Friday, August 20, 2010

An Accidental Gift Of Now (Brought To You By Diva Espresso)



Among the many things held in common by all preschool teachers is that a massive amount of great art passes through our hands. We all share the experience of sorting through a stack of paintings, shoving them into kids' cubbies or lockers for them to take home, only to come across a piece of such incredible beauty or creativity that you're forced to pause, to take a breath, even when you're in a hurry, even when your mind is churning a mile a minute over your daily concerns. It's a pool of contemplation, an accidental gift  of "now." Often it gives piercing insight into a child you teach, but more often it's a moment to look into ourselves.

For me, its almost a daily occurrence. I know that many of these artworks wind up on refrigerator doors and bedroom walls, but it seems a pity sometimes that they don't get a chance to work their magic on a wider audience. I try to share some of them on this blog, but photos, especially the ones I take with my phone camera, really can't do them justice.

That's why I'm so excited that our local Diva Espresso coffee shop has made its walls available for an exhibit of some of our work.


Located at corner of Greenwood and 80th NW (7916 Greenwood Ave. N, (206) 881-1213) in Seattle, this is a favorite hangout for our Woodland Park families. It's a friendly neighborhood place serving amazing coffee from the small Highland's Coffee Company, an independent roaster also located in North Seattle.


Charlie L.'s mom Shelly organized the "show," and yesterday after school, Ella, her mom Jaimee, and I installed the artwork. And believe it or not, we've already sold one! How's that for the kids taking responsibility for their own school?

We hung our giant marble paintings . . .


. . . one of our pendulum paintings . . .


. . . a couple of paintings we recently made using cedar branches we purloined from the forest house . . .



. . . a fly swatter painting . . .


. . . a few pieces from our melted crayon and watercolor series . . .


. . . a couple of the pieces made by our robots . . .


. . . and two of our collaborative bottle cap and Altoid tin "Little Boxes" pieces, of which I didn't get a picture because I didn't want to disturb the customer who had taken up his place just beneath them . . .


. . . but, here's what they look like if you're interested . . .



If you're a local, please swing by and have a look, and while you're there it would not be impolite (nor in any way disappointing) to order a cappuccino and one of Diva's incredible peanut butter cookies!

As Ella, Jaimee and I left yesterday, I saw a young woman contemplating our robot paintings, reposing for a few seconds in that accidental gift of "now."

(Spider update: after doing more research, I've come to the conclusion that the spider that ran down my leg yesterday and became an impromptu object for scientific contemplation is probably not a deadly hobo spider, but rather a giant house spider, which is often confused for a hobo by Northwest homeowners. It tends to be larger, harmless to humans, and a predator of the hobo. This is a good kind of spider to have around!)

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12 comments:

Shelly said...

I am beyond excited about the art show at Diva! Thank you so much for all of the hard work YOU put in getting all of the art ready and installing it with Jaimee yesterday. I cannot wait to take Charlie up there to see it all! It looks fantastic!

Saya said...

OH WOW!!! They look AWESOME!!!!! That gives ME idea of where to hang our mosaic... and other things! Thank you!

How long will they be there, the art show?

Two Pockets said...

We went in this afternoon to check out the art. We let the staff know the art was from "our preschool" and both the barista and cashier exclaimed together: "Did preschool kids REALLY make that art? Our manager said, 'no way did preschool kids do that'."
We assured her that indeed preschool kids made that art and they responded, "that is so great!"

Deborah said...

WOw = that is so cool. What a fantastic way to work with the community and your art displays are awesome!!

Anonymous said...

We've done an art show for the last couple of years at a local pizza parlor. I was visiting one of my upcoming students (school starts next week) and the one thing the mom wanted to know was whether or not we'd be doing the show again.
When I originally approached the manager, I had a list of reasons why this would be good for the pizza parlor's business. I got as far as "We'd like to have an art show" when he said "Fine. When do you want to do it?" Everyone was so great there! And all we had to do was ask.

jenny said...

Oh wow Tom - what an amazing way to connect with the local community - and for your kids to have the chance to see their own artworks on display for everyone to see. Big yay to Diva Expresso for doing this with you guys. The art looks fantastic! My mind now spinning through local establishments that might like to display some of our masterpieces.

The Bowlins said...

I love your art show! That is such a great idea to do with my preschoolers. How did you display the art in the coffee shop? Did you frame all of them or attach them to some sort of backdrop? Thanks for the help!

Sherry and Donna said...

WOW Tom and children of Woodland Park you should all feel so proud. The artworks look amazing and to think it is going to be sold to benefit your school. i think this is such a brilliant idea. We have a family dance coming up at which we are going to auction off two canvases the children have created using ... you guessed it marbles! Who started this marble craze, was it you Jenny or was it you Tom or maybe it was Scott! I don't remember where it all started but it sure is spreading around the blogosphere!. Anyway I hope you sell ALL your incredible artwork Tom and in return I hope your families support Diva Expresso for supporting you!

You know my minds ticking over don't you?! Seriously there is so many ideas rolling around in my head right now I think it might go POP!

Donna :) :)

Teacher Tom said...

@Saya . . . The show is up for 2 weeks, although I'm hoping we help them attract so much business that they extend it!

@the bowlins . . . Two of the paintings are done directly on canvases and were just hung as is. I had two nice, unused frames in my cellar, so we framed two of them, but instead of matting them, we just mounted them on black board. The rest are just mounted on mount board without frames.

Busy Brissy Mum said...

Brilliant! I am about to put our big pile of artwork from my two girls into boxes to keep. There is so much of it that not all of them can be displayed.

What a special honour for the kids to have their artwork displayed for all to see. I love how much you value their creativity.

Saya said...

I was thinking of maybe a weekend trip to visit... can't do next two weeks though :( If it stays longer, maybe I'll try to come up and see them!

Nikoli said...

Huge kudos to Diva Espresso! That is fantastic!

And is it me, or does one of those marble paintings look like a skull*? Here's hoping the artists get many requests for more custom pieces!

*I dare say submit it to SkullADay.com as well. While some may say it's a morbid site, much of the work and particularly the "simulacra"(things that look like skulls) posts are quite awesome.

Big fan of your work!

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