[Context to these programs in lieu of critiques by the press and others of WHP: Watts Towers Art Center hosted excellent art programs for children during the summer months but, given the limited space and the additional children bused in from outside of the area, many children in the neighborhood were not allowed to participate. This is reason we decided to host art programs for these children.]
In my second summer at WHP in 2011 I expanded the Summer Family Art Series by making it bigger: more artists, more kids, and more fun! As the year before these classes were geared towards creativity, the environment, agency, and the interplay of space, ecology and use. This year I asked Edgar Arceneaux, Raul Curiel, and some outstanding artists interns – Sarah Loyer, Marvella Muro, Jason Leith, and Christine Fuchs to help realize the projects. I also coordinated with a nutrition summer program to drop off healthy lunches for the children.
The Birdhouse class, organized with Edgar, was inspired (in part) by the book, “Bauhaus to Birdhouse: Imaginative Housing for the Feathered Community” written by Leslie Garisto. If you’ve ever considered Prefab housing or the Case Study Program or any architectural discourse as something for the birds…well then, you weren’t wrong in this case. From concave ceilings to Art Deco to neo-Gothic openings and Art Nouveau balusters, you won’t believe the architectural ideas poured into these birdhouses. As for our modest birdhouse making class, we introduced an element of story-telling and reusable materials (outdated encyclopedias, reused palates, and lots of glue).