Second-graders Make Leather Medicine Bags and Symbols with Help from Oak Street Artist Cathy Schmidt
A week before the Thanksgiving holiday, second-graders at the General John A. Logan Attendance Center in Murphysboro learned about traditional Native American medicine bags and the art of symbols from Oak Street leather artist Cathy Schmidt.
"What makes you happy?" and "What makes you feel good and safe?" were among the questions Schmidt used to prompt students to design their own personal symbols. In response, one child said her kitten made her happy, so she thought of cat ears for her symbol. Children then used markers to draw their own symbols onto rocks. In the photo below, Schmidt shows children a variety of traditional symbols and their meanings in various Native cultures.
After creating their rocks, children followed along as Schmidt taught them to make their own leather bags by weaving leather cord through holes in a leather disc to become a drawstring. When they finished their bags, their newly decorated rocks were ready to go inside as a starting piece of personal treasure that they could use to remember times they felt good.
Schmidt was assisted by Oak Street Art members Stephanie Dillard (stained glass) and Ann Fischer (photography).
Thanks to everyone who came out for Murphysboro’s (first of 2019) First Friday Art Walk / Open Studios & Museum night! In the new Oak Street Art headquarters (photo below), we had a steady stream of visitors all evening. We love our great southern Illinois community and are proud to be a part of the Logan Historic Arts Neighborhood.
Visitors came just to look, talk, make new friends, enjoy munchies, and even to buy some local art by our members (jewelry from Sue Gindlesparger, ceramics from Darby Ortolano, weaving/textiles from Shirley Krienert, leather from Cathy Schmidt, and photography from Ann R. Fischer).
See map below for additional sites of September's First Friday, including the individual studios of Oak Street Art members Luca Cruzat and Rachel Malcolm Ensor, as well as the General John A. Logan Museum, Pat's Prairie Garden, and GeekBetty Vintage and More.
Onward to next month! Hope to see you for the second First Friday on Friday, October 4, from 5 to 8 p.m.
If you have been keeping up with Oak Street Art, you know that this year we have been involved with an educational outreach program in Murphysboro.
Metalsmith artist Sue Gindlesparger presented a lesson to three second grades at General John A. Logan Attendance Center on Wednesday, February 20th. The focus of the lesson was Adinkra Cloth (with roots in Ghana), and the personal symbols found on the traditional cloth.
Students created their own symbols using a base of styrofoam, and then printed their creations on cloth squares. The squares will be displayed together creating classroom quilts.
You can see from the pictures that the students are enjoying the art lessons - lots of learning and creativity involved!
Teachers participating in the outreach program will be heading up our Children’s Art Tent at the annual Oak Street Art Fair on Saturday, April 27th.
Oak Street Artist Darby Ortolano Shares Her Love of Clay in Pottery Project for Local Second Graders
The children learned a bit of Murphysboro history by viewing an Egyptian brick, as well as by creating individual pinch pots. Darby was assisted by Oak Street Artist Shirley Krienert (fibers, mixed media).
The Oak Street artists continue with outreach to their Murphysboro community. See more photos below.
In support of The Women's Center, Oak Street Art members set up shop at the Old Feed Store venue in Cobden, Illinois, on Saturday morning, November 3, 2018.
Sue Gindlesparger (metals, jewelry) and Darby Ortolano (ceramics) were on hand for good conversation and to share the work of all seven Oak Street Art members.
We were especially delighted to be invited to participate by Women's Center board member Stephanie Dillard. Stephanie also happens to be a talented stained glass artist featured in the 2018 Oak Street Fine Arts Fair. (UPDATE: Stephanie is now a member of Oak Street Art!)
A portion of all Oak Street Art sales from this "Feed the Need" fundraiser went directly to the Women's Center. In particular, proceeds were earmarked specifically for services to Union County survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
In a multidisciplinary activity combining literature and art, two second grade classrooms at the General John A Logan Attendance Center created dream catchers under the instruction of leatherwork artist and Oak Street Art member Cathy Schmidt (pictured below in white Oak Street Art apron).
The students worked very hard on their individual projects. The smiles below show their enjoyment, pride, and success in creating art!
The participating teachers have agreed to head up the Children’s Art Tent at the annual Oak Street Art Fair in April 2019. Keep checking back for more details on art activities in these classrooms.
As part of Oak Street Art's mission to nurture connections between art and our community, two artists from the group participated in the recent STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) event at the Murphysboro Youth and Recreation Center.
Cathy Schmidt (leatherwork) and Shirley Krienert (fiber and mixed media) led participants in the creation of their own dream catchers. The event was well attended. Check out some sample work below!
Oak Street Art