You know a way to get exhausted to the point of obliteration? Spend an entire day making crafts at a kid friendly neighborhood street fair with live music, tons of artist run crafty booths, dance performances and absolutely delicious food in a heavily trafficked area of New York City- whew I am beat! The Kitchen, an amazing performing arts space in Chelsea NY that has housed a bunch of Brent's live shows within their legendary walls, hosted it's annual Block Party this past Saturday and Brent & I had a grand old time leading kids in making Victorian optical illusion toys and some screen printed flags!
Thaumatropes (which I just learned actually means "turning marvel" or "wonder turner"), as they are called, are the classic animated picture disk. The most famous thaumatrope has a bird on one side with an upsidedown bird cage on the other which, when quickly spun, produces the little bird trapped inside of the cage. When one kid prompted me with "Why is the bird in the cage the most famous one?" I had no idea how to answer the inquiring little one...you never know what is going on in those tiny kid brains, sometimes I wish I could still see that clearly! I think that was my favorite part of this event, seeing all of the kid's minds hard at work trying to think of what to put on their disks, of what two separate things could magically combine to make one! Some of them included a rocketship with an opposing fiery lift off, a pair of eyes with a pair of glasses, an umbrella and rain, a toaster with a leaping piece of toast. Every kid had their own idea and each idea was incredible! I also tried to make little flag banners that one could screen print their name on but the crowd was much younger than expected so only a few teens took me up on the offer, creating pennant flag chains emblazoned with words- a super sweet craft that left me with some pretty bad ass, multi-fonted alphabet screens if anybody wants anything monogrammed?!
Paul Sepuya & Timothy Hull taking Egyptian inspired/abstract/alternative dimensional portraits, my pal Bryan Zanisik & his pal John Ehrenberg making pirate/nautical flags, a booth where a woman painted tattoos out of edible ink and even the classic macaroni necklace (made sophisticated through gold spray paint for the stylish New York child!) and that is only a handful of the many tents full of glue sticks, pipe cleaners and paint spread throughout the closed off city block! It was overall a great experience that I think every kid should have, a creative free for all lead by some beautiful artistic minds that I hope will lead to creative sparks amongst the younger generations! Special thanks to Lumi the magnificent for helping to curate and execute such a huge event and another huge thanks to The Kitchen for providing such a great resource for families and for artists in general! Now, how do parents cope with kid exhaustion? Because, days later, I am still feeling the effects....zzzZZZzzzz