This past Saturday during our Folk Art Family day-an educational event sponsored by the City of Savannah Department of Cultural Affairs-we had free admission and artists demonstrators, lectures and folk art kids projects. Parents and their children saw art work and learned from artists that create art from the everyday materials that surround them.
During the event I had the opportunity to meet several of the kids that began this Monday’s technology and art camp called Drawing with Robots and Lights. Each of the students asked the same wide eyed question “Are we really going to build Robots?” proudly I was able to yes! It is amazing what you can make with cheap affordable repurposed materials, and yes, a robot can be built from materials you find at the dollar store. Not only are the kids in this camp building robots that create art, but they are gaining an introduction to young inventor skills. Most importantly they are learning to mix match take apart and re-contextualize materials on hand to make something of their own.
These 6-10 year old Kids have made light paint brushes with LED’s and created drawings using extended exposure photographs, utilized electric tooth brushes to create vibrating drawing robots, attached small micro motors to toothbrush heads for homemade Bristol Bots, and hooked solar lights up to a motor to create S.A.D. “seasonally affected droids”.
The students have approached each day with the same wide eyed excitement I saw on the family day before camp began. And most all of the students have taken time to say, they want to stay longer, and how much they love the camp. It is good when you can expand the potential of a young vivid imagination, but it seems best when you can make them see the greater potential in the materials that surround them.
These kids transformed everyday objects into something near magical for them, and in the process, transformed themselves into makers of the marvelous!