I Found Paradise – Young Artist’s Workshop 2015
Every third year District 97 Oak Park Schools offer a Saturday morning art workshop for many of their students who want a creative experience with a professional artist from the community. (It used to be every year!) This year the program was a community effort of about 30 artists teamed up with about 10 to 15 students in each session. I’ve taught for the program for at least the last 12to 15 years and have lost track of the different projects I’ve done. I recall some hand-dyed yarn/weaving projects, felted monsters and felted shaker eggs, leather pocket necklaces with rolled leather beads, This year I decided to work with the 7th and 8th grade students rather than the younger age group I usually take on. Yes, those dreaded middle school children that sometimes look at you with blank and/or bored eyes that express they either don’t want to be there or what you are suggesting is way below their “level”. Not so with the group this morning. Well, yes they were actually a pretty quiet group, but they took the project and rolled with it, all surpassing the sample book I had prepared for inspiration. We created a “tunnel book” with watercolored pages, words and story from the students and a fiber needle-felted front cover. I found the inspiration from this project from That Artist Woman and her tutorial for a tunnel book. (Please check out her website, she has a lot of wonderful projects for kids and adults!) I even “borrowed like an artist” her theme of “paradise”. Today I found the perfect place to spend a rainy Saturday morning here in Oak Park. I found Paradise with 7th and 8th grade aspiring artists! Please enjoy the pictures of their process. And next time you are faced with a rainy Saturday morning, please create a tunnel book of your own! You may find your own Paradise.