Monthly Archives: December 2008

Elementary Art at the Dana Branch Library

Our first workshop will be on Saturday January 24 at 10 AM at the Long Beach Dana Branch Library.
Please visit their website for full details.

The library is located at:
3680 Atlantic Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 570-1042



Filed under art education, art lessons, artists teaching art, elementary art education, Long Beach art, shibori girl

Making a case for “made in America”

-or just about anywhere really. When it comes to making things, there’s apparently more to it than meets they eye. Paul Sedan recently wrote an article published in the Christian Science Monitor making a case for the value of working with your hands. I hungrily read the article hoping he had included some references to scientific studies I’ve been reading about that make a further case for “making” and it’s effects on brain chemistry and the role it has in lifting depression, among other benefits.
The book I’m speaking of is “Lifting Depression“, by Kelly Lambert, PhD. Subtitled, A Neuroscientist’s Hands-On approach to Activating Your Brain’s Healing Powers, she points out her idea that activities culminating in efforts based rewards can often be a great alternative to much of the psychopharmacology offered up to treat depression as well as other mood disorders. In my life, there hasn’t been much room for depression and now maybe I understand a little better why that has been true.
Further researching this subject, I simultaneously began reading Dan Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind”. This book has so many ideas it’s hard to offer up just one. Suffice it to say that it offers up lots of positive ideas for creative thinking that can be sorted through and applied to good use in our everyday and business worlds.
Which led me to a marvelous study into Ellen Dissanayake’s book “What is Art For?“. In it she lays out a case delivering a biological justification for the existence of art and beauty in humankind. This book is a powerhouse. I think it must be a college text for art theory classes because reading it I feel as I am really being schooled.
I have to read it in smaller sections (as compared to the other two books) and let it sit and digest a bit. Still working on this one.

Of course all of this is fueling my fire as far as why I am so concerned about the lack of creativity (I’m not even going to call it “art” anymore!) in our public school education -especially here in the LBUSD.
Of course, this mostly falls on deaf ears, gets lip service and leaves me preaching to the choir while tilting towards windmills… so to speak. In the coming months while parents and children suffer the stresses of our credit weary, eco-abusive, politically compromised society, we will need to find ways to combat these stresses on our own and work our way through the morass we have created moving toward the light of a better tomorrow.

In the meantime, Penny and I visited Trash for Teaching the other day and hauled away some fabulous stuff for our soon to be announced free public workshop at the local Dana Branch Library. We purchased a membership ($50 each-$100) and as members we can weigh out as many pounds of their materials as we can use in a year! Hooray!
Lauri from Trash for Teaching tells me if you have a school that you would like to purchase a membership for, it is completely tax deductible and makes a great holiday gift. Even if you aren’t connected to a school, any donation you give them will be put to great use, both for education and for the environment. I have been there- it is a bare bones operation with a small passionate staff.
Also, our donate page has been reactivated and updated. (sorry we don’t have 501C3 status and aren’t tax deductible:-))

We have met with the librarian, Jennifer, settled on the basic format, and agreed to a “take it as it comes” approach and will make adjustments as needed. Our first workshop is on January 24, 2009 and the press release will go something like this:

Elementary Art is coming to the Dana Branch Library!

Looking for more arts education opportunities for your kids? Hosted by the Dana Branch Library and run by Elementary Art education advocates Penny Voelker and Glennis Dolce, free monthly Saturday art workshops (10Am-12 Noon) will be offered for families with children 9 years old and up.

Each month’s’s program includes an introductory discussion of art, a demonstration of techniques to be used in the workshop, and open studio work time. Held on the fourth Saturday of each month through June, the program begins at 10 AM sharp. Late-comers will be welcomed to join in during the last half hour of the session. Space is limited to 25.

For more information, ask the Dana Branch Librarian or visit our blog:

Elementary Art – Join us Saturday January 24, 2009 at 10 Am – 12 Noon!

Come and explore collage with texture as we utilize materials diverted from local manufacturers and made available for educational purposes! This lesson focuses on creating an artwork based on a still life and learning techniques for adding texture to your collage work. Inexpensive (free) and fun for all ages 9 and up.

Dana Branch Library
3680 Atlantic Ave
Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 570-1042

All this has taken up far more time than I had allotted and I must get back to Shibori Girl and make a dime or two today. Many thanks to those of you who follow both blogs and especially those of you who are purchasing my work as holiday gifts and what not. It IS what pays the bills around here! Your patronage is warmly appreciated.


Filed under art education, artists teaching art, elementary art education, LBUSD, Long Beach art, shibori girl, teaching kids art