Family Activities: Black Magic (It’s Fantastic)
By Courtney Klemens, Manager of Family Programs
Art of motion. How do athletes move? Whether they jump, lunge, twirl, or sprint, bodies in motion can be beautiful inspiration. Create an animated flip book with drawings that show these types of movement. First, have a friend or family member model for you different ways to move like an athlete; observe their arms, legs, hands, and torsos closely. To create your flip book, cut a piece of paper into horizontal strips all the same size. It’s easiest to start with the last page first, so think about how your animation will end! When you’ve completed that drawing, layer another strip of paper on top and draw what happened just before, using the image underneath as a guide. When all of your drawings are complete, bind the flip book by wrapping a strong tape like duct tape or masking tape around one edge of the pages. Flip through the images and watch your drawings come to life!
Assemblage awards. André Leon Gray’s sculpture explores ideas of power in sports. Who is seen as powerful and heroic? What achievements are rewarded? Think about these ideas by making and awarding yourself a trophy for a special skill or task you’ve completed! Take inspiration from Grey’s art by gathering materials for your sculpture from around you: pieces of cardboard, fake flowers or trinkets, shoelaces, rhinestones, or anything that speaks to what your award will honor. Use tacky glue (or have an adult help use hot glue) to adhere your found materials onto a container. To give your award an extra special twist, cover the whole thing with gold spray paint and let dry. Congratulations!
Paint balls. Create an abstract painting from an unexpected material: balls! This group project is best completed outside. Gather a selection of different sizes of balls, like tennis balls, basketballs, or ping pong balls. In a small container, squeeze colors of paint; you’ll dip the balls in this to begin painting. Cut a piece of paper large enough to cover the bottom of a kiddie pool or a large box. and place it in the bottom. Place the paint-covered balls onto the paper inside the pool or box, and with people holding different sides, move up and down to make the balls roll around on the paper to create a painting that shows movement and speed!
B is for Baller: The Ultimate Basketball Alphabet by James Littlejohn
Discover superstars of the NBA while learning about letters! This swagger-filled book introduces early readers to some of the greatest basketball players in history. Watch this video to read along with the book here.
Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe
One of André Leon Gray’s inspirations was the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. A movie about his life taught Gray that artistic success could be possible if he stayed “level-headed and strong.” Who was this influential artist? Watch and listen to learn about Basquiat’s early years through a read-along video with the author here.
Go Go Gumbo written and illustrated by Adjoa J. Burrowes
André Leon Gray describes his artwork as eye gumbo, sculptures that are made from many components with their meaning “thickened with a roux of Black culture, marinated in social commentary and seasoned with consciousness.” Read this sweet book describing a gumbo recipe made by a grandfather and granddaughter.