Art 120 News

  • Normal Park Gets The Art Bike Bug!

    We were so happy to help Emily Simpson, the Art Teacher from Normal Part Magnet School, work on her Hubble Space Telescope Art Bike project together with her students! We cannot wait to work on even more projects with Emily and her amazing students! We had a great opportunity to ask Emily a few questions about her process.

    1. What inspired you to make an Art Bike with your class?
    While I think it is important for my students to learn about the classics, I also think it is imperative for them to learn about contemporary artists and art practices. On top of that, I try to give my students opportunities to be involved in the art community whether it be in Chattanooga or somewhere further away as well as opportunities to work together as a team. Building an art bike would give them the chance to learn about a contemporary art practice, the chance to be involved in the flourishing local arts scene, and a peek into the realm of collaboration.

    2. What is the theme of your Art Bike, how did it come to fruition, and how did you work the creation of an Art Bike into your curriculum?
    At Normal Park Museum Magnet, a lot of what our students do in their related arts classrooms is directly tied to what they're learning in their classrooms. This gives them multiple opportunities to explore as well as solidify their learning and understand it in a new and/or deeper way. With that being said, in the art room, the students create based on the visual arts curriculum as well as their classroom curriculum. Our projects come to fruition through many collaborative opportunities that we have with the grade level teams. Through much research and collaboration, we decided to tie in parts of their science curriculum. At the time they were covering inventions in space, weather, magnets, force and motion, and sound. Hence our choice of space, weather, and sound as our themes.

    3. How have the kids responded to creating an art bike?
    My 3rd grade students were so intrigued by the idea. Kate came to talk to our students about art bikes and there were so many "ooo's" and "ahh's" when they were shown videos of the bikes being ridden. I can't tell you how many times I heard,"Woah, Ms. Simpson! How did they do that?!" It really peaked their interest. They were EXTREMELY curious and wondered how we were going to make our bike and when. They immediately had so many ideas. As they were working, the students responded very well to the sculptural processes. Some of them had never used a hammer or needle nose pliers before, but met the challenge head-on and succeeded!

    4. What has the process of creating your Art Bike been like?
    As teachers, we try to plan as much as humanly possible to insure the success of our students and our success in the classroom. I try to think about each project from a lot of different angles. Where will the students hit a "bump in the road"? What parts will be challenging? What material will be best suited for that process? The list could go on and on. I like to have a plan that is bullet proof. Well, in the art room things can sometimes shift trajectory at a moment's notice. This definitely happened with the art bike. Not only did the students experience more trial and error, but I experienced that as well which was a little uncomfortable for me. I like to have a plan. But, that's one of the perks of art education - learning how to fail and learning how to problem solve immediately following. It was a real treat to come alongside the students and problem solve together.

    The bike as a whole is being made to look like the Hubble Telescope. This decision came directly from some preliminary brainstorming and sketching sessions with my 3rd Grade Advanced Art students. If you have ever seen pictures of the Hubble telescope, there is a smooth section and a section with dimples in it. Some of the 3rd grade students hammered a large portion of a roll of aluminum flashing to add the same sort of texture seen on the outer layer of the telescope. Another class listened to a sound recording of a thunder clap and drew a visual representation of the sound in the form of a sound wave. The next day, another class came in and bent wire in the shape of the sound waves drawn by the previous class. There were also days when our main focus was solely cutting aluminum cans into 3 separate pieces in order for other classes to use them for mini satellites that would stick out from the art bike. One of the last things the students did was to spray paint the bike to look like outer space - specifically to represent one of the most well known composite pictures ever taken by the Hubble Telescope. Once the students created all of the "bits and pieces", it was then my turn to assemble, which means more problem solving, measuring, problem solving again, cutting and welding, which I love. I couldn't have done it without the help and expertise of the Art 120 crew. The bike is now in process of being assembled so that it can be ridden in the 2016 Art Car Parade!

    5. What has been the best part of creating an Art Bike?
    Pinpointing one favorite part is a real challenge. One of my most favorite moments, though, was seeing a student that isn't always so jazzed up about being in the art room stepping up and being a leader for the whole classroom. He ended up being one of the main problem solvers on how we would cut apart the aluminum cans and put them together to create the mini satellites. I loved seeing him so passionate about creating and teaching his classmates.

  • Join Us, Make Hovercrafts, & Have Fun!

     

    What's more fun than robots? Hovercrafts of course! And on Friday, January 15th from 4-6pm, YOU can make one while helping others for MLK Day of Caring. Join our Maker Ed team so we can make this fun-based STEAM project with the Boys and Girls Club of Highland Park. You will show each kid how to build their own mini hovercraft from foam insulation, a balloon, and a straw. Children will have time to personalize their craft before entering it in the hovercraft race. All supplies are provided. Volunteers will just need to attend a short class at the Southside Maker Arts Center prior to the big day and meet up around 3:30pm at The Boys and Girls Club on January 15th. Your help with this hands-on activity will make a big difference for these kids. To volunteer, sign up at  www.art120.org/volunteer.

     

  • Support a Child, Give 5

     

    This year, we've joined forces with other local non-profits in support of a city wide day of giving. What makes this day special is the impact just a few dollars can make on a child's future. At Art 120, every $5 allows a child to receive a special in-school field trip to engage their minds and stir their imaginations.

    Please consider making a donation today.

    Help us Reach a School Near You
    Since we started the Art-Car-A-Van in 2011, we have inspired over 14,000 elementary schoolchildren in Hamilton County and countless others on parade day. Help us reach more for 2015.

    Art 120 Open House: Cooking With STEAM
    Supporting our children is the key to Chattanooga's economic future. Joins us for our Howard Student Art Exhibit & open house for Mainx24 from 2-6pm. Christmas cheer provided by the Howard Choir.

    #CHAGIVES


  • Pop Hop Artist Showcase: Catherine Stetson

    Next up on our Pop Hop Artist Showcase is the illustrious Catherine Stetson!

    Boy Decending-Assending a Staircase by Catherine Stetson
    Boy Decending-Assending a Staircase by Catherine Stetson

    Here's more about Catherine in her own words:

     

    Growing up I did not think I could be an artist. I didn't draw very well. I blame my inability to see three-dimensionally. It wasn't until I discovered photography my senior year of college that I realized that I am an artist. Until then, I was a victim of the popular misconception that artists had to draw what they saw. Once I had my epiphany, the entire world of art changed for me. Later as an educator, I made it my mission to show my students that making art was so much more than drawing. I wanted them to feel the freedom to express and envision new things that creativity gave me.

     


    1. How did you start creating art?
    When I was young I didn't know I was making art, but looking back I know that is what I was doing. I made my own paper dolls and spend hours "coloring." I also created this funny character that was a cowboy made from a heart. I put him everywhere. I even made greeting cards with him on it. Later, when I got my first camera as a teenager, most of my photos were optical illusions. I would make my friends stand in the foreground with their arm out like they were holding a tray of food. I would send another person down the street to make it look like they were a little person standing on a hand. I loved playing with space!

    I Concur by Catherine Stetson
    I Concur by Catherine Stetson

    2. Who is your favorite artist and why?
    My first favorite artist was Vincent Van Gogh. His use of color, texture and expression showed me that there was a whole lot more than meets the eye. My favorite photographer is Minor White. His black and white images are the essence of formal photography. They appear clean and simple, but are truly adventurous and full of content.

    3. Do you have any interesting or funny stories you'd like to share?
    I got my first camera (Kodak Instamatic) when I was 14 years old. My father, who early in his career was once a male model, gave me instructions that every photo I take should have a person in it. You may notice quite quickly, people are rarely the subject of my photos. Sorry Dad!

    4. What is your favorite tool you use to create your art?
    I am a photographer, so using a camera is my main tool, however I must say that time and space are my favorite tools. I am compelled to capture that delicate relationship they, along with light, make in my photography.

    Man Ray Was Here by Catherine Stetson
    Man Ray Was Here by Catherine Stetson

    5. What inspires you?

    I am inspired by creativity, especially when someone thinks out of the box. I am thrilled when I see something clever and a bit risky. I think about how Van Gogh, Man Ray and Duchamp must have been perceived as crazy! Their journeys are inspirational to me.


    Thanks so much Catherine! And if you're as gobsmacked as we are with her work, come get one for yourself Tomorrow, Sept. 12 at the Southside Maker Arts Center!

  • Pop Hop Artist Showcase: Hannah Hahn

    Next up on our Pop Hop Artist Showcase is the vibrant artist Hannah Hahn!

    Made In America by Hannah Hhn
    Made in America by Hannah Hahn

    Here's some more about Hannah in her own words:

    My name is Hannah Hahn, and I’m a student almost finished with an art education and history degree over at UTC, with a passion for paint and what it can do. I come from a family of engineers, and I sense my methodical and conceptual thinking has had to become different from what I grew up being taught.
    To an extent, I was allowed expression. This is especially so being in a city like I am in now. Chattanooga has been a place of growth for me, and I hope my art can show that somehow. I have merged and thrown away old and new thoughts as they come and go, displacing myself with every step I take and every piece of art I make, to a new place of self-recognition. In other words, I evolve constantly and optimistically, so does my work.
    I hope that it can bring joy to people that they did not previously have.


    1. How did you start creating art?
    I started creating art when I was a child, but started delving into the fine arts when I hit my teen years. I’ve always been lucky enough to be able to have lessons from various instructors almost every summer and in school until I came to college, when the real work began.

    2. Who is your favorite artist and why?

    This may seem strange because of our name similarities, but my favorite artist is Hannah Höch, a German Dadaist. She is one of the originators of photomontage and collage, as well as retaining the active reputation of placing female artists in the professional exhibition rink. She was not shy in pushing political pieces and ideas that people didn’t necessarily share in everyday conversation. Her agenda was to penetrate the political realm through art and an inspiration initiative, which I think she achieved.

    Lupi by Hannah Hhn
    Lupi by Hannah Hahn

    3. Do you have any interesting or funny stories you'd like to share?
    I would say that something kind of funny is that I cried when I saw Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling in person for the first time. I didn’t bawl or anything but a few tears were shed. Oh, and his David sculpture. I would say that’s relevant because as an artist, I know I can appreciate art, but if as an artist, I could evoke emotions like that in someone else, I would consider that a job well done.

    4. What is your favorite tool you use to create your art?
    My hands. I don’t mean that to sound cheeky but to me the feeling of the paint on my skin and having the stuff under my fingernails is exciting. I’m not just talking about finger painting but mixed media manipulation. If I can manipulate the media into what I want with my hands instead of just a brush or palette knife, there is nothing better. There is something truly organically beautiful about making art with your body and extremities versus through extra tools, despite the beauty that comes from both, apart or together.

    5. What inspires you?

    I am inspired by people and their actions, as well as my own, whether those actions be in the past, present, or future. I like to think about human nature, both the evils and good that resides within us, and how to make art that would appeal to our best parts. I don’t mean that my art has to be effervescently happy or bright, but that it invokes some thought in the viewer about their role in society, whatever that may be, and how to better it.


    Thanks so much Hannah! Come get one of her vivid and colorful works for yourself on September 12th at Art 120's Southside Maker Arts Space

  • Pop Hop Artist Showcase: Barry Snyder

    Next up on our Pop Hop Artist Showcase is Barry Snyder!

     

    Like Bonnie, we asked Barry a few questions about himself and his work. For more information you can visit his facebook page.

    1. How did you start creating art?

    How? Not in the womb,.... but right after that.. I got into trouble in school for not paying attention (it was boring) and for sculpting or drawing pictures, and making things.I was the class clown, I didn't want an education and didn't mind helping others lose theirs out of laughter. Later, I'd do stand up comedy for extra cash. Being an artist is not ever enriching except with in the soul.

    2. Who is your favorite artist and why?

    Walter Elias Disney, because I always loved his work, and I made a 40 year art career out of working with and developing his parks, rides, shows, and theater productions all over the world.

    3. Do you have any interesting or funny stories you'd like to share?
    We used to hide things in rides, and murals around Disney Parks, some subliminal, and some pretty explicit.. you just needed to locate them. I had to become an artist... I love doing comedy.. I tried education as a career (still do some now), but taking a gig teaching speed reading at the Catholic School, and telling the students they "better read faster or go straight to hell, didn't work out for me".

    4. What is your favorite tool you use to create your art?
    My favorite tool is my imagination, and other than that..... reclaimed objects....give me anything, and I will make something beautiful out of it.

    5. What inspires you?
    Life and real love inspires me, and it comes from strange places...other artists, homelessness, aging, just watching people..people in general are a magnitude of information, their actions, expressions, and OH!!! their beauty.....all of them each possess something special, and a story is there to tell...I am a photographer as well, and love to "hide behind the camera"....you may find 1000 pictures of others, or places, and only 1 of me in my vast collection. The best love of my life is so beautiful, and she does not like to be photographed, or painted...maybe sculpted. I love HER, PEOPLE, and God's other wonderful creations.


    Thanks so much Barry! Come see his amazing work and claim one for yourself on Sep. 12 at Art 120's Southside Maker Arts Center!

  • Pop Hop Artist Showcase: Bonnie Blue

    For our first showcase, we have the amazing Bonnie Blue!

    We asked her a few questions that you can see below. For more information, you can go to her website as well.

    1. What inspires you?

    I inspire myself. I dream art. I create in my dreams. And seeing other artists work inspires me.

     

    2. Do you have any interesting or funny stories you'd like to share?
    The bra babes I sent came about because one year for the Houston artcar parade , my artcar the women rock artcar : honored Breast cancer survivors. I had 12 survivors ride with me in the parade all the survivors wore a bra babe in the parade

    3. How did you start creating art?

    I have always done art. Even as a child. I have made a living as an artist for 40 year.

    Come to Southside Maker Arts Center on September 12th to get some of Bonnie's work for yourself!

     

  • Join us for Gallery Hop!

     

    Calling all artists!

    Art 120 is hosting a pop-up Gallery in their new Southside Maker Arts Center (SMAC) during Gallery Hop on September 12 from 2-8pm.

    2015-09-12 14:00:00 2015-09-12 20:00:00 America/New_York Gallery Hop Gallery Hop 1511 Williams St. Chattanooga, TN Art 120 admin@art120.org

    A portion of the proceeds from the sale of art will go back to Art 120 programs with the rest going right back where it belongs- the artists, of course. If you are interested in supporting a worthy cause while getting your fair share, please apply online today by going to art120.org/pop-hop


  • Help us win one for the community!

    Click Here!

    VOTE FOR ART 120 NOW THROUGH AUGUST 24TH!

    Help us win the ‪#GreaterRace2015‬ Wild Card entry which includes a shot @ $18,000.

    That's 3,600 kids we can serve and one great public art event for the city! All it takes is one click per day per device, no forms to fill out. So what are you waiting for, vote now!


  • Announcing: Southside Maker Art Center (SMAC)!

    For four years, Art 120 has brought creativity and imagination to urban youth from Avondale to Alton Park. Our flagship Maker program, the Urban Art Bike program, has provided STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathmatics) Workshops for forty-two kids and created eighteen art bikes in all.

    Today, we are proud to announce our new space, the Southside Maker Art Center (aka SMAC). SMAC is being built from the ground up as a cooperative creative space for the community, by the community. We want to include as many tools and supplies as our creative neighborhood desires, This is where YOU come in. We need your input to make sure this space is awesome! We'll have more details on SMAC as our plans continue, but for now we would greatly appreciate your input by clicking below and taking a quick survey about what you'd like to see in your space.

    We greatly appreciate everyone's feedback and enthusiastically look forward to unveiling this space for the creative mind in all of us!

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Step-Up Chattanooga Intern, Loren West, shares her Art 120 Story!

Loren has just graduated from Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts and will soon be a student of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago this fall. She has always had a passion for art and mainly paints and draws, but is hoping to experiment with other mediums in college. She has also had the privilege to take art classes in Los Angeles during the Summer of 2016 and meet successful artists. Loren hopes her experience with Art 120 will help her choose what career path she wants to take when finished with college. Learn more about Loren on Art 120's About page!

"I know I want to pursue a career in the arts, maybe go into the fine arts, or become an illustrator, I’m not exactly sure about which specific pathway I want to go on, but I want it to involve art. After this experience though, I think I’ve come closer to making a decision about which career path I want to take, which is probably art education. I’ve always been doing traditional art such as 2 dimensional paintings and drawings, but my experience with Art 120 pushed me out of my comfort zone when I worked learned new skills such as welding, and turned around and taught it to middle school aged kids.

I’ve been interested in art since I can remember, but I only thought of pursuing it as a career when I was probably fifteen after touring some art schools with my grandma. I went to Center for Creative Arts since sixth grade as an art major, and finally graduated last May. But throughout seven years of going to an art school learning how to paint and draw was just not enough for me. I never felt like I was given the resources at that school to bring out my full potential. I really wanted something that would push and guide me into the direction I wanted to go in. Although CCA was a good school and taught me well, I couldn’t help but feel like I was restricted. I needed something to expand my horizons. After my junior year in high school I decided to take summer classes at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. With the amazing teachers who pushed me and also took into consideration of what kind of art I wanted to make, I really felt like I blossomed as an artist. I still wanted to push myself even further, so I decided that working for Art 120 this summer would give me this challenge.

I discovered Art 120 through Step-up Chattanooga. I joined step-up because I needed something to occupy my time this summer and save up some money for myself when I go to college. Art 120 seemed like the perfect match that would also give me a challenge. Looking at the things Art 120 accomplished such as the art bikes and art cars really peaked my interest. The way how I saw that the artists could make something so strange out of an ordinary object.

I hoped to experience new ways or gain a new perspective of making art, and maybe teach some classes or help with a few projects, which I did. I was excited at the opportunity to teach for the urban art bike program since art education is one of the careers I’ve been looking into. I was hoping this program would help me decide which direction I want my art career to go to, and after this experience I’m leaning more towards art education. It was so much fun and interesting to see kids take on new skills that could help them in their future and how they enjoyed what they learned. The program seemed like one that would challenge me, because not only did I have to learn how to weld, I had to turn around and teach it. I couldn’t wait to see something good come out of it.

When I was teaching for the urban art bike program, watching the kids come up with designs from the top of their head reminded me that when coming up with an idea to make a work of art, that the idea doesn’t have to be perfect at first. The way that the kids would work freely from the heart without overthinking the project was something I latched onto and is something I’ll take to my solo projects. Collaborating with the kids has given me a new way of looking at creating something new. I got the opportunity to meet other artists in the community when working in the Painted Story gallery, allowing me to see dozens of new perspectives of art from all different walks of life. I loved that the paintings were hung low enough for a child’s eye-level so the children could learn to appreciate art a young age. I know that the purpose of this gallery worked because I saw so many wide eyed kids come in and really look at the artwork. I remember one kid loved the art so much he wanted to buy some prints and hang them in his room. I could tell that programs like these left a positive impact on the community because of how much people enjoyed it and the knowledge and skills younger people have gotten out of these things.

I’m grateful that I learned skills that I probably wouldn’t have learned anywhere else. I got hands on experience on teaching kids who are passionate about art. I only wish I got to spend more time on projects like these with Art 120. Overall, it was a good experience!"