Sunday, January 2, 2011

Unity Dolls for Kwanzaa

 For the last few years I am fortunate enough to Work a Kwanzaa event as a teaching artist.I chose an activity and people can drop into a room in the art gallery during the event and spend time making a take home art project.

I choose an activity each year that I feel represents this holiday either in its principles, ideas or in create an image that  the holiday.
 Part of Kwanzaas principles are unity and cooperative economics. Since paper dolls all "hold hands" and work together I thought this project would be just right.

I usually use construction paper and do a  symmetrical folding and cutting activity.  I usually have fabric,beads and other mixed media supplies available for embellishment.This year we took the time honored tradition the paper doll chain and gave it a twist.

People really enjoyed the activity over a four hour time span  I never had an empty chair for more then a few minutes. It was great because it allowed families to work together and allowed for a lot of variations to the project. They had there choose of paper for the peoples bodies and fabric and vinyl adhesive for clothing.

One little boy wanted a "strong" man. Another boy wanted robots. The young girl often made little girls in long skirts. The clothing that people put on the dolls was impressive.  I think there may have been some future fashion designers in that room. Some of these dolls had better wardrobes then me. In fact I decided to go clothing shopping the next day.

There were several young children around age 2 or 3 that really just wanted to cut paper. I had several left over sheets of vinyl adhesive sticker scraps from my friend at Instant Sign Center. I cut these into small pieces and the two and three year old's could just have a blast and cut away. The parents with them would cut out the dolls and then the kids could just peel and stick the stickers they had cut onto the paper dolls they had cut.

If people had any extra dolls they made  that they left behind I  hung them on the wall with all their hands connected .

Shown here are some examples of what participants made.

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