First, I went to North Springs High School on Saturday morning and met a bunch of other Fulton County art teachers and four, very well-known, Atlanta-based artists part of the Free Art For You (#FAFU) movement. It was called a production party. Each artist described their process and technique and then we all spent the rest of the morning creating art. The purpose is then to "drop" this art all over Atlanta for other people to find. It's really that simple, it's all about giving back and making people feel happy when they find artwork (and get to keep it). There's a lot more to it and I hope to spend some time at the end of the year participating in this with my students. I met one of the artist, Evereman, last year and was very inspired by his TED talk (I highly recommend watching it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KSmcJ-XLVI). Here's a cool, very quick, video that expresses the idea of Free Art For You:
Next, I journeyed up to Summerville, Georgia (only 1 hour 45 minutes from here in Alpharetta!) to the home of Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens. Seeing his Garden has been on my bucket list for quite some time. My favorite part of the High Museum has always been his collection. Now that I'm teaching him for the first time to my 3rd graders, I decided it was time to explore it! Oh my! Words really do not do justice to explain or describe this jewel. Here's some pictures:
That's the Art Chapel. It was closed (sad) but we could walk all around it.
His original house and studio! Now it's a cool gallery and the office.
Remember, he was a bicycle repair-man. You'll see a lot of evidence!
This quote is EVERYWHERE! Even on the back of a t-shirt I bought!
Pointing out how Finster numbered his art. He usually included the number in the text on the front. And, he included what time (usually after midnight!) and the day of completion.
On the Johnny Carson Show. This was really funny!
Finger prints (remember the story of what he saw on his fingertip?)
His bicycle work shop. This stuff is all over!
Hubcap tower and lots of mirrors! He wanted the light to reflect off the mirrors as a reminder of God's light.
This tiny cabin is for visitors to sleep in! There was two of these bunks that would sleep three people.
I had shown my students a picture of the shoe so here it is and you can see the relative size.
spokes from bikes!
Bicycle tower! Wow, that's a lot of bikes and bike parts.
This is the long art gallery in the middle of the property. It mostly has art from other people. Finster really encouraged and supported all artists.
Don't do drugs.