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