October 2006 Archives

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Are the ancient scratchings and paintings found in more than two hundred caves scattered through southwestern France and northeastern Spain, sophisticated renderings done by ‘cave man’ artists?… or are they the playful ‘doodling and graffiti’ of Paleolithic teenagers?

I absolutely love the idea that "kids will be kids" whether they are from the ‘Paleolithic Times’ or this ‘New Millennium’, especially when it comes to their art!

Reading through this interesting article called "Secrets of the Cave Paintings" By William H. McNeill, I was delighted to read R. Dale Guthrie’s insights on the art found on the walls of several caves inhabited by Paleolithic Cave Man.

"It was, he supposes [the depiction of animal forms on rock surfaces ], —something an adolescent boy or mature man would do casually in spare time, using both sharpened stones to carve the outlines and various mineral and vegetable colors to make the animal images accurate.

Not specialized artists but quite ordinary males, Guthrie believes, were the cave artists and they decorated the walls for fun, not for any religious or other ulterior purpose."

"…youngsters were responsible for much more of preserved Paleolithic art than scholars have assumed…. I am not concluding…that all Paleolithic art is children’s art, only that works by young people constitute both a disproportionate and largely unrecognized fraction of preserved Paleolithic art."

The thought of a group of cave kids ‘just hanging out’ scratching some stuff on the walls, (mostly gory hunting pictures and human private parts)  reaffirmed my suspicions that kids are pretty much the same creatures no matter what time and place they are from.

 

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Apparently artists from all over the world, working in all kinds of mediums have jumped onto the ‘trading card bandwagon’ and I have been sitting along the side of the road, without a clue all along!

How or why I never heard of Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) until now, is beyond sad!

Just like the sports trading cards of our childhood, these tiny original artworks are collected and traded among the artists that create them. In fact they must be the exact size of those cards, at 2.5"x3.5" or 64x89mm, to be an ATC.

To this rule, a true ATC must only be traded and collected, not sold. And just like the kids, artists will trade more for some cards and less for others depending on rarity and beauty of the card.

Unique or one-of-a-kind cards are called ‘originals’; sets of identical ATCs are called ‘editions’ and are limited and numbered; sets that follow a theme are called ‘series’.

On the back of each card is the artist’s name and contact number, as well the name of the ATC and its number if it is a limited edition.

The cards are often even stored like Baseball cards in transparent protective sleeves, put into handmade books and special boxes.

There are websites and formalized organisations where this trading can take place. This morning I found a site that has lots of examples of these Artist Trading Cards as well as links to groups doing this sort of trading.

Not only do I need to get making some of these cards and trading them with other artists but I think this would be a fabulous thing to make with your kids.

They could trade them with their friends, family and other adult artists as well. For me it ‘beats the heck’ out of collecting and trading Baseball Cards any day! Of course I’ve never really been that big of a sports fan!

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As I mentioned in a previous post Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) – A very cool new collectible!, making and trading Artist Trading Cards would be a real cool thing to do with children.

And wouldn’t you know but a day or two later I find a site where kids are doing just that.

Grade 2 and 4 students from Clever Elementary Clever, MO, United States have created 273 Artist Trading Cards to trade within their classes and with another school. The project was created to help the children realize that they are truly artists and that they may end up with the ATC of a future famous artist.

Check out these beautiful cards and get excited about the potential of doing such a project with your kids.

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Wow!! Just the response we were looking for!!  The Great Spirit Bear Auction & Gala took place at The Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina Tues. October 10th. and our Spirit Bear ‘captured’ a pretty grand price!

Approximately 30 ‘Spirit Bears’ from the Greater Vancouver and Whistler areas were auctioned live with the proceeds raised from the to benefit the BC Lions Society’s Easter Seal Services and the Canucks For Kids Fund.

Our "WPGA School Spirit Bear" based on the collective artworks of over 500 kids from West Point Grey Academy as well as the bears of other British Columbia artists raised over $570,000 at the auction! (Click on ‘the bears’ link and scroll down to see the bears.)

Our bear was made possible by the generous sponsorship of 4Moms for Kids. A group of four moms from West Point Grey Academy (WPGA) in Vancouver B.C.

One of the ‘4 Moms’ had purchased my ‘Young and Free’ Orca whale, created for the Orcas in the City Project done by the Lions Society a couple of years back.

She loves the art of small children and the Look What I Drawed style of the Orca so she really wanted to involve the children of WPGA in a similar project.

When the Spirit Bears in the City Project came up, she gathered together her sister and two other moms from the school and sponsored our bear… and the rest is history!

The Spirit Bears in the City project was a fantastic experience for me that went beyond just making great art.

Thanks to the BC Lions Society both the Orcas in the City Project and the Spirit Bears in the City Project were a huge success. They were so organized and friendly to work with and are really doing wonderful things for the children who receive their services.

Our sponsors the ‘4 Moms’ were fantastic to work with as well as the children from West Point Grey Academy.

This project has so many winners:

The children and families who need the support from the BC Lions Society, The Canucks for Kids Foundation and the Easter Seals.

The artists who can share their love and talent with the community.

The sponsors who can feel good about their contributions to a worthy cause.

The children of West Point Grey Academy who had a fantastic opportunity to showcase their talents to the world and show that kids art is truly beautiful.

The Spirit Bear who with the the help of Simon Jackson and his Spirit Bear Youth Coalition gets more public attention to his fight against extinction.

The kids from Sullivan Elementary who viewed our Spirit Bear in his ‘creation process’, and whose wonderful insights into the art were truly inspiring.

And the general public as well as the people who come to visit our great city, get to enjoy the beauty and diversity of all the artwork presented.

 

Thank you so much everyone for an exciting experience that will last me and my family a lifetime.

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Environmental issues have always been important to me. So when I read that Wyland (a famous mural artist) and the Fish and Wildlife Museum in Springfield, Missouri were working with children to create art that educated children on protecting water quality I got excited.

Quoting the article, Wyland said,  "If (children) see the beauty in nature, they’ll want to help preserve it."

"It’s a masterpiece," said Wyland as he watched the children work. "Picasso said he painted his whole life to paint like a child again."

"A child’s art, he said, is a window on his or her thoughts."

Children inherit the world in whatever condition we have left it in. Educating them on protecting the Environment while they are young, means there is a greater chance they will take better care of it than we did.

Reaching children through art is a fabulous way for them to experience the beauty and wonder our Earth has.

Seeing a large mural come together piece by piece with the art of many children, shows them that even though they are small, together they are great.

Together they can make a difference!