Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gorby back in the classroom!

Gorby made an appearance at the Brooklyn Charter School last Friday to make sure our first graders remember everything they learned during this past year. As handsome as always with his new polka-dot tie, he was very excited to meet Quadier, Janaya, Chelsea and their classmates, although he had to remind them about the steps involved in introducing themselves: say “hello, “shake hands and mention your name. After joking around Gorby inquired about some of the skills students gained this year while working with Mr. Pete and Ms. Marie. Students gladly showed Gorby how they practiced helping each other get in line so they do not lose time fighting over a spot or waiting on classmates. They also explained to him how they share school supplies or ideas with each other.
For more information on Gorby and his friends visit,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Creative writing workshop by Chelsea Lemon-Fetzer at the Brooklyn Charter School

Art Beyond Sight collaborated with Chelsea Lemon-Fetzer, a Brooklyn-based writer, to offer a creative writing workshop to fourth graders at the Brooklyn Charter school. Chelsea knew that the students had been corresponding with pen pals from France and South Africa, sharing information about their lives at school and in their neighborhood, so she decided to further explore the notion of home and where they are from with them.  She encouraged them to awake their senses while guiding them through series of questions, such as: “What smell reminds you of home?” “What is the name of the street you know?” “What do you see when you look out your bedroom window?” “What hairdos some people in your family have?” After answering these and similar questions, students inserted the words “I am from” in front of their answers. This unexpected combination created some poems at once funny and poignant, as shown below.

This project was inspired by Georges Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I am from.”


I am from chocolate brownies.
I am from did you bring me something?
I am from the backyard.
I am from Hart st, between Throop nad Thompkins.
I am from garbage cans
I am from Chris Brown "Strip."
I am from jerk chicken, beans and rice, and shrimp, cranberry chicken salads.
I am from Girls: having ponytails, braids, curly and stright, boys: regular hair cut.
I am from dereon shirtts, blue jeans and black leather boots.
I am from 149.
I am from Brooklyn Hospital.

I am from chicken and apple pie.
I am from I love you/see you later.
i am from the supermarket.
i am from unreal friends.
i am from Thompkins Avenue.
I am from dogs, babies, and stars.
I am from Justin Bieber "Boyfriend."
I am from Rihanna "What's my name."
I am from Hamburger helper/chicken alfrodo/macaroni/steak.
I am from kinki twist.
I am from polka dotted dresses.
I am from 500% of the neighborhood.
I am from Brookdale Hospital

Rebecca Bersohn at the Andrew Heiskell Library

Art Beyond Sight and the New York Public Library collaborated with artist Rebecca Bersohn on Tuesday, May 8th, to offer one of its monthly art-making workshops at the Andrew Heiskell Library, 40 West 20th Street, NYC.  Participants created self-portraits, focusing on texture and shape. Rebecca walked them through a careful examination of their faces, encouraging them to notice specificities, such as whether they have an angular nose or a rounder one, bushy eye-browns, pointy chin, long and soft or coarse hair etc. Participants used a variety of materials for their collage portraits, including fabrics, wooden disks, foil, feathers, and textured paper – with each participant selecting what he or she felt would best represent their unique features and hair styles.  Some of the resultant artworks are shown here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Letters in the mail

The 4th graders from the Brooklyn Charter School in Bed-Stuy recently started a pen pal project. Ms. Nneka’s class is corresponding with a French school: l’ecole Jules Ferry in Saint Martin (Brittany); and Ms. Marlene’s with the Pioneer School in Worcester near Cape Town, South Africa. After learning about Brittany and Worcester looking at world maps and pictures from the area, students discussed the structure of a letter and how to address their envelope and finally set to writing. Below are some examples of the letters that were sent:

Dear Charlotte,
My name is Liliana Maitland. I’m 9 years old, how old are you? I like your name, it is very pretty. Where do you live? I live in Brooklyn, New York and I’m the landlord. What do you do for fun? For fun I go to the movies, I sing, play video games, I dress up, and I jump on the trampoline in my backyard. Can you show me your picture of you and your family, I’ll show you mine. I have 2 sisters and a cat. My cat is black. One of my sisters lives in Virginia. Do you have siblings or pets? What do you learn in school? I learn dance, music, math, science, social studies and ELA. On Fridays, I have afterschool piano. I love piano. Do you play an instrument?
Your pen pal, Liliana Maitland

 Dear Noah,

 Hello my name is kraig, I am 10 years old. I live in Brooklyn, New York. My birthday is April 20. Every day when I finish my homework I play my X box and my PS3. I go to the Brooklyn Charter School. My favorite sport is basketball. And my favorite type of music is rock. Noah I have questions for you now. How old are you? Where do you live? When is your birthday? What do you do when you go home? Which school do you go to? What is your favorite type of sports? And What’s is your favorite type of music?

 From your pen pal in New York.

Dancer Kristina Hanna at PS 149

Art Beyond Sight collaborated with Kristina Hanna to bring a dance workshop to the students at PS 149. A graduate from The Juilliard School, Kristina has performed works by esteemed choreographers, including Adam Hougland, José Limón, Lar Lubovitch, Susan Marshall, Mark Morris, Ohad Naharin, Matthew Neenan, David Parsons, Edgar Zendejas and others. She joined KEIGWIN + COMPANY in 2009 and has since been featured in Dance Spirit Magazine and in Dance Magazine's "On the Rise" column. Following an introduction to the eight basics dance movements, Kristina encouraged students to explore them for themselves. “You each have a different body and will have your own specific walk, you will jump, spin and run differently than your classmates,” Kristine told them. She then invited them to create a dance. This process began with each student coming up with his/her own movement and sharing it with the rest of the group, which decided whether to incorporate it into the dance or not. Movement by movement, students progressively shaped a dance to live music by Pete Galub, an Art Beyond Sight music therapist.

Designers ‘en herbe’ at the Bronx Global Institute for Learning for Girls

For several weeks Art Beyond Sight has been collaborating with students from the Bronx Global Institute for Learning for Girls, discussing fashion choices and dress codes, and exploring fashion terms through original song writing. The girls also created their own clothing designs (see pictures), which they will soon present to their classmates.