manhattan Borough President attended the event, as did the Amsterdam News, but the real stars of the evening were CAW Apprentices David Sarpong, Carla Mateo, Uriel Garcia Flores, and Matthew Smart, who discussed the imagery and inspiration of their work like seasoned pros.
Youth Apprentices David Sarpong, Carla Mateo, Uriel Garcia Flores, and Matthew Smart with CAW Executive Director Brian Ricklin at the dedication of the triptych "Harlem: Past, Present, Future" at Whole Foods Harlem.