Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A Place For A Little Break

For the summer, we've turned what is normally our "block area" and circle time rug to an art/reading lounge.

This "sofa" is where we usually take kids who need a little emotional help. It's
a nice place for taking a break with a book or two.

That's a real early 70's vintage foot flokati that I had in my room as a boy
living in Greece.

The actual sofa was given to us by the sisters Maddie (now a 4th grader) and 
Ellie (now a 2nd grader). It tends to instigate a kind of cozy rough housing . . . 

. . . I think it's because it folds out into a bed and  is light weight enough 
that the kids can move it around on their own. 

When it's clean up time, they love hoisting it up over their 
heads an tossing it on top of the pile of pillows. 
I just missed it with this photo, but don't they
look like they're surveying a conquest?

And speaking of Maddie and Ellie, it was their mom Alicia who gave us this
magnificent artwork.

I fashioned this piece of furniture out of hard-to-store frame of a large art
apparatus, a chaise cushion and a couple pillows.

I salvaged this pair of paper mache spigots from a float that made its
appearance in the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade. My friend Leslie
Zenz is the very talented artist who made them.

And speaking of the parade, here are a couple giant fabric and wire flowers
I made for an ensemble a few years back.

I got this painting of "Max" from a homeless artist who
was selling them on the sidewalk in the University
District. I told him I wanted it for our preschool, but
the price was $20 and I only had $11, so he let me have
it for the discount. I went back every day for a week, trying
to find him so that I could pay the balance, but no luck.
I tell this story to the children at least once a year: 
about how the poor, homeless man really wanted them
to have this painting.

I attended a fundraiser several years ago at which various artists had created
umbrella art to auction off. I had gone with the intent of purchasing one for
the school. My students Zsa Zsa and Jasper were there as well. During the bidding
Jasper crawled onto my lap and told me he thought we should get the "dog
umbrella," so I did. Artist Sarah Lovett fashioned the dog out of a kind of
mesh and filled it with LED twinkle lights. I LOVE carrying it on rainy nights.

Every year, the Seattle Children's Theater sells off some costumes and set
pieces as a fundraiser. This might have come from their production of
Charlotte's Web.

The onion dome skyline also came from SCT, although the puffy, tissue paper
flower was made one year by our Pre-K class for their year-end play.

And, of course, our giant, rainbow nutcracker from this
year's Pre-K play has become a part of our permanent
art collection.

As has our blue tree.

Not at all a bad place to hang out when you need a little break. I'm not sure how we go back at the end of the summer.

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MOM #1 said...

LOVE the fabric flowers. Beautiful.

daniela said...

omg, i'm honestly thinking about moving to seattle just so my kids could go to your school!
i think what you do is just awesome and every time i visit your blog i'm completely blown away by your ideas!!

Anonymous said...

We totally love the big furry foot! Rebecca's Grandma has a fluffy rug like that (not foot shaped though) in her house. They sing If You're Happy and You Know It... Walk on the Rug... and it has to be done in bare feet lol

Centers and Circle Time said...

I'm fond of the "Max" painting and the story to go along. I have a heart for the homeless.

What a neat little place, thanks for sharing:)

Shar said...

I get so many great ideas from your blog. I have been thinking about my book/quiet area and wishing I had a little sofa. Your post has encouraged me to think outside the box for cheap and interesting alternatives. Thank you :D

Play for Life said...

Tom I love that you have that great artwork around your room and all with a history or a story attached ... so wonderful!
It's also really lovely to see inside your school. It looks great and so neat!
Not even a 'flyswatter art' paint splatter in sight! :)

Donna :) :)

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

What a beautiful space with a rich sense of shared history. Have you ever thought of adding photo albums with photos from years gone by for the children to revisit what others have done in your shared space?