Friday, August 29, 2008

New Life

Creation continues to evolve. The transient energy of chalk and nature.

An environmental clean-up agency that the US Navy hired is running their trucks over the chalk drawing They are cleaning up radioactive radium that the Navy used to paint on item to glow in the dark, they dumped the toxic waste into the storm drains which are now being cleaned out.

I have know about the clean up for a year or so. The work had not been started until after our event was over. I am working on a sci-fi story about this Alameda Navy Air Base. I think I will use the idea of the salamander and gingko leaf chalk drawing being effected and transformed by the radioactive energy.

The chalk drawing has really faded where the truck have run, some areas have been watered down. All detail and colors from the hand drawn chalk is gone in those places, but interesting enough life finds it's way back, as always, evolving, unstoppable, the pure force of nature.

The chalk drawing will continue to disappear, when the wind and rain come it should be mostly gone from this world but will last perhaps forever with photographs, memories, and positive creative energy invested wisely into our youth.

And then there is a man and his dog. If you followed the actually event you will have seen many pictures of Mr. Z. He was on site for all two weeks, only leashed when the school kids were with us and then still able to be petted and oo'd and ah'd over. He's such a good dog around kids. He continues to be a guiding light in my life.

We are close to moving our nonprofit over from the "Kid's Chalk Art Project" to "Re-Enchanting the World Through Art." The book about the event has begun and we are beginning to brainstorm about what's next.

~Mark Wagner

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ten Reasons Why Art Is Good For Kids

photo by Alexandra Childs

I thought I'd post these again.

Ten Reasons Why Art Is Good For Kids

1) Art Teaches Problem Solving. Making art teaches that there is more than one solution to the same problem. Art challenges our beliefs and encourages open-ended thinking that creates an environment of questions rather than answers.

2) Art Prepares Kids for the Future. Creative, open-minded people are highly desired in all career paths. Art and creative education increases the future quality of the local and global community. Being creative is a life long skill and can be used in every day situations.

3) Art Generates a Love of Learning & New Ideas. Art develops a willingness to explore what has not existed before. Art teaches risk taking, learning from one’s mistakes, and being open to other possibilities. Kids who are creative are also curious and passionate about knowing more.

4) Art is Big Business. At the core of the multi-billion dollar film and video game industry are artists creating images and stories. Every commercial product is designed by artists from chairs to cars, space stations to iPods. A Van Gogh painting sold for 83 million dollars.

5) Art Develops the Whole Brain. Art strengthens focus and increases attention, develops hand-eye coordination, requires practice and strategic thinking, and involves interacting with the material world through different tools and art mediums.

6) Art Improves Holistic Health. Art builds self-esteem, increases motivation and student attendance, improves grades and communications, nurtures teamwork, and strengthens our relationship to the environment.

7) Art Supports Emotional Intelligence. Art supports the expression of complex feelings that help kids feel better about themselves and helps them understand others by “seeing” what they have expressed and created. Art supports personal meaning in life, discovering joy in one’s own self, often being surprised, and then eliciting it in others.

8) Art Builds Community. Art reaches across racial stereotypes, religious barriers, and socio-economical levels and prejudices. Seeing other culture's creative expression allows everyone to be more connected and less isolated - "we see how we are all related." Art creates a sense of belonging.

9) Art Awakens the Senses. Art opens the heart and mind to possibilities and fuels the imagination. Art is a process of learning to create ourselves and experience the world in new ways. Arts support the bigger picture view of life: beauty, symbols, spirituality, storytelling, and helps us step out of time allowing one to be present in the moment. Art keeps the magic alive.

10) Art is Eternal. Creativity and self-expression has always been essential to our humanity. Our earliest creative expressions were recorded in petroglyphs, cave paintings, and ancient sculptures. One of the first things kids do is draw, paint, and use their imaginations to play.

Mark Wagner © 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Recent Photo

Aero-Geodetic Corp. recently was so kind and generous (donation) to take a photo of our chalk drawing from their plane flying above 1000 feet. S0 cool, the file they gave me is 125 MB. Click on this image to see a larger one.

There has been industrial truck traffic over the tail area of the drawing and if you look really close you can see someone standing on the salamander's left front toes.

The KIDS' CHALK ART PROJECT is beginning to think about what's next. We are looking into creating a book about the year in chalk and a documentary film. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 2, 2008