Vaughn Visit!

Since 2012, the National Veterans Art Museum has been partners with local high school Jacqueline B. Vaughn Occupational High School, which provides a specialized education for high school students with cognitive, developmental and multiple disabilities. Today senior students from Laura Smith’s class visited NVAM to see The Joe Bonham Project: Drawing the Stories of America’s Wounded Veterans and The Things They Carried.

Maurice speaks to Vaughn Students

The Vaughn students had a special guest, Maurice Costello, Vietnam Veteran, U.S. Army, 196th Light Infantry Brigade 1967-68. Maurice shared his story with the students, answering their questions, before interacting with the objects in the Things They Carried. The students tried on the flak jacket and rucksack relating his experience to the objects: So you are wearing all of these things, feel heavy? What is the climate of Vietnam? Now imagine how it would feel like to be wearing all of this humid, soaking wet, with infinitely more gear, trying to be wary of hidden mines and attack?

Vaughn Students Trying on TTTC

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Then the Vaughn students were given a tour of The Joe Bonham Project, preparing for a the workshop to follow inspired by the exhibition. The students observed the different artistic styles and mediums used to portray the same veterans stories. We discussed different ways of observing and documenting in art from quick sketches in pencil to writing and digital drawings on Ipads. The workshop expanded on these ideas by introducing the students to bookbinding. The students using folding, cutting and sewing to create their own pamphlet stitches.

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This was the last time this group of students from Vaughn Occupational High School will be workshopping with NVAM before they graduate next week! Congratulations to these amazing seniors, it has been wonderful making art with you!

The Great Artdoors Goes to the Sky!

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It is finally spring! Well, sort of. Ignoring the random bouts of snowfall in Chicago, The Great Artdoors is too excited to get back outside for art-making! This week we are thinking about aerial photography and the “birds eye view” perspective, looking at examples taken from helicopters during Vietnam or more modernly videos captured by drones. We decided to create our own sort of weather balloon/kite/drone device that looks like something straight out of Up, using balloons, a point and shoot camera, fishing line, and lots of tape! Check out the Gallery through this link for photographs taken by the aerial balloon contraption we created!

 

The Great Artdoors: T-shirt Therapy

Today for the Great Artdoors, teens looked into the NVAM collection at Regina Vasquez, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, and and her work with Fatigues Clothesline. “Fatigues Clothesline is a vehicle which bridges a gap between survivors and their family, their therapists and the advocates who are advocating for us in Washington DC by providing communication, symbolism, awareness and Change regarding military sexual trauma. By allowing our survivors to be heard once and for all!” We discussed the seriousness of this issue, the importance of Fatigues Clotheslines work for the victims and spreading awareness, and how our choices with clothing are impactful. Clothing is used as our personal identifiers, whether that be our choice of brand, make, or imagery.

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“My t-shirt is covered with colorful words that I use to define myself such as sensitive, proud, devotion, commitment, and friendship. The words are covered with hands. The hands are representative of how other try to hide me behind their own perceptions.

-Hunter // 17 // Westinghouse College Prep

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“I feel like what Regina Vasquez is doing with Fatigues Clothesline is for a very good cause. The fact that we need to speak up more about military rape is empowering. I completely understand that, more than anyone else possibly could, without getting into details, this is a really important issue to me. Rape is serious.”

-N.G. // 15 // Illinois Online High School

Yesterday I was, Today I am

Yesterday I was, Today I am (YIWTIA) is a workshop created by the National Veterans Art Museum Education Team that invites participants to create a diptych (two-image) animated GIF (Graphic Interface Format) using Mozilla PopcornMaker to address a personal narrative: Yesterday I was _____, Today I am _____. YIWTIA GIFs are showcased together on NVAM Out Loud. Below is a collection of GIFs from the National Veteran Art Museum Collection, NVAM Teen Council, and other members of our community.

We invite you to create your own GIF using Mozilla PopcornMaker and tag #YIWTIA. You can even remix/respond to existing YIWTIA GIFs! Share the link of your Yesterday I was, Today I am creations in the comments below or e-mail the link to info@nvam.org.

UPDATE:
Aug 11, 2015:
Unfortunately, Mozilla has discontinued support for Popcorn Maker online. However Yesterday I was, Today I am continues as a part of NVAM’s educational curriculum using Photoshop to create GIFs!

Nov 22, 2014:
NVAM Teen Council led Yesterday I was, Today I am at Flagship: An Art Exhibition Created by the Students at LEARN Charter School” at the Great Lakes Naval Museum! The teens held the workshop for some of the coolest elementary school kids. Check the gallery for photos!

Nov 18, 2014:

NVAM Out Loud was invited to present Yesterday I was, Today I am at the C3 Student Clubs Summit mini-Maker Party at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Check out the YIWTIA GIFs below!

Oct 28, 2014:
NVAM Education is back at the National Veterans Art Museum and have uploaded the YIWTIA GIFs made during MozFest 2014 to the blog, check them out below!

Oct 24, 2014:
Second day in London and first day of MozFest 2014! NVAM Education will be presenting Yesterday I was, Today I am on Oct 25 with the Hive Maker Party! Check out how to participate in the Yesterday I was, Today I am workshop at here!

Oct 10, 2014:
The NVAM Education Team has been invited to represent 
Hive Chicago and presentYesterday I was, Today I am at MozFest 2014 in London, UK! While NVAM Education is presenting YIWTIA in London, NVAM Teen Council will be at Collect-O-Rama on October 25th presenting YIWTIA at a mini-Maker party hosted by Intuit: the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art.

Check back October 23-27 for international updates!


 

How To Use Mozilla PopcornMaker to Make a YIWTIA GIF!connectedlearning_yiwtia

By Maurice Costello Served in Vietnam, U.S. Army 196th Light Infantry Brigade 1967-68
By Maurice Costello Served in Vietnam, U.S. Army 196th Light Infantry Brigade 1967-68

 

BUILD ON VISITS NVAM TEEN COUNCIL!

NVAM Teen Council had the opportunity to plan and host a workshop for visiting after school group BuildOn from Schurz High School down the street! Teen Council Members decided to create a workshop using moving collages inspired by Mac MacDervitt using images that represent the theme of “peace”. Check out the gallery below of the day including response and reflections from the BuildOn Teens!

The Great Artdoors

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The National Veterans Art Museum and YOUmedia have partnered together to create The Great Artdoors: a public art workshop series! Teens are invited to participate in the drop-in workshops every other Wednesday from 4:30-5:30PM at YOUmedia on the first floor of the Harold J. Washington Library. Get a preview of what the teens are doing on the Great Artdoors window in the front of the library on Jackson Blvd!

To recap: teens have had a walking tour of the loop, identifying and discussing commercial vs. fine art public art as well as exploring and photographing possible places for creating public art. Teens were introduced to different artists working with graffiti arts including Iraq veteran artist (U.S. Marine Corps) and Hip-Hopper Melvin Lyons. Teens discussed the artists’ processes, how public art can be large scale and intensively planned with a team or more spontaneous and individual, what is legal vs. illegal, and also looking directly at the graffiti laws in Chicago. Teens collected images that represent or inspires them and used these images to make packing tape image transfer and practice wheat pasting.

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Here are some reflections of YOUmedia teens on the Great Artdoors:

“I’ve had a wonderful time with Marcus and Moki during my few weeks in The Great Artdoors. I’ve made tape transfers, wheat pastings, and even some calligraphy! I can’t wait to see what projects they come up with in the future.”

-Caleb, 16

“My experience with the workshop so far has been great. I learned how to make wheat paste and I also learned how to reach my inner creativity and embrace it. Like: I liked the wheat-paste activity where I slapped my image on the pillar. Dislike: the breeze when we went out on the field trip. Suggestions: We could spray paint actual walls. Learned: How to get in depth with your creative side and express it doing creative things.”

-Semira, 14

“We went out in the neighborhood about a month or two ago and we looked at street art, murals and sculptures. I like how we keep everyone involved; like how Moki, Marcus, and Daniel keeps everyone involved in the activity. I disliked how we didn’t have enough time to see everything. “

-Maurice, 16

The Art of Self-Definition: A Graffiti Arts Workshop with Mel L!

Mel is back at the National Veterans Art Museum as a part of the NVAM’s Creative Community workshop series and Chicago Artist Month! Mel L. is a hip hop artist with The Microphone Misfitz and Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq. Mel L. created “Evolution of War,” a graffiti mural installation, at the National Veterans Art Museum in 2011 and hosted “Identity and Representation,” a graffiti arts workshop in February 2014.

Why the Art of Self-Definition?

Most graffiti artists are self-taught. They came to the medium for self-expression, self-discovery, and the challenge and thrill of publicly expressing themselves as artists. We invite you to join us in this workshop and to claim your own identity as an artist. No prior experience needed; all artists must begin somewhere. Being an artist is a choice: come learn techniques of spray paint art and learn to see yourself as an artist.

 

From Drawing to Painting an Arts Workshop with Jerry Frech

July 12th, 2014 From Drawing to Painting an Arts Workshop with Jerry Frech
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Jerry Frech, Iraq War Veteran in the U.S. Air Force in Security Forces, taught a free workshop open to the public on how to move from drawing to painting at NVAM

Jerry says, “I have found that a lot of folks won’t paint because they don’t know where to start and would prefer to keep drawing. This workshop will help students learn how to ‘cross the bridge’ into painting.”