Archive for kids

May 26 2012 Kids Workshop @ Life In Deep Ellum

Posted in Artists, Community, Deep Ellum, Love, Magic, Workshops with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2012 by artlovemagic

Story by: Charlsie Grace
Photos by: Nicole Rodriguez

Did you catch the latest ArtLoveMagic kids workshop last Saturday, May 26th, 2012? We had 10 visual artists and 3 performing artists working right alongside the kids. Each professional artist had their own station and the studio style event (as opposed to classroom style) allowed kids the freedom to come and go to whatever station caught their eye. Things flowed very well with the kids (and some fun adults too) moving from station to station, almost always trying out every last activity. It was really magical to see some of the best talent in the current Dallas art and music scene in the same room teaching, inspiring, and investing in the future generation of Dallas artists.

When you first walked into the venue you could hear the beautiful, beating sounds of percussion coming from the Mokah Lounge, where Kelly Nygren was stationed. This area had one of the coolest vibes and was by far the most comfy with all the pillows on the floor. The kids spent quite a bit of time in this area because they were free to be as loud as they wanted–banging on drums and an assortment of kitchenware items, playing tambourines and egg shakers.

 The watercolors were a big hit! Kate Colin, whose portfolio was on display within the Life In Deep Ellum Gallery, and Ashley Jones are both wonderful watercolor artists and they did a great job engaging with the kids at their stations. You could tell that kids of all ages were having a fantastic time creating their watercolor projects.

Young artists were challenged and inspired in their drawing skills by Jason Kinney’s pencil art station. Jason is a professional artist with an incredible gift for creating amazing photographic-like portraits by using nothing but a pencil… with no formal training. He worked closely with the kids, helping them individually by showing them the exact pencil techniques he uses to create a drawing.

Teenage boys seemed especially interested in Eddie Medina’s comic book style. Eddie is great at comic book illustrations and the kids loved getting his help drawing their own favorite characters, like dragons and “The Hulk.”

Harmony Witte started her station off by drawing a dragon and after some collaborative painting, the kids turned it into this amazingly bright and colorful art piece. Each kid brought his or her own ideas, interpretation, and special artistic touch to the piece.

Riley Holloway worked with the kids, teaching them how to illustrate the human body. His realistic form and unique approach had the youth engaged and wanting to learn more.

The kids were initially nervous to go on stage for the performing station, but once a couple people went up there first, everyone wanted to try it out. Issac Davies did a great job at showing the kids how to freestyle rap and MC, and the legendary DJ EZ Eddie D taught them some DJing techniques.

I really loved Ixchel Aguilar’s idea for her face painting station… set out the paint and let the kids do it themselves! It was very entertaining to see how different each person took on the challenge. Some kids painted blobs on their faces and some got really elaborate and painted, not just their face, but also their arms and legs.

One of the coolest activities of the day was Cori Berg’s marble art. Each person put a piece of paper, a marble, and their choices of paint in a Pringles can. Then they shook it all around and each resulting painting was unique and different from all the others. This was a big hit with the younger kids!

Jerod Davies and Bari Candy were troopers for working out in the Texas heat all afternoon. They both created two very interactive and fun stations. Jerod set up a huge board with tons of paint and brushes. The kids each collaborated on the over-sized piece, “Just-Us League” style. Bari taught the kids how to create with spray paint in her outdoor station.

Thank you so much to every single adult, child, artist, and volunteer who spent your day with us! A very special thanks to the Just-Us League, Jeanne Blanton (in memory of Don), Life in Deep Ellum, and Zini’s Pizzeria. Without your support and donations this event could not have happened, so THANK YOU! If you’d like to donate to or volunteer for future workshops, please contact Jennifer Gibbs at

Now that the event is over and we’re beginning to plan the next one, we need your feedback. Were you at the May 26th kids workshop? What did you/your kids think of the event? What do you want to see at future events?


Posted in Artists, Community, Deep Ellum, Love, Magic, music, Shows, Workshops with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by artlovemagic

Who? All youth 6-16 and their parents

When? Saturday May 26th, noon-4pm

How Much? FREE!!

Where? Life in Deep Ellum- 2803 Taylor Street, Dallas, Texas 75226


Kids will work alongside professional artists of all different mediums. Including music, paint, pottery, pencil, watercolor, chalk, murals, paper crafts and more… Your child will have an opportunity to play, explore, create and learn!

With so many schools diminishing (or eliminating) art programs, it’s more important than ever to find ways to inspire our youth to think creatively and learn new ways to express themselves positively!

Each artist participating in this workshop is a local, working professional.

Confirmed artist lineup: Cori Berg (Craft), Ashley Jones (Mixed Media), Ixchel Aguilar (Painting), Riley Holloway (Drawing), Jason Kinney (Painting), Eddie Medina (Comics), Harmony White (Water color), Kate Colin (Water color), Jerod Davies (Spray paint collage), Bari Candy (Charcoal/Spraypaint),  Issac Davies (MC), Kelly Nygren (Percussion), DJ Ez Eddie (DJ).

The set-up will be studio, not classroom style. Parents must stay on premises. No need to bring anything but your creativity and excitement!

If you would like to volunteer or are interested in donating art supplies or cash donations for a future Kids Workshop please email: jenn@

Special ALM thanks to the Just Us League, whose generous donations made this important event possible, as well as Life in Deep Ellum who lovingly provided their awesome venue for this event.

ArtLoveMagic Kid’s Workshop – November 2011

Posted in Artists, Community, Deep Ellum, Love, Magic, photography, Shows, Workshops with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2011 by artlovemagic

story by Michael Lagocki
photos by Nicole Rodriguez and Michael Leyzer

On November 19th, 2011 we produced another one of our series of Kid’s Workshops. The intent with these is to get kids bumping elbows with real local artists and getting the chance to create alongside of them.

I’m thrilled to say, the event was a huge success. We were nervous, to be honest. On previous workshops we bussed kids in from local schools, but this time the event was completely open. We had no many idea how many kids were going to show up. Fortunately, we had a packed house. Kids and parents from many surrounding area came by the dozens.

We had 8 visual artists and two performing artists work with the children. Everyone understood that what were we trying to do was nothing like a classroom. We wanted to get away from formalized teaching and rely on a more “studio” approach. What the kids would experience was very much like what the artists experience in their daily lives as professionals.

Including a DJ this time around was a real plus. DJ Sean P let the kids scratch records on his turntables, while local MC IZK taught them how to use a microphone and create simple freestyle rhymes.

Outside, painter Jerod Alexander Davies taught his “Just.Us.League.” style of collaborative painting, including using spray paint for graffiti effects. The same week Jerod shared these skills with us and the kids, he had a new mural open at the Dallas Museum of Art. This is exactly the kind of experience we wanted to achieve with the idea of kids collaborating with real local artists.

Every station had a different artform, led by a different local artist. The kids were welcome to roam free and stay wherever they wanted for as long as they wanted. Surprisingly, the crowds were pretty evenly spread about. It seemed most kids experienced the majority of the stations, but each had a different favorite.

This workshop was possible because of generosity. Donor Jeanne Blanton funded the workshop (in memory of Don). ArtLoveMagic and the Deep Ellum Foundation produced the day. We had a volunteer crew that was beyond amazing, with multiple volunteers actually setting up impromptu art stations themselves and teaching once we realized we had more kids than we expected.

TREES very generously donated their building and several staff members to host us. I kept thinking, how amazing is it that these kids are getting to perform on a stage, with the real equipment, in one of the most well known music venues in Deep Ellum. If these kids do go on to be in a band in ten or fifteen years, they may very well come back and play this stage again.

I know in my life, it was often a short encounter with someone who was willing to share their knowledge that led to me learning faster and gaining confidence in my art. I believe we created many of those moments for the kids at the workshop. Each artist involved was a stand out, not just for their talent, but for their giving personalities.

You know you’re doing something right when someone in the crowd brings you a cake to say thanks. (((thank you, Iris!))).

This was a great workshop, and we feel great about all those who taught, helped, and attended. Keep watching or our facebook page to learn about other upcoming workshops and live art events from our crew.

ArtLoveMagic fills creative gap in education

Posted in Community, Deep Ellum, Workshops with tags , , on September 13, 2011 by artlovemagic

Shoka Kamaria-Ford painting at Underground 2010. Photo by Pablo Herrera.

Written By Lindsey Bever

Early last year, Shoka Kamaria-Ford’s art went live.

Working among many professional artists in Dallas, he painted a surrealistic picture of a building crumbling in the sky during ArtLoveMagic’s Underground, the group’s biggest annual art show.

The year before, Kamaria-Ford was a student at a free ArtLoveMagic Kids Workshop.

Kamaria-Ford, 20, now a student at El Centro College, said the workshops give students the opportunity to “get their minds on something positive that will awaken their lives.”

“It taught me to keep on working on your craft, just constantly create,” he said.

ArtLoveMagic, which was founded in 2007 as a volunteer-based community of artists who create art live at events around Dallas, has worked to foster creativity though children’s workshops the last few years. And now, with many schools struggling to supply sufficient art classes — or any at all — these artists are stepping up to fill the creative gap.

Conor Muldoon teaching kids how to spin clay. Photo by Josh Dryk.

“The workshops started as a reaction to having a lot of talent around and then, also, seeing how the school districts were knocking out art classes,” said Michael Lagocki, cofounder of ArtLoveMagic. “The thing about creativity classes is that they teach kids to think metaphorically… These things aren’t little robots. You have to foster intelligent minds.”

About once a year, the organization sets up an art studio, rather than a classroom, with a handful of local artists working to spark the children’s creativity through spray painting, drawing and pottery, among other media. It’s an opportunity for about 60 or 70 disadvantaged students to learn, not from educators, but from real, local artists.

“I know that there are kids in those schools who are bent toward art or bent toward creativity, and they need to be cared for. And then the rest of the kids need to at least get some exposure on a certain level, too,” Lagocki said. “So we put them with people who are bleeding passion for that stuff, people who are devoting their whole life to it.”

In 2009, ArtLoveMagic was recognized by the city of Dallas for its kids’ workshops.

Nicole Rodriguez, director of the kids’ workshops, said, eventually, ArtLoveMagic wants to make a bigger impact by turning the workshops into yearlong mentoring opportunities.

“Oh man, they touch us, too. It’s kind of looking into your future, kind of handing down the arts to the next generation,” said Rodriguez, a special education teacher at Routh Roach Elementary in Garland. “I feel like we’re providing them an outlet for emotions they need to be feeling or working on an artistic talent they might not be aware of.”

Although the children’s workshops are taught by ArtLoveMagic artists, The Deep Ellum Foundation donates the space, and donor Jeanne Blanton pays the artists, Lagocki said.

For Kamaria-Ford, it was a ticket into Underground, a bonding opportunity, he said.

“There was just a sense of unity,” said Kamaria-Ford, who wants to run his own art business one day. “Students and professional artists, we were just all artists sharing the same space. They were just teaching us a lot of things about life, about being an artist.”

Art & Coffee, a monthly open mic and live art show, will be from 7:30-10:30 p.m. today at It’s A Grind, 2901 Indiana Blvd. in Dallas.

The ArtLoveMagic management meeting, which will give the public an opportunity to participate in upcoming events, will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 7 at 2630 E. Commerce St. in Dallas. Bring a couple of coins for the metered parking.

For more information, visit

Press Release for next ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop

Posted in Artists, Community, Deep Ellum, PR, Service with tags , , , on July 15, 2009 by artlovemagic

For Immediate Release

July 15, 2009

Deep Ellum Foundation

2630 Commerce St.

Dallas, TX 75226

(214) 747-3337

Dallas Kids and Artists Creating Magic Again

2nd ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop July 24th

Dallas, TX – Deep Ellum reaches out to Dallas kids with its youth art program.  501(c)3 organization, the Deep Ellum Foundation, teams up with Dallas art and performance collective, ArtLoveMagic, to host the second ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop Friday, July 24th, 2009.

After a successful premiere workshop in May, new energy for the interactive art program sparked the interest of Deep Ellum benefactors.

Jeanne Blanton, local real estate and property owner, is founding the Don Blanton Art Endowment Fund in memory of her late husband.  Cultivating an appreciation for art, especially in kids, is very important to Blanton.  Her first donation from the endowment is a sponsorship of the ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop.

Madison Partners, LLC is a mainstay property management and real estate company in the Deep Ellum community.  Madison Partners’ CEO Susan Reese is happy to support the new program.

“I believe that the interconnections between solid community and the arts are far-reaching.  It is with exposure to the arts and hands-on experience within the arts that young people experience the joy, challenges and beauty of creating.  In return for supporting this opportunity, our community becomes the beneficiary of more involved, more sensitive, more complete citizens.”

The July workshop will connect kids from Boys and Girls Club Dallas and Arlington’s SafeHaven with artist mentors from ArtLoveMagic.  Five visual art genres will be offered to the students.  The kids will draw, paint and cartoon alongside the artists.  Students will also try their hand at creating pottery and graffiti art.

The interactive model is a fun, different approach to teaching art techniques, tells Michael Lagocki, ArtLoveMagic co-founder.

“This is not like a classroom where the children are taught from the front of a room, using a pre-planned lesson. The kids are in the mix, touching the tools, reacting to what the artist is creating live, just as the artist is reacting to them. Every outing is absolutely unique because it is dependent on what the artists and the kids create together.”

Art, fun, and learning make the workshop an unforgettable experience for all involved.  Pizza at lunch tops off the day, and leaves lots of smiling faces in its wake.

For more information about the ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop, please contact:

Tressie Knowlton

Deep Ellum Foundation

Development & Marketing Coordinator

(214) 707 9833

ArtLoveMagic kids workshop

Posted in Artists, Love, Magic with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2009 by artlovemagic

Samax Amen wrote this article for his ziontiffic blog.
Copy and paste. Thanks, Samax!

you know I love kids… it has only gotten worse (or is that better?) since i had one of my own. so when my boy Mike asked me to participate in the Arts Workshop he had set up for this past Saturday, i was ALL over it!

the event was at the Deep Ellum Community Center in downtown Dallas, so i saddled-up rolled out. even though i had to be there at the ghastly hour of 8:30 am (yes, freelancing from home has spoiled me) i was actually on-time and ready to rock! and rock it did! Mike and I did a drawing demonstation, but there were painters, a potter and graf artists in the house sharing the love of the art with these kids, who were mad eager to learn and show what they could do as well!

it’s very rewarding to get a chance to touch somebody’s life, especially kids. Artists are so seldom seen as valuable for teaching kids not only about art but also about life in general, but that’s what makes artLoveMagic cool, ’cause that’s what we do. i encourage artists to look for opportunities large or small to teach what they do.
words by samax Amen
photos by Carolyn Collins

When kids attack

Posted in General Wierdness, Love with tags , on May 14, 2009 by artlovemagic

n682019738_2540370_32934This pic is just too funny. This is Sarah Rodriguez attacking artlovemagic founder Michael Lagocki at our family Mother’s Day event. The sheer joy on her two year old face as she pound Mike’s head into the floor just radiates.

Photo by Dee Hill.

ArtLoveMagic on NBC

Posted in PR, Shows with tags , , on May 13, 2009 by artlovemagic

Frickin’ sweet!

We’ve got a workshop this weekend in partnership with the Deep Ellum Foundation for the kids of Dallas.  You can read all about it on NBC’s DFW site.

Super thanks to Annie Potasznik for the story.

–posted by Justin “that just happened” Nygren