On the field, the 49ER’s elite tight end is a gifted football player, but in the studio, Vernon Davis expresses his creative side. Growing up in a rough neighborhood in Washington, DC, Davis found peace and enjoyment in art. He went on to major in studio art at the University of Maryland. Through the years, he has recognized that the arts have been considered uncool. In fact, he grew up trying to keep his love for art hidden. Now, he’s trying to change that perception. Last fall, Vernon Davis opened Gallery 85, his own art studio located in San Jose, California.The studio features both his art, as well as creations by emerging artists. He also created the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts. The mission of his foundation is to bring art back as a genuine, viable outlet for inner-city youth, giving them new, positive ways to express themselves. His foundation helps fund arts education and art appreciation for at-risk youth, as well as awards college art scholarships for select youths from low-income communities. Vernon Davis wants to make art cool. Regardless of the outcome of this Sunday’s Super Bowl, we applaud Vernon Davis, who is using his celebrity in a positive way to encourage children in art.
Today Abrakadoodle joins millions in celebrating Lights On Afterschool, a campaign of the Afterschool Alliance, which recognizes the importance of providing safe, strong afterschool options for children nationwide. In a recent interview on Education Nation, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said “Not just safe but learning” when speaking about children’s experiences in afterschool programs. We applaud this thinking and the notion of providing children with brain-boosting opportunities that extend classroom learning. Abrakadoodle’s after school programs combine strong arts education with increasingly valuable creativity development, which engages children in hands on learning that emphasizes problem solving, originality and imaginative
Gains are beyond measure when children develop a sense of confidence and craftsmanship in the process of creating art. Art is such a powerful communication tool, and children in our program learn to appreciate the unique voice that each of them brings to his or her own creative endeavor. Consider enrolling your child in art afterschool to inspire your child’s imaginative skill building!
Pop Art just sounds fun, doesn’t it? It brings to mind ideas that are fresh and burst off the page in colorful, clever ways. Pop Art originated in the 1950’s, and it is short for Popular Art, because it was inspired by widely recognized and admired objects, advertising, publications and people ranging from Campbell’s soup to Elvis Presley to comic strips and more.
Encourage your children to try Pop Art at home! Talk about what’s popular in our culture right now. More importantly, what’s popular with your child? What with the buzz around improved nutrition and the importance of eating the rainbow, perhaps your child might like to create a favorite fruit or veggie that includes some playful Ben-Day dots. Simple shapes and bold colors will help make your children’s art POP!
Abrakadoodle conducted research during the 2011-2012 school year to determine if students exhibited gains when participating in the Abrakadoodle Art Education Program. Abrakadoodle provides a total art curriculum, art instruction conducted by an Abrakadoodle trained teacher and art materials at charter schools and private schools around the country. Students who were new to the Abrakadoodle program were tested in the fall and then again after participating in the Abrakadoodle program for seven months. The Educational Resource Group administered the Torrance® Tests of Creative Thinking. Fifty-two (52) second and fifth grade students from diverse backgrounds took part.
Overall grade scores for the entire group increased by 7 percentage points, as the scores related to the national averages. Most dramatic results were apparent among the fifth grade students, who had scored significantly below the national averages in the pretest. In addition to the Abrakadoodle Art in Our World Curriculum and Education Program, fifth graders had participated in Abrakadoodle’s Creativity Boost™ Exercises.
The highly reliable Torrance® Tests of Creative Thinking TTCT are the most widely used tests of their kind. Students in this study participated in the Figural TTCT Forms A and B: Thinking Creatively with Pictures, which includes exercises to assess five characteristics related to creative thinking. Scoring was based upon grade-related norms. The TTCT is most widely used to determine eligibility for talented and gifted programs. Normative data has been gathered from more than 55,000 students in the US and Canada. The test has been offered in more than 35 countries.
According to Mary C. Rogers, MA.ED, CEO and Co-founder of Abrakadoodle, “We know that student creative abilities decrease as they move through the grades. We are encouraged by preliminary results that may indicate that students who participate in Abrakadoodle’s quality art education programs can slow and even reverse that trend. We anticipate conducting further research to more fully assess the effects of our program on student creativity. Part of what makes our art education program unique is our devotion to creativity skills development, which is an important component of our Art in Our World Curriculum and Education Program.”
We are all drawn to color but none more so than the Fauvists of the early 1900′s, who created art that focused more on powerful colors than on the subjects of their artworks. In French, fauves translates to “wild beasts.” Many believe that fauvism grew out of the impressionism movement. The fauvists used wild brush strokes, intense colors and abstraction. Henri Matisse is a favorite artist featured in Abrakadoodle’s art program for children. His work, “Women with a Hat” (right) is said to have given rise to the Fauvism movement. Matisse simply loved art and over his life he experimented with many styles, ending his career with wonderful paper cutouts, which students in Abrakadoodle art classes love to explore. Our students create original, Matisse-inspired artworks from their own imaginations.
Andre Derain was another French artist, who was a leading painter with the Fauves. Derain became friends with Matisse. He once said, “The colors were even dynamite cartridges to us.” His artwork featured bright, flat colors with spontaneous brush strokes. He often painted landscapes.
Encourage your child to create a piece of art that is very colorful. You might add to the creative adventure by saying, “If you could make your tan colored dog or cat a color, what color or colors would you choose?” Let your child’s little inner color beast out for some arty fun!
Her artwork (“Sky Light”) graces the Obama’s private residence in the White House. She was the first student to graduate with a B.S. in Fine Arts from Howard University. She was the first African American to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum, and critics raved! A teacher and community arts developer, this lady impacted lives in a positive way. She shows us that the creative journey is limitless.
Alma Woodsey Thomas is a truly distinctive artist featured in Abrakadoodle’s creative art program for children. Born September 22, 1891, Alma showed her interest in the arts at a young age, making puppets and sculpture creations. She was a lifelong learner and educator and what you might call a late bloomer, evolving into an Expressionist painter.
Alma’s family moved her from Georgia to Washington, D.C. in 1906 due to the racial turmoil in Georgia, as well as the well-respected (though then segregated) public school system available in the nation’s capitol. Alma graduated from high school and then studied kindergarten education and became a teacher. Some years passed and in 1921, she entered Howard University and became the first graduate with a B.S. in Fine Arts in 1924. Alma went on to teach at the junior high level and started a community arts program that encouraged student appreciation of fine art. In 1934, Alma earned her Masters in Art Education from Columbia University, and she also studied painting for nearly a decade at American University. She traveled to art centers in Western Europe and after retiring in 1960, she dedicated herself to painting in the kitchen of her childhood home in D.C. She was 69 years young! Alma’s passion for education and her happy, colorful artwork inspire us all, and Abrakadoodle salutes her contribution to creativity and the arts!
According to a 2009 article, White House Art: Colors from a World of Black and White, from the New York Times, “Her art was accessible. Her abstraction was never really abstract; you could always see the nature in it: flowers, wind. Her paintings were modern but part of some older tradition too, as close to quilts as to Matisse. In a racially charged era, her art wasn’t political, or at least not overtly so. Instead of talking anger, she talked color: ‘Through color I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.’
Alma Thomas was the first African American woman to have a solor exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and that same year, her work was also shown at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
“Creativity art is for all time and is therefore independent of time. It is of all ages, of every land, and if by this we mean the creative spirit in man which produces a picture or a statue is common to the whole civilized world, independent of age, race and nationality; the statement may stand unchallenged.” ~ Alma Thomas, 1970
Overcoming your child’s resistance to try new activities
As parents, we may get some push-back from our kids when we sign them up for activities that do not seem to fit with their sense of what they can, should or want to do. Parents and kids alike are sometimes guilty of early typecasting, such as my kid is a sporty type, a techie, a bookworm, and so forth. One mom tackled her son’s reservations with great results.
A soccer, music and Star Wars fan, six-year old Luke Kohler was not too enthusiastic when he found out that his mom Jill enrolled him in Abrakadoodle art class. He did not see himself as the arty type. As his classes progressed, Luke was surprised to discover that he liked art. In class, he mastered new art techniques and learned about different artists, art forms and styles. Luke checked out art books from the school library and created art all the time.
“Luke’s story could be that of so many children – boys and girls alike,” commented Mary Rogers, MA.Ed and CEO of Abrakadoodle. “When parents give their children an opportunity to try new activities such as art, wonderful growth opportunities and possibilities for new and exciting interests emerge.”
During first grade, Luke’s world was turned upside down with a diagnosis of type one Juvenile Diabetes. While he was hospitalized at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Luke was approached about submitting artwork for the Jos. A. Banks “Miracle Tie” contest. His winning entry that year was entitled, “Santa Delivers.” A line of silk neckties inspired by Luke and several other pediatric patients was unveiled at the 12th annual “Tie into a Miracle” fashion show.
Fast forward and now Luke is 10 ½ and in fifth grade. He has discovered some new passions, such as ice hockey and playing electric guitar. Art empowered Luke, earned him recognition, helped him make a positive and lasting impact on his community and gave him great personal satisfaction then and now. What kind of opportunities might await your child?
We’re hearing a lot about sporting activities for the youngest children. Our specialty is art, and we have lots of experience with young kids, having developed art programs that have reached more than 250,000 children. Art is a great first for toddlers! In Abrakadoodle’s Twoosy Doodlers program, children ages 20-36 months explore art and creativity in a safe and nurturing environment. They use their hands and senses in new ways. At the same time their parents learn about the skills their children are developing and what is developmentally appropriate.
Abrakadoodle’s special parent/child class is often the first educational program for our Twoosys. Young children learn about color, texture, art tools and more while developing fine motor skills and cognitive abilities. They experiment with new and innovative materials. Importantly, parents/caregivers learn what they can do to help nurture creativity and early childhood development!
While some early childhood programs may be controversial, Abrakadoodle was designed and developed by educators with a clear focus on helping children develop important skills. CEO Mary Rogers holds a Masters in Education and is concerned about school readiness. “We see an alarming number of students who enter school without well developed fine motor skills needed for writing, drawing and academic areas. This is a big change from just twenty years ago. While children may be skilled in using a mouse or game controller, they are just not getting enough experience with scissors, pencils, crayons and paste. We give young children those experiences while helping them to also express their individual creativity.”
According to Zero to Three, “research and clinical experience also demonstrate that health and development are directly influenced by the quality of care and experiences a child has with his parents and other adults.” Participating in an educational program that helps develop skills for both parent and child is a winner!
Art is just a perfect first for tiny tots.
Recent Survey Reveals Kids in Art Programs Are Well Rounded
Findings are consistent with art-related research touting benefits of art education
Reston, VA, November 2, 2010 – More than 400 parents responding to Abrakadoodle’s 2010 Parent Survey revealed that kids who take art classes are well rounded. Abrakadoodle sent surveys to parents of children who had participated in Abrakadoodle programming and asked them to describe how their children spend their free time each week. Parents disclosed that their kids participate in a variety of activities. The average responses indicated that these children spend a large chunk of their time engaged in free play, either playing alone or with friends and family members. Childhood development experts agree that free play is vitally important to children’s healthy growth. On average, these kids spend more than eight hours each week in free play. They also spend, on average, two to six hours engaged in each of the following activities: sports, media (computers, DVD, etc) and arts activities (art, music and dance).
“It’s important for parents to realize that art programs are not only for arty kids” commented Mary Rogers, MA.Ed, and CEO of Abrakadoodle. “Art helps all children to develop imagination, creativity, and self-confidence – all important characteristics of a well-rounded child!”
Americans for the Arts is a leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the arts – see http://www.artsusa.org/information_services/arts_education_community/. According to that organization, “Current research has shown that arts education can play a critical role in a child’s academic and social development.
Abrakadoodle, winner of nine Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks Awards for “Best Art Class” and “Best Party Entertainer,” teaches children a wide array of art forms and techniques based upon contemporary and master artists. Children learn a fine arts vocabulary and art history as they engage in creative lessons that teach them such art forms as painting, sculpting, drawing, designing collage and mosaics, creating with paper and fabric, as well as stamping, anime, and digital photography. Abrakadoodle uses an abundance of creative materials (bamboo brushes, sculpting materials, fabric, watercolors, acrylics and more) to inspire students’ to engage in imaginative learning.
Abrakadoodle offers a wide variety of art programs. Twoosy Doodlers (ages 20-36 months), Mini Doodlers (ages 3 to K), and Doodlers (grades 1-6) are a series of ongoing classes that teach children a wide range of art forms and techniques based upon contemporary and master artists specializing in numerous art forms. Abrakadoodle’s specialty art classes focus upon one aspect of art, such as Drawsters, in which children learn to draw animals, people, flowers, still life and more by using shapes, lines and other clever techniques to develop a unique kind of artwork. Abrakadoodle also offers Kids on Canvas, a program in which students learn about painting on canvas paper, canvas board and stretched canvas using acrylics. Anime makes use of Abrakadoodle’s exclusive Anime Guide Book to help children explore the unique characteristics of an anime character. Did You Say Clay engages children in modeling and provides multi-cultural lessons that introduce students to sculptors and cultures from around the world that inspire them to sculpt with colorful shapes and designs. Green Kids in a Colorful World encourages kids to recycle and reuse materials by making art form water bottles, magazines and other recycled materials. Other programs include Garden Art Safari, Portfolio Kids, Cool Globes and many, many more.
Abrakadoodle art programs are designed for children ages 20 months to 14 years old. From single day art workshops to ongoing art classes, integrated and after school art instruction in schools, as well as vacation camps and arty parties, Abrakadoodle offers highly regarded programs at convenient locations throughout the community. To find programs near you, visit Abrakadoodle on the web. We also invite you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Abrakadoodle (www.abrakadoodle.com)
Abrakadoodle was co-founded in 2002 by award-winning educator/franchise developer Mary Rogers, MA.Ed, and children’s services franchising expert Rosemarie Hartnett, CFE. Abrakadoodle is the most comprehensive art education company of its kind, offering extensive visual arts classes, in-school field trips, after school programs, workshops, camps, parties and events for preschool and school age children. The magic behind Abrakadoodle is the creative energy between a child and his/her art materials inspired by a well-trained teacher. Abrakadoodle uses safe, high quality Crayola® art materials and other superior products and supplies in its programs. The imaginative curriculum is developed by artists and educators and exceeds state and national standards for visual arts education.
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Abrakadoodle and the Abrakadoodle logo are registered trademarks. Copyright © 2010 Abrakadoodle, Inc. All rights reserved.
Abrakadoodle art education continues collecting children’s art from around the world as part of its Kids’ Imagination Project – a global creativity campaign. This year’s theme is “Imagine.” The postcard art shown is from (above, left – art by Manuel, age 10 of Lisbon, Portugal entitled, “Let’s Change the World!” (below, right – art by Jaeden, age 9 of Grand Rapids, Michigan USA entitled, “Jump Over Tree.” (bottom, left – art by Aidan, age 3.5 of Los Angeles, CA.
The visual arts give children a wonderful way to express themselves! At Abrakadoodle, we believe that it is so important for children to know that there is no wrong or right way to create art. Open-mindedness, tolerance and an appreciation for a wide range of artistic styles are just a few of the benefits from participation in a quality art program.
Any child can participate in Abrakadoodle’s Kids’ Imagination Project! To learn more about KIP or to download a postcard, go to http://www.abrakadoodle.com/kip.htm
View our photo albums on Abrakadoodle’s Facebook fan page.
For more information regarding children and creativity, visit Abrakadoodle’s website.