Libraries are always thinking of new and interesting programs to try. Have you been thinking about something new to try? Consider a program in beautification or street art!
These can add some excitement to your area, and also help to showcase the library as an organization that does interesting work. (It’s always good for us to not just be the “boring people with dusty books” when people think about us!!)
Try out one of these project, and then tell us about it!
- Chalk the Walk: “Chalk the Walks (a project of The Joy Team) is all about spreading joy, optimism and inspiration through the magical power of sidewalk chalk. Remember when you were a kid and you’d draw pictures and write happy thoughts with chalk in your driveway and down the sidewalks of your street? And the adults always smiled when they read the big, pastel-colored messages? This is just like that. Only we’re bigger now. And we don’t have to go in the house when the street lights go out. The idea is as simple as it was in childhood: write happy messages, have fun doing it, spread some joy while you’re at it.”
- Moss Graffiti: “Contemporary artists have discovered that street art is not only beautiful to look at, but that it can also be soft and smooth to the touch. Moss graffiti is eco-friendly as it doesn’t use any aerosols; what the “painting” needs is just a dash of water to thrive. Here is a recipe for how to make your own moss graffiti. Just bear in mind that choosing the right space for street art is very important.”
- Yarn Bombing: “While yarn installations – called yarn bombs or yarnstorms – may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike other forms of graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary. Nonetheless, the practice is still technically illegal in some jurisdictions, though it is not often prosecuted vigorously. While other forms of graffiti may be expressive, decorative, territorial, socio-political commentary, advertising or vandalism, yarn bombing was initially almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places. It has since developed with groups graffiti knitting and crocheting worldwide, each with their own agendas and public graffiti knitting projects being run.”
- Rainworks: Using hydrophobic spray, you can paint designs on concrete that are invisible – until rain shows the art! “Anybody can visit our official tutorial page to learn how to make their own rainworks. We’ve shared all of our tips & tricks from our years of experience so that you can avoid making the mistakes we made while we were learning. The Official Rainworks Map now has over 100 rainworks, from dozens of contributors, spanning over 4 continents. Anybody who makes a rainwork can add its location to the map!”
This is my first Minnesota winter, and it’s very exciting to see how much everyone embraces the cold! And I was completely charmed to see this existing as a real thing – not some fevered too-much-cold-weather dream: a snowblower ballet.
Their slogan: The Drudgery of snow removal becomes performance art. Because it’s Minnesota.
“The beauty of falling snow has inspired artists ranging from poet Robert Frost to painter Pieter Bruegel.
But what about the aesthetic value in getting rid of the stuff?
Continue reading The St Paul Snowblower Ballet!
Librarians are big fans of Open Access materials! Our whole jobs are about sharing information with our communities – so we love to be able to do it freely!
Taking a massive step in making Open Access materials more useful to us, the Met has made most of their images available to be used by you, by your patrons, by anyone. You definitely want to browse through this material to see what kinds of images will help you in your work!
“Open Access Policy”
The Metropolitan Museum of Art creates, organizes, and disseminates a broad range of digital images and data that document the rich history of the Museum, its collection, exhibitions, events, people, and activities. Continue reading Get free images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art!
In June 2016, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their 25 Best Apps for Teaching and Learning. The apps encourage qualities such as innovation and active participation, and are user-friendly.
The app MoMa Art Lab introduces young students to modern art and allows them to create their own art in a variety of ways. Some of the activities include experimenting with paint, making a sound composition or line design, and creating a chance collage. Famous artists and their work that are featured in the app include Henry Matisse, Elizabeth Murray, Brice Marden, and more. To help with literacy skills, try the Create a Shape Poem activity which uses adjectives to identify parts of a free form drawing. The app does include parental controls, and also allows users to store and share their artwork.
Level: Elementary and up
Check out some reviews from teachers via Common Sense Education, then read about this teacher’s experience with using the app in her classroom.
Watch the trailer now:
Most book-lovers agree that print books have a certain beauty, and some even enjoy the smell of a book, library, or bookstore. But have you ever heard of marbled book art?
The American Antiquarian Society has been sharing the beauty of this ancient art form over their Instagram feed, and their feature #MarbledMonday has become very popular. This art form used on historical book bindings is undeniably beautifully artistic – the papers, edges, and cloths of these books are enhanced with colors and swirling patterns and shapes. Another reason for the popularity of this feature is the fact that artists in the 18th and 19th century produced these complicated patterns without the help of modern equipment!
The way these designs are produced is by placing chemicals and pigments in a water bath, then the artist manipulates the floating pigments to create patterns, which are then put onto the book edges or papers.
In the early days of America, even currency was marbled to prevent counterfeiting! Check out the full article here for more examples and pictures.
Image credit: https://unsplash.com/(Sebastian Unrau), licensed under CC0 1.0