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Art for Charity Photos

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

Congratulations to  Creative Action teaching artist Lindsay Palmer and her second grade class from Del Valle Elementary for their Art for Charity showing last night at Tiny Park Gallery. The students featured original artwork by with all sales benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Save the Children. Special thanks to Tiny Park Gallery for helping us with this event!

Here are few photos from the showing. To see more photos from the event go to our Flickr album.

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Abstract artwork by Del Valle Elementary 2nd graders displayed at Tiny Park Gallery.

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Left: A series of hero comics Right: Collaborative wood artwork.
Created by Lindsay Palmer’s Del Valle Elementary 2nd grade class.

Art for Charity: Del Valle Students Support St. Jude’s Hospital and Save the Children

by Mary Alice Carnes, Community Relations Director

A 2nd grade class at Del Valle Elementary will be presenting a charity art show of their original work to support St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Save the Children. The class is part of Creative Action’s After School program. Lindsay Palmer, Creative Action Teaching Artist, leads the Del Valle students who want to support charity with the proceeds from their art. The art show is set for November 29th at Tiny Park Gallery. The exhibit will feature collaborative abstract work in wood and fabric assemblage, printmaking, and painting, as well as a variety of art zines featuring hero comics, Dada poetry, scary stories, and texture/print explorations.

When I floated the idea of a charity art show by my students, they were really responsive. They decided to raise money for sick kids and kids with no homes.  They really liked the idea of helping other kids get clean drinking water and go to school.

Palmer’s Del Valle class of second graders recently won a food drive contest through Bennu Coffee benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank. Palmer’s class contributed 51 dry goods winning gift certificates to Hoboken Pies and Russell’s Bakery. The class is looking forward to enjoying pizza and cookies at the end of the semester.

The public is invited to the charity art show Thursday, November 29th from 7-10 p.m. at Tiny Park Gallery, 1101 Navasota Street, Suite 2, Austin, TX 78702 across from Hillside Farmacy at the corner of Rosewood and Navasota. 

In 2011-2012, Creative Action After School served 75 sites in 6 school districts in the greater Austin area, reaching 5,400 students.

“What I like about Creative Action is how we learned to work as a team.” – After School student

Teachers and Students Go on Adventures in Art

by Natalie Goodnow, Artistic Associate

Theatre Action Project (TAP) teaching artists Frank Nappi and Lindsay Palmer had the unique opportunity to craft linked curricula for their 2nd grade after school classes at Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary. They focused on the work of four artists: Frida Khalo, Rosa Bonheur, Salvador Dali and Faith Ringgold.

Actor Frank Nappi guided the students through an interactive process drama framing the entire semester as an urgent quest. He began the semester by showing students a short video which he filmed with another Teaching Artist, Miss Kate Shaw. She was in disguise as the mysterious super villain, “Z” who explained that he had magically captured teachers from the students’ very own school and transported them into famous paintings by artists such as…you guessed it– Frida Kahlo, Rosa Bonheur, Salvador Dali, and Faith Ringgold! Z cackled that the students had no hope of ever rescuing their teachers, because they knew nothing about art!

After seeing this video, the students could not wait to prove the mysterious Z wrong!  With visual artist Lindsay Palmer, the students:

  • Learned about the historical context in which these artists lived.
  • Asked big questions about why and how these artists engaged in discussions of activism about the social issues of their time.
  • Created their own artwork inspired by Kahlo, Bonheur, Dali, and Ringgold.

Back with Mr. Frank, the students engaged in narrative pantomime and improvisatory play to further explore the artists’ work. Using just some tape lines on the floor, and a lot of imagination, the students crafted a magical airplane that could journey straight into the paintings themselves, where Mr. Frank used narrative pantomime to guide students through the worlds of the paintings, their sights, sounds, smells, and textures, their people and places, and then finally (through the power of improvisatory play, also known as make believe) to rescue their captured and beloved teachers.

I’ll venture to say that the students retained much more historical knowledge than they would have had they been taught it in another way. The arts-based teaching strategies gave them a compelling need to learn that information, and also fun and hands-on ways to learn. They also learned social-emotional skills such as teamwork, confidence, and leadership, as they strategized how to work together to create these works of art, and to rescue their teachers.

And that’s how it works! Theatre Action Project uses the creative arts to activate the social, academic, and emotional development of young people. In school, after school, in our communities, every day!

Special thanks to Teaching Artists Frank Nappi and Lindsay Palmer for all your hard work this semester, and for ACE Afterschool Program Coordinator Jennifer Corrigan for your support!

February Skill Share

by Cassie Swayze, After School Programs Associate VISTA

After School I had the pleasure to host the first Skill Share of the spring semester here at the Theatre Action Project office on February 8th. Skill Shares are an excellent opportunity for our Teaching Artists (TA’s) to share their talents with their peers. Our February Skill Share was one of our best yet!

We started the evening with Benjamin Taylor, one of our TA’s at Creedmoor Elementary in Del Valle. Ben has taken TAP’s new mission to inspire our students as creative artists, courageous allies, critical thinkers, and confident leaders to heart in his classroom. In TAP After-School we call these the “4 Cs” and Ben is truly a 4C Teaching Artist. He manages to teach his kindergarten students what courageous allies and critical thinkers are; no small feat with young students. Whether they’re learning that courageous ally means “to be a good friend” or critiquing each others drawings as creative artists, they’re always using their critical thinking hats, which Ben graciously modeled for us. Read the rest of this entry

In defense of chaos, Or why we need to make a mess

by Lindsay Palmer, Teaching Artist, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary School, Del Valle ISD

So here’s the thing about creativity…it’s messy! Oh how many times have I had the experience of a visitor walking in my class room mid-art production and seen the not so subtle look of horror on their faces at catching the chaotic mess that is 15 first graders’ whose puppets are still in progress. Or drums, or costumes, or movie sets, or paintings. Yes, I know this room looks a mess but I promise there is genius underneath all of those pipe cleaners. You see it takes a mess to make greatness in my classroom. Creativity requires a certain freedom. This is the kind of freedom that kids are rarely allowed during their regular school day. I believe learning should always be a hands-on, nitty-gritty process, and in art it is essential. Once that first messy art project is underway, it sets the tone for who I am as a teacher and what this class will be like. I am the teacher that allows a little crazy. I know this is scary because one kind of crazy can lead to another, and I have experienced that. And yes, my classroom gets a little loud too. Finding balance between keeping some order, and maintaining authority in the room, while simultaneously easing up on their normal school day rules in order to foster creativity, is a tricky line to walk. Read the rest of this entry

Teaching Artist Displaying TAP Student Work

By: Natalie Goodnow, Artistic Associate
Check out the work of one of our fabulous teaching artists, Lindsay Palmer on April 30 at the Red Space Gallery! Her upcoming solo exhibition, Es Un Paisaje Bonito (It Is A Beautiful Landscape), utilizes Theatre Action Project student artwork as source material to form an abstract topographical landscape. It will be such a wonderful sight to see TAP student artwork pulled together for this wonderful event.

“The art was collected over the past year, during which I have been working with a youth outreach program that provides arts programming to under-served communities. This piece is a nod to the way in which these kids will eventually change the landscape of the world that we live in, and to the wonderful power of using one’s imagination.” – Lindsay Palmer

For more information and details please visit: http://www.blogger.com/www.redspacegallery.wordpress.com