Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ACED, Fall 2012, Round 1

Oh, yeah, I'm making the duck face in these photos. The student whose smashbook is on the left depicted me as a chocolate fiend. How ever did she know!?

The Fall 2012 session of ACED at Longview just ended, and the session at UMKC will begin in less than a week. ACED is an incredible enrichment program for adults with intellectual disabilities who live in Jackson County, Missouri. I have been teaching classes (mostly art) for ACED for the past seven years. ACED is of tremendous importance to me. I am so happy and proud to be a part of this valuable program. This time around, I taught the following classes: To Be or Not To Be, a poetry class; Super Smashbooks, a scrapbooking class; and Light Up Your Life, a class focusing on various types of lighting. Here I am showcasing work from the scrapbooking and lighting classes.

Examples of the scrapbook pages my students made in Super Smashbooks.

Smashbooking is a casual form of scrapbooking, which most closely resembles the memory books of days of yore. Think comments from friends, yellowing tape, and a log of four leaf clovers, for example. Smashbooks are meant for doodling, dreaming, jotting and journaling. 

To simplify the project for my students, we used binders to collect our pages. Binders are sturdy, easy to find, and relatively inexpensive. The students can also continue to add or switch out pages at home. The pages were created on yellow sheet dividers. That way, we did not have to use complicated binding methods or punch holes in our pages. We kept "Me, Myself and I" in mind as we worked, as these scrapbooks were intended to contain deeply personal expressions of the students' experiences. 

On the first week of class, I asked students to fill out a questionnaire about themselves and collect ephemera from home to add to their scrapbooks. In class, we initially worked on covering each page with a piece of scrapbook paper. The goal was to work loosely and allow some of the yellow base paper to show. As the class progressed, we took photographs for our scrapbooks, brought papers and cards from home to adhere to pages, and chopped up our questionnaires to add to pages randomly. Each week we employed new techniques, and our goal was to work in a nonlinear fashion through the book. In all, I was so impressed by the creativity of my students. In the photos above, you can see examples of how students collaged their pages with a variety of materials.

Here are the lamps, candles, candle holders and luminaries my students made in Light Up Your Life. Here's a super awesome tip for your own lampshade project: when you draw with markers on a cloth lampshade, the ink resembles watercolor paints!

In Light Up Your Life, we explored the history of lighting, from torches to compact fluorescent light bulbs. We made luminaries from both glass jars and colorful paper sacks, candlesticks from pipe fittings, candles from beeswax sheets, lampshades for Christmas tree lights from cupcake liners, and we decorated lampshades. Each student was challenged to design a lampshade on paper, and the next week the students translated their designs.  My students were very industrious each week and accomplished so much. I am very pleased with how well the projects turned out!

A glass jar luminary covered with lace doilies. These looked so pretty when lit!

Have you ever made a smashbook or lamps/candles/other lighting? I would love to hear about your projects! I am ALWAYS looking for new ideas for my classes - um, and even myself!

Alison :)

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