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Monthly Archives: January 2018

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Activities

     

    Dream Cloud by Anne Bollman Dream Cloud by Anne Bollman

     

    Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It's a day we set aside to focus on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luth

    er King, Jr., a leader of The Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King's most famous speech is the one in which he said "I have a dream." Here some ways to remember that famous speech and create new ideas and plans to keep Dr. King's dream alive.

    I Have a Dream Mobile

    Draw one large cloud on a piece of paper and cut it out. Then draw and cut three smaller ones. On the large cloud, write "I have a dream." And then on each small cloud, write down a dream. Maybe one for yourself, one for your family, and one for the world. Or maybe just three things you hope to accomplish in the future. Punch three holes in the large cloud. Along the base, and one at the top of each small cloud. Cut three pieces of string, each around a foot long. Tie one end of each piece to a hole in the large cloud, then attach each small cloud to a string. Punch a hole at the top of the large cloud for hanging. And now you have a Dream Mobile! Find some examples here.

    Volunteer

    Want to help make other people's dreams come true? You can be a volunteer. Maybe a small child you know has a dream of learning to read. Can you help? Maybe an elderly neighbor has a dream of seeing her yard neat and tidy. Can you help? Here's a Pinterest link that lists lots of good ways to find out where your volunteer help is needed.

    Read

    There are lots of really good books about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A new one just came out last year, called I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. Go to your local library and ask a librarian what books they have about this great man. You may even find a display of books about Dr. King in honor of the holiday.

    Most importantly, keep dreaming! (Here's a link to our featured art by Anne Bollman.)

  • Snowflake Art

    Are you cold? We are cold. It seems like the whole country is cold right now, even in the South (but especially in the Northeast!). Whether you have snow or not, this week seems like the perfect time for snowflake art.

    Folded Paper Snowflakes

    Have you tried folded paper snowflakes? They're fun to make because all you need is a piece of paper, a pair of scissors, and your imagination. Take a square piece of paper (you can cut the short side of a piece of printer paper to make it a square) and fold it in half, then in half again. You can fold it in triangles or in rectangles and squares--or even both! Then make cut-outs in the paper. Make sure lots of the cutouts are along the fold, cutting all the layers of paper. When you unfold the paper you will have one-of-a-kind snowflake art! Here's a pretty terrific template you can print out for free. Just fold the square into triangles, cut on all the lines, and you'll be all set.

    Popsicle Stick Snowflakes

    Another easy one! This craft requires just popsicle sticks (craft sticks, found at craft stores), glue, and glitter or markers. Glue three or four sticks (or more if you want to get really fancy) at the center and decorate. Suddenly, it's snowing!

    Beaded Snowflakes

    This snowflake art is as fun to make as it is to look at, because putting the beads on the pipe cleaners makes the snowflake appear right before your eyes. Here's a link on how to do this one, but it's not hard. Just cut some pipe cleaners, wind them together, and string on some pretty beads. Blue ones work well, but you can create rainbow snowflakes if you want to.

    Stay warm, everyone!

     

  • Hanukkah Crafts for Kids

    Happy Hanukkah by Donna Ingemanson Happy Hanukkah by Donna Ingemanson

    Happy Hanukkah! We are a few days in to this eight-day Jewish holiday, and we're celebrating with some of our favorite Hanukkah Crafts for Kids.

    Craft Stick Menorah

    This clever project requires only a few things: 12 craft sticks, glue, and paper or tissue paper. Glue two craft sticks together, long-way, with a small overlap at the center for the glue. Make a base by gluing one stick to the bottom and another across it for the base. Then place nine candles along the long stick, gluing them in back. Make sure the center one, the Shamash, is a little higher than the rest. Cut flame shapes from the paper or tissue paper and glue them on top of each candle for the flame. You can glue them all at once for a decoration, or you can put new the "flame" on every night of the eight days of Hanukkah. Use colored paper and sticks or color them yourself with magic markers or paint.

    Marshmallow Dreidels

    How adorable are these? And so, so easy. Just stab a pretzel stick into a marshmallow and attach a Hershey's Kiss using frosting. Yum! If you'd like to decorate your dreidel, use frosting to glue on some sprinkles. These dreidels may not actually spin (but you can try it!), but they're delicious.

    Star of David Stamp

    For this Hanukkah craft, , you need a potato, paper, pen, knife, scissors, and paint. Draw a star of David on the paper and cut it out. Use that as the template for the potato. Cut the potato in half and put the star template on the cut part. Trace around it with the pen and then use the knife to cut away at all the parts around the star. Pour out some paint onto a plate or in a bowl and stamp away. There are a few nights of Hanukkah gift-giving left, so you can use this Star of David stamp to make wrapping paper!

    Happy Hanukkah to all! Check out our Hanukkah placemats, a perfect Hanukkah gift that will become a beloved part of you celebration.

  • Meet Camille Engel

    Camille Engel is a life-long artist whose career took off mid-life.

    Camille Engel is widely known for her uncanny artistic ability to paint photorealistically--in a style so true-to-life that it resembles a photograph. In fact, the thirteenth painting she ever did won an award in a New York City exhibition for its realism. When you take into account that Camille is self-taught, and that painting was, in her words, “like telling me to speak Greek--I had no idea how to even dip the brush into the paint,” it’s clear that she’s got an abundance of talent that was waiting to be harnessed.

    “As a kid I drew and colored all the time,” Camille remembers. “My great aunt was extremely encouraging toward my art. She’d give me paper and pencil and I would draw things. I drew upside-down and when I showed them to people I’d turn them right side up. She’d say, ‘you were so little your brain hadn’t connected what you were seeing with what you were drawing.’”

    But Camille was, in her words, “a child of fifties,” and expected to be a secretary or teacher or accountant. “My mother had dreams of me being an accountant. She wanted me to take typing and math electives in high school but my dad said ‘leave her alone.’ So I did take an art elective, but I also took typing. I can still type.” And as for accounting, “if I’d become an accountant I’d probably be in jail right now, saying, ‘wait, what did I do wrong?’” Camille laughs. “Numbers are not my gift.”

    However, this prolific artist numbers every painting she does, and has from the very start, which is how she knows that lucky number thirteen was her first winner of many to come. It’s part of her goal of creating a traceable provenance for every piece she creates.

    Engel was identified in high school as a candidate for a prestigious vocational education program in Tulsa (where she grew up). She studied Commercial Art, which is what Graphic Design was called in those days.

    Even before she graduated Camille was employed by a local department store. “I pencil-illustrated everything for the newspaper--the shoes, lawn mowers, dresses--whatever they advertised in the newspaper,” close, detailed work that served her well years later when she transferred that skill for depicting realism to her fine art.

    Work at an ad agency and in logo design led to a move to Nashville and starting her own business at age 23. “My mom raised me to be very independent and confident,” Camille says. “She didn’t want me to be dependent on anybody else. I’m extremely grateful--she was looking out for me.”

    All the while, Camille says, she thought about painting. “I’d go to galleries and look at paintings and there was something in my gut that said ‘you can do this,’ but I had never done any painting.” And then came one fateful day in church. “My pastor said ‘if you have a dream that’s been burning inside of you and you’ve had it for awhile, it could be God guiding you. I want you to follow your dream.’ As soon as he said that I knew that for me, it was painting.”

    And from there, she never looked back. “I went out and bought brushes and paint and canvases. I called a local museum. I said ‘I’m old, I don’t have time to mess around, who is your best teacher?’” She was forty-five and embarking on a whole new career.

    That career has been extremely successful, with her very first bird painting winning an artist choice award for realism in a Sante Fe show for realism. (“That was a huge beginning,” she says. “That started the flow of bird paintings.”)

    We at GreenBox Art + Culture are thrilled to welcome Camille Engel into our community of artists. Her Trespasser series is a group of birds who appear to have popped right into the painting, just as they popped right into her studio one day. “I have a studio in my home,” she relays. “There are bird feeders surrounding the studio and water baths. I get to study them. In Nashville it’s usually too muggy and buggy to open studio doors to let a natural breeze in. But a few days are fabulous. This Trespasser series came about when one fabulous day I opened both my French doors to let the sun and breeze in. All these birds started coming in. A titmouse on my easel. Hummingbirds were attracted to a red background in the room. Cardinals on the couch. They were all coming in to my house like they lived there. So I thought what if they created their own little living spaces here? It’s been my most successful series.”

    And we are pleased to feature it, as well as other paintings by the talented Camille Engel, here at GreenBox.

     

     

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