Picture This – Art Exploration for Kids:
Balancing Wire: The Marvelous Mobiles of Alexander Calder
· As kids enter, show the wire sculpting segment from the Reading Rainbow video Galimoto
· Ask if anyone has ever heard of Alexander Calder, knows what a mobile is, has seen the mobile in the East Gallery of the National Museum of Art in Washington DC?
· Read Alexander Calder (series: Getting to know the Worlds Greatest Artists) (J709.2 VEN) (explored what a “sculptor” was, and what “abstract” meant) through the pages where his circus is discussed, then read Roarr: Sandy's Circus (Picture Book Stone) or Calder’s Circus (Picture Book Kalman), then finish the first book. Show Alexander Calder by Patricia Geis (pop-up, interactive title)
· Show examples of wire art, mobiles with realistic images (like the circus) & abstract shapes (like his later work) from Calder, then showed samples I had made (showed how to cut & fold to make positive & negative spaces & explained how they could bend and attach the wires to put their own mobiles together
· Kids made mobiles out of wire & paper and/or twist wire sculptures (supplies: 22 gauge wire (can be cut with child’s Fiskar scissors and is available from floral section at Michaels - $2.99 roll was enough for 40 kids) (alternative if you have time & $ could use colored twisting wire from www.twisteez.com - maybe available elsewhere as well), scissors, die-cut animals & shapes, assorted construction and fancy papers, hole punches.)
· Show the story segment & the high-wire segment from Reading Rainbow video Galimoto to early finishers
· Resources: Alexander Calder (J730 SCH), Great Modern Masters: Calder (730.92 LEM), The Usborne Art Treasury (J750.11 DIC) p.36-39, new book Sandy’s Circus – Stone (JB Calder)! What’s the Big Idea? (J709.04 RAI) pp.26-31.
· http://wiki.ehow.com/Create-a-Calder-Mobile , http://www.cstone.net/~bcp/K/KAArt.htm
· Did a variation of this program 12/2010 “Shape Up.” Two programs, Ages 3-6 & Ages 4-9 : Shared books “Shapes that Roll” (both groups) and “Alexander Calder” (above – older group only) then made mobiles & stabiles. Played Putamayo’s “World Playground” as background music – which resulted in spontaneous dancing with completed mobiles afterwards.
SRC 2016: Craftacular Spectacular: Shape Up - Play with Shapes (Ages 6-10) Groove and move with stories and songs then craft your own shape art:
- Opened with VHS: Galimoto (Reading Rainbow)
- asked if kids had ever made things with scrap materials
- said artist Alexander Calder loved to do this as a child – and as an adult (pix from his Circus and others from Patricis Geis’ interactive book Alexander Calder & others I’d tagged from books above
- discussed difference between representational and abstract art <—Calder did more after he studied art in Paris
- kids crafted stabiles & mobiles & shape art – materials: wire, 11x18 cardboards, shapes, scissors, hole punches, glue sticks, markers etc.
- Played rest of RR episode while kids crafted then played The Circle Game: Folk Music for Kids (Music for Little People)