I am always on the look-out for teaching students about awesome, seldom "undiscovered" artists. I mean, everyone knows about Picasso. Everyone knows about Van Gogh....but have you ever heard of Mr. Imagination?!
Mr. Imagination (born Gregory Warmack) is one of those artists the kids never tire of, and I love doing this lesson with my Kindergartners! Pictured above is me standing under the "Unity Arch" at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Imagination built the Unity Arch out of cement, plaster and thousands of little knick-knacks given to him from passers-by as he was building the Arch.
This is a close-up picture of some of the things in the Arch. Other things include dog tags, a space-traveled coin, dentures, earrings, and family photographs. Mr. Imagination built the Unity Arch in 1998 and dedicated it to the late Princess Diana.
With my kiddos I seek to give them the same artistic freedom Mr. Imagination had--- to create a "memory tile" using plaster, beads, buttons, and baubles of significance to them.This is how I set their tables up, a cup of pre-measured dry plaster, pre-measured water, square (donated--- they used to be allergy shot trays) trays, and a tray of buttons, beads and other treasured items.
My students mix the water into the plaster cups and mix with a popsicle stick.
They then scoop out the plaster into the tray. I intentionally make it a little runny so it doesn't harden before they want it to!
The fun part comes when they get to go through the "treasure tray" to pick things out that pertain to themselves... certain colored or shaped beads, animals, soccer balls, sea shells, etc.
They then start dropping the items into the plaster and create their masterpiece!
Happy creating (and Happy Mother's Day!)
Joanna Davis-Lanum is a National Board certified Art Teacher at Garden Elementary School in Venice, Florida. She is the author and voice behind her classroom blog We Heart Art and adores "handmade anythings" from children. For more lessons or ideas, please hop on over to see more!