“We Right The Book” III

“We Right The Book” III

I am honored to serve as Artist in Residence at Verdugo Hill High School in Tujunga,  CA (Los Angeles) for a group of 41 Senior English class Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) students.

Our project is entitled, “We Right the Book“, and is supported by an Artist in Residence grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.  I am working with the students on a series of bookmaking projects during weekly workshops held right in the classroom from September – December, 2017. The students are also assisting with bookmaking workshops held for the community at-large in the Sunland-Tujunga Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.

We started with the basics: Accordion Fold Books, created from folding equidistant sections of material. We used “bright tagboard” for the folded pages, and assorted posterboard and railroad board for the covers.

Six wonderful student artists assisted in a community accordion bookmaking program at the nearby Sunland-Tujunga Branch Library/Los Angeles Public Library, passing on what they had learned to 28 participating children accompanied by

parents and grandparents,

some of whom also got into the act.

Materials for book spines and covers are laid out and ready for the young makers.

Supported by student artist assistants Angelica, Karen, Roxy, Lillian, Kai and Haroutyun, participants got right into the activity, choosing colors, folding accordion spines, adding covers and then…

perhaps the best part, developing their content! Writing, drawing, cutting, gluing, designing

The student assistants supported the young makers with their presence,

 interaction, distribution of supplies, and sample making.

Proud bookmakers show off their creations.

What a line-up!

This young artist integrated story and illustrations beautifully, keeping character details consistent.

In this book about striped snakes, the author carefully cut out all the stripes and glued them to the snake characters….a great deal of work and commitment.

Much effort went into this book about Star Wars character Kylo Ren.

The young creator had special support and guidance from student artist assistant Haroutyun, who provided excellent assistance and support.
It was beautiful to see.

We are looking forward to our next community bookmaking program at the Library, a magical place in and of itself, amplified by creative activity.  The student artist assistants will help to spread the word about how to make a flag book, and the results are sure to be magical indeed.

It will be beautiful to see.










“Building Your World”

“Building Your World”

In a recent program at the Westwood Branch Library, children created their own worlds inspired by architecture, repurposed materials, and their own imaginations!

Participants engaged concepts of architecture, design, engineering, construction and environment, finding new uses for cast-off items, and recycling what could have been trash into  fanciful constructions of joy, wit, whimsy…and always, creativity.

Creating and using color…pipe cleaners, a wooden clothes pin, plastic and paint samples and cardboard ribbon spools!

Arranging a wooden cutout (left over from a furniture-making class) and a pipe cleaner on a project board…ready to add other materials.

Another young maker using the same wooden cutout in a whole different way. Clothespins and empty spools become hooks and clips for jewelry.

Drawing combined with unique packing material and plastic tiles topped by small spools form the visual structure for this young boy’s world.

Here the project board is used as a flat base, and din=mension is added with a gift box top, straws, and yet another employment of empty spools.

Participants worked flat on tables in the library’s multipurpose/community room, and most came at the start of the program, and stayed for its 1.5 hour entirety, allowing them time to truly play, design, experiment and build.

Lawrence worked what looked to be upside down on his project,

perhaps turning his project board base around to see how it was developing from both vantage points.

This lovely world of color, flowers animals and doors/flaps which lift up was created by a young girl of preschool age, working quietly in a corner with her mother. She made beautiful use of the materials, arranging cardboard, tile and paint samples and pipe cleaners to beautiful effect.  I would love to visit this world for a bit!

It was exciting to see children visualize wolds in real time, then create them concretely. I have to believe it was wonderful and empowering for the children and their adults as well.

Under the Red Read Canopy: The Big Read at Los Angeles Central Library

Under the Red Read Canopy: The Big Read at Los Angeles Central Library

On Saturday, May 21, 2016,  The Los Angeles Central Library held a “BIG READ” Festival, and bookmaking was a part of it!

WEBaCome one, come all.

And they came

WEBbBright-eyes youngsters

WEBtwith a merry heart…

WEBcElders and medical students,

WEBdYounger sisters and older after school enrichment providers.

WEBeFamily groups,

WEBfoverflowing  with talent!

WEBgThey cut,



WEBjAnd made amazing use of the wondrous materials provided.

WEBlThe beautiful cover stock was filled with snowy pages,

WEBkand the pamphlet stitch was taught.

WEBmFathers helped their children,

WEBnand big brothers videotaped the process.

WEBoThe results were as varied as the participants.

WEBpEach maker has their own design sense, color preferences, material attractions.

WEBqAnd they expressed them,

WEBrdisplaying their creativity, imagination and aesthetic proudly through their books.

WEBs  They worked with a love, and a devotion,

WEButhat was a joy to behold.

Thank you.

This one is for you, Vic.

This Big Read Workshop is dedicated to art angels Victor Brown and Debbie Josendale, in blessed memory of Vic Brown.

Thank you.