Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Leading by Example and a Pointer Finger: Enriching our Lives through the Arts and Technology (high and low)

I was reminded today of the influence of people who lead by example, as I assisted Bonnie and Ricky Trione in sharing their inspirational and educational messages about dealing with adversity, perseverance, "choosing your battles", and that "everyone is an artist."

Ms. Howard's second-graders at Booth Elementary School were engaged and intrigued as "Mr. Ricky" explained how he became blind in two separate accidents, demonstrated how he paints with textured "puffy paint" and his fingers, and shared some of the strategies and "tools" he uses to accommodate for not being able to see.

With the "tool" of a finger to feel texture and finger-paint (creating beautiful images without the sense of sight), and a high-tech gadget which identifies colors, Ricky Trione demonstrated that with desire, perseverance, and support systems we can often find ways to achieve goals which may initially seem unachievable. (This is a message I never grow tired of hearing and was again reminded by example that outcomes are also dependent upon my own actions, decisions and attitude.)

As I listened today (as I have so many times before) to the information shared, I really focused for the first time on how Ricky authentically utilizes tools and technology to achieve his goals through art. I was struck by the diversity of these "tools" from the most primitive (a finger) to sophisticated (talking watch, talking computer, and color-identifier).

So I thought about how the latest and greatest technologies are very cool and can certainly serve a purpose, but no matter how sophisticated the technology, it may not always be the most useful; the process may just require paint on a paper plate and a pointer finger!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ibiyinka Alao, Nigeria's Ambassador of Art

--> You for a WONDERFUL Presentation:
Ibiyinka Alao   
Nigeria's Ambassador of Art
University of South Alabama
College of Education
UCOM 3212
February 8th, 2011

A special THANK YOU to: 
Nancy Raia , Community Arts Director
Eastern Shore Art Center
401 Oak Street
Fairhope Al 36532

Ibiyinka’s presentation focuses on contemporary African life and how that experience translates into his artwork, which celebrates diversity and achieving peace through creativity and expression. As an artist, his vibrant paintings help him to articulate the message that happiness in life is a code which we can often decode by listening to silent voices and speaking without talking. His paintings are full of life, color and visions from his heart. Ibiyinka strives to offer us visual passage into his painted stories using his African homeland, its villages and people as treasured subjects.

Born on Oct. 17, 1975 in Nigeria, Ibiyinka has become a world-acclaimed messenger of peace. Trained as an architect at the University Of Ile-Ife Nigeria, he won global recognition in 2001 when he won the prestigious United Nation’s International Art Competition. As a result, Nigeria awarded him the honorary title of “Art Ambassador” for his country. In 2003, he was awarded the title “Ambassador of Peace” by the United Nations Population Fund in recognition of his message of peace, love and cultural harmony between all people. He has exhibited over 400 paintings in a broad list of countries and places — The Harvard Business School, Indianapolis Art Center, the Martin Luther King Art Center, the Empire State Building and the United Nations headquarters.

Paige V. Baggett, Ibiyinka Alao, and Nancy Raia 

Ibiyinka's works of art are vibrant, fascinating, and inspired me to learn more about the messages he communicates. 
A few of my favorites include:
Ca. 1999
18" x 10"
"In this painting, I try to show a woman who is confident in her own surrounding. A woman — who exhumes confidence in herself, and upholds peace in her own home protecting her children — is reflective of this eagle eye in a girl who is usually seen in a group dancing with her colleagues. My argument here is that she can equally feel at home, peaceful and confident, even when she is alone. The garden of green in the background is to signify her fertility."
more favorites...

Ashley Bryan

It was an honor to meet Ashley Bryan today at the Fairhope, AL library!

Bryan is known for retelling African folktales in a distinct, rhythmic prose that is heavily influenced by African-American poetry; he is an eclectic artist who uses painting, poetry, music, collage, and prose to tell stories.

 Bryan shared his favorite poetry including the works of Langston Hughes. He indicated poetry gives him ideas for writing stories and the words which should be expressively brought alive; he so dramatically demonstrated.
 Ashley Bryan shared many of his inspirational books including Beautiful Blackbird.

 Bryan told us to begin with a LOVE of who YOU are. "Love yourself and your people."
 "Feel the spirit of the voice, the spirit of the oral tradition." 
"Find the most expressive way to bring words alive."

My America is a beautiful (new to me) book Ashley Bryan shared with us today depicting 2 very different styles of art created by Bryan and his friend and artist Gilchrist. They each represented sky, water, land, animals, and people of America. Bryan explained that he and Gilchrist worked completely independently to represent the concepts in "My America." The book depicts the very different (but equally beautiful) visual representation styles of each artist.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I want to do this...

Wouldn't you want to be in this class?

Ten fifth graders spent over two months of lunch recesses creating the Fugleflick, Show of Hands. They recorded an original song, storyboarded, filmed, and animated to put together this video that gives new meaning to the phrase, "Talk to the hand."

Dryden Elementary Art Room: Learning Skills for their Lives

Innovative from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Technology in the Hallways

Check this out!

Kim Holland is blazing the trail for a revolution in Mobile, Co. She just finished her book trailer for a bulletin board at St. Elmo Elementary. A movie for a bulletin board? You read it right.


Go beyond the traditional hearts and share the HEART ART of Pop Artist Jim Dine with your students this Valentine’s Day.

Jim Dine is an American Pop artist who used common images in his art. He may be best known for his heart paintings. His style is one students can really appreciate and derive inspiration from as they experiment with the heart shape, colors, and various art media. 

Various heART projects inspired by the work of Jim Dine: