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,

WEBhlayered,

WEBiglued,

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.

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Wave your Flag!: Teens Create Flag Books in Honor of The Big Read

Wave your Flag!: Teens Create Flag Books in Honor of The Big Read

As a program of The Big Read in LA, 2016, I taught a flag bookmaking workshop at Verduga Hills High School. The Big Read book is Ray Bradbury‘s “Fahrenheit 451“, in which firemen light fires to burn books, instead of rescuing them from the flames. Although published over 60 years ago, the book remains uncomfortably relatable to present day issues. Even prescient at times.

Conducting the workshop with the teens was great.  I loved it, the students loved it, the school librarian loved it, and the classroom teacher loved it.  Here are a few images of what the students made.

WEB10Students had a choice of “flag” pages: rectangles of uniform size, cut from tagboard in an array of bright colors, repurposed library return cards offered up by the school librarian (treasures!), pieces of  sketchbook covers, and  one off items such at the card above, painted in black chalkboard paint and adorned with red letters and numbers.

WEB3Students used a variety of materials to create layered meaning through text and image.

WEB1They mixed it up, playing with pattern, visual texture and color in their compositions.

WEB8A curated selection of quotes from the book were available, and a number of students used them in their books.

WEB7These young artists had the passion!

WEB6They spoke their hearts.

WEB5“Meaningful elements remind us to live”

WEB2“Pura Vida” = Pure Life.  Setting the intention?

WEB12The color combinations were striking, and students had the chance to see first had how the red accordion spine looked different pared with green….

WEB11and blue. This ambitious young artist reassembled the words that had been cut from this sketchbook cover, to striking effect on his book.

WEB9The Flag Book is a potent vehicle for personal expression, allowing for visual and verbal content on its numerous surfaces, places and spaces, in the form of writing, drawing, collaging, note taking, photographs, and combinations of any and all of these.

Once makers see and experience the possibilities, they are off to the races, their creativity limited only by time and space.

Let the flags of your own creativity, ideas, thoughts and feelings wave! Ray Bradbury did.