On Thursday January 13th, 2011, we began a new adventure around the world in my Art Around the World class. I decided that the best place to begin, since we were picking up some new travelers this semester, would be the good ol’ USA. USA! USA! And what better place to be in the USA than New York City? Well we all know the answer, and the answer is no-where. We read The Adventures of Taxi Dog, by Sal and Debra Barracca, and imagined we were taking a taxi all around New York City, weaving in and out of traffic. (It is important to point out that these students of mine live in a sleepy part of Brooklyn called Windsor Terrace, where they likely take gypsy cabs and car services and hardly ever get to ride in the yellow taxis. The ones with cabbies who have a conniption if they even hear the name of an outer borough.) So there we were, swerving through traffic, whizzing by the Chrysler , the Flat Iron, the Empire State building, past Central Park, up the West Side, past the Museum of Natural History, and there we were in Harlem. Where the Harlem Renesance happened, and home to the great Apollo Theater. Also the place where an Artist named Romare Bearden lived in the 60’s and 70’s. Romare Bearden being my favorite collage artist.
At this point we watched a quick slide show I had put together in iPhoto, of Romare Bearden’s work accompanied by some Miles Davis, because I thought it might set the mood. After the slide show, I had a few students share with the class one of their past experiences with collage. Then we all set out to create out own New York city, using a mix of paper and fabric scraps. Below are some photos of the work: