The start of the school year is nigh. It's this time of year that I get all excited about organizing my school bag and reinvigorating my art curriculum! I'm on a constant quest to keep things fresh for my learners and thus, I find myself visiting lots of libraries, bookstores, and art museum looking for inspiration.
Philly is a goldmine for artistic experiences and this year, my search led me to an often over-looked gem on Philly's main parkway. We all know about the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), The Barnes, and the Rodin Museum, but have you ever heard of The Perelman Building? Perhaps I am just out of the loop, but I hadn't! Admission to the Perelman is included in the admission fee of a regular PMA ticket. A short walk down the hill and across Pennsylvania Avenue and you find yourself in front of an Art Deco architectural masterpiece.
The exhibit I liked most was titled Northern Lights: Scandinavian Design and runs through October 4th. As stated in the blurb placed on the wall at the beginning of the exhibit, the Scandinavian aesthetic was rooted in a belief that,"the good design of attractive, well-designed objects could have a positive impact on society." I definitely agree with this statement! This exhibit is a must see for anyone who appreciates the Danish Modern aesthetic that has seen a revival from the hit show Mad Men.
Sometimes I get so used to my role as an art educator that I forget just how much fun I have being an art student! Luckily, the Department of Making + Doing (DM+D) exists in West Philadelphia to let learners of all ages drop in on hyper interesting classes almost every night of the week! (DM+D) is a collaboration between four Philly-based organizations that specialize in design, fabrication, electronics, and art to encourage learning through doing. In short, they provide a space where makers and doers can come in and have access to really cool tools like a die cutters, 3-D printers, sewing machines, and power tools! Oh, and in addition to their awesome classes, they have FREE "Drop In And Do" evenings every single Thursday. Pretty cool, eh?
While most of the classes offered in this space, focus on technology, I signed up for their $5 Japanese Calligraphy class. Yep, folks, $5!!! I invited a few fantastic teacher friends from my district and we made a night of it. Our instructor, Sara Winters, was an absolute expert. She had all kinds of inside knowledge about the incredibly intricate art of Shodo. As an art teacher, the four big ideas I took away from this workshop that I will pass on to my kiddos are :
Sunny is an art teacher who is living the dream. The only thing she enjoys more than her curious students are the adventures she has with her loving husband and cat in the fabulous city of Philadelphia!
Artful Artsy Amy
The Department of Making + Doing
The Philadelphia Museum of Art