Monday, October 28, 2013

The Wonders of Autumn!

So much has been going on that there has scarcely been time to think!

The lower grades, Pre-K through second have been learning about Monarch butterflies. Ask your children about the amazing Monarchs.

Some special facts about Monarchs:
They migrate from Canada to Central Mexico!
It takes them three generations to make the trip North from Mexico to Canada. Those three generations each live only about a month, but the fourth generation of Monarchs, the ones who make the trip from Canada back to Mexico, live nine months.
The Monarchs winter in the Oyamel fir trees in the mountains.
There are twelve Monarch sanctuaries in Mexico.
You can learn more about the Monarchs online at Journey North Journey North.

The upper grades, third through fifth, have been working on nichos for Los Días de los Muertos. We have been creating tooled aluminum mounts for our small boxes. This technique is known by several names. In English you might call it embossing or tooling. In French it is called repoussé. In Spanish it is repujado.

You can see the results of their work on the bulletin board outside my room. Several pieces of student work are on display in the student exhibition for Lawndale Art Center's annual Días de los Muertos celebration.

There are so many great family activities this time of year! It can be hard to choose which to attend. Many events are free. Here's a short list of things you may want to check out:

Did you know? Bank of America and Merrill Lynch debit or credit cards are good for one free admission on the first weekend of the month at these participating institutions:
Houston Zoo
Children's Museum of Houston
Museum of Fine Arts Houston



Lawndale Art Center will be celebrating their Family Day Fiesta on Saturday, November 2, 2013 from 12:00 noon until 4:00 PM.
"Lawndale's 26th Annual Día de los Muertos celebration continues with a Saturday fiesta for families and children honoring participating teachers and students whose works of art can be viewed in the Cavnar and Horton galleries. Enjoy refreshments and children's activities such as cutting papel picado and decorating sugar skulls, along with performances by Houston Grand Opera, Mixteco Ballet Folklorico and Secret Admirer Puppets."
Lawndale Art Center is located at 4912 Main Street in the Museum District. Their phone number is 713-528-5858.

Take a break from the Family Fiesta and wander across the street to the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and take part in Hands-On Houston! 
"HANDS-ON HOUSTON:
FAUX-STAINED-GLASS SUN CATCHERS
TIME Saturday, November 2, 2013 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
LOCATION Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002 (Map)
Please join HCCC for HANDS-ON HOUSTON on Saturday, November 2nd, to create an architecturally inspired sun catcher for your window. Participants will learn to imitate stained-glass art by creating a colorful design with markers on clear acrylic. The piece will then be framed in cardstock to take home.
Before or after the activity, view real stained-glass artworks by artist Nancy Nicholson, who is currently featured in SPRAWL in the main gallery. Like Nancy and many other artists in the exhibition, we hope you will be inspired by architectural structures and the urban landscape of Houston to create a unique design.
HANDS-ON HOUSTON is a free craft-activity open house on the first Saturday of every month. Each month, a teaching artist demonstrates a craft related to the current exhibitions. Families and children of all ages are welcome, and materials are provided. This program supports HCCC’s mission to advance education about the process, product and history of craft. More information at www.crafthouston.org."

Día de los Muertos at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston!
Museum admission is free all day for this family celebration of the holiday Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)!
Discover Calaveras Mexicanas: The Art and Influence of José Guadalupe Posada on this free day! The exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913), considered the father of Mexican printmaking.
Calaveras Creations
10 a.m.–2 p.m. (Beck Building)
Enjoy family gallery activities and art making inspired by Calaveras Mexicanas. Join in the art of papel picado (perforated paper), a decorative craft that features colorful paper cut into elaborate designs. Learn about the process of printmaking, and create your own work of art depicting skeletons and skulls like the ones in Posada's prints.
MECA, the Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts, will be celebrating their Dia de los Muertos Festival on November 2 from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. MECA is in the old Dow Elementary School Building at 1900 Kane Street. Their phone number is

East End Studio Gallery is taking part in the Celebrate Houston! Music and Arts Festival on Sunday, November 3 from noon to 6:00 PM.
"The Celebrate Houston! Music and Arts Festival mission is: “Celebrating our diversity and building a positive future.” The festival supports local artists and provides valuable education resources to benefit local communities. The mini-festival that started in 2009 is planned to become the flagship event of the Houston Museum of Culture in the future.
Celebrate Houston! will take place from Noon to 6pm, Sunday, November 3 on the Tlaquepaque Market Plaza, with activities at Bohemeo’s and the East End Studio Gallery.
The free event will offer activities to suit many interests, including:
-Live Music by Milton Hopkins and the Hit City Blues Band
-Encore Performance by Huehuetl (Jalisco, Mexico)
-Accordion Workshop by Ed Poullard (Les Amis Creole) and Roberto Rodriguez (Umbrella Man, Pistoleros de Tejas)
-Live Interview with Milton Hopkins by author Roger Wood
-Indigenous Instruments Workshop by Huehuetl
-Dia de los Muertos Art Exhibit and Traditional Altars at East End Studio Gallery
-Artists and Unique Vendors
-Kids’ Activities
-Artery Media Project Video Presentation
-Non-profit Organizations
-Green Zone featuring Environmental Education Groups
-Presentation of Houston Cool youth environmental education projects
-Information about the Houston East End Museum and Houston Museum of Culture
-Collection of “Houston Treasures” – interesting Houston stories for the Houston Story radio program, museum archives and exhibits
-Houston Museum of Culture Bookstore
-Bohemeo’s Beer Garden, Food Trucks and more
The event is presented in a format similar to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, with high quality, entertaining cultural arts and music performances, as well as facilitated workshops and demonstrations that focus on specific cultures and regional traditions. Celebrate Houston! Music and Arts Festival is produced by Houston Institute for Culture with support of the Texas Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts.
Celebrate Houston! is additionally sponsored by Houston Museum of Culture, East End Studio Gallery, Bohemeo’s, Blue Line Bike Lab, Luz de Luna Photography Studio, Eastwood Variety Store, Scoops Ice Cream, Bright Star Productions, Houston Blues Society, KPFT and Howlin’ the Blues.
Celebrate Houston! Music and Arts Festival benefits Houston Cool. The program’s objectiveis: “By planting trees, you make Houston cool!” Learn more about the Houston Cool youth program and the many benefits of trees at www.houstoncool.org.
Participants are encouraged to walk and bike to Celebrate Houston! for health and for the environment. Information about area hike and bike routes will be provided for walkers and bicyclists who are interested. Attendees should also consider using Metro buses, including the 40 (serving Telephone and Lockwood), 36 or 50 (serving nearby major streets), or buses serving the Eastwood Transit Center. Information can be found at www.ridemetro.org.
For further event information, please visit www.celebratehouston.org or call 832-443-4432.
Asia Society Texas Center has their Creation Stations art-making activities on Saturday, November 16 and again on Saturday, December 7 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. November 16 will be Southeast Asian Weaving. December 7 will be Remembrance Poppies.
The Asia Society Texas Center is located at 1370 Southmore at Caroline. The building is new and beautiful. It's a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon.

It will just keep getting better and better from now through the Winter Holidays! I'll try to keep you up to date on the most fun activities of the holiday season!