Monday, April 14, 2014

Call For Materials!

To Donate: Please drop off or send supplies to our office at
ARCK Boston
59 Beacon Street, Suite 1
Boston, MA 02108

 You can also donate to ARCK by shopping at AmazonSmile or Blick's Art Room Project

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Creative Minds: Spotlight on work at Gardner Pilot Academy

DayMarie – 5th Grade (Tempera paint and watercolors)

Students created superheroes based on their cultural background and powers that the students felt best represented what they looked for in a hero.   The students first created their superhero and then created the world in which their superhero lived.  

Kenny Deleon – 5th Grade (pastels and markers)

Students learned about Arabic calligraphy and common themes in Arabic art, including shading techniques and patterns.  Students created their own names in Arabic and then in English. 

Maria Camilla Herrera – 4th Grade (Construction paper and recycled materials)

Students created collage portraits using construction paper and recycled materials to represent different parts of the face and other features.    

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Healing the Syrian Refugee Children Art exhibition on May 10th.

ARCK is co-sponsoring the Spring Fling Open House with the Center for Arabic Culture -- ARCK will be exhibiting the artwork of the Syrian Refugee children in Jordan from last summer's workshops at Family Guidance Awareness Center ( in Zarqa, Jordan. The workshop was lead by Sara Mraish Demeter and Noor Doukmak and was partially funded by MIT IDEAS Global Challenge.

Click here to purchase tickets:

To learn more about the workshop from last summer, take a look at our video campaign

Please join us and enjoy the festivity to learn about the Center for Arabic Culture. If you are not able to attend please forward this invitation to your friends in Boston.

Check out the event flyer:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chesnut Hill School Heart of the Hill Day

Do you know the meaning of community? Students at the Chestnut Hill School certainly do! On Sunday, March 2nd, the school celebrated Heart of the Hill Day. Students and their families joined together to work on projects to benefit charitable organizations in their community. Students donated art supplies to help raise awareness for ARCK’s mission – to bring art education to students in under resourced schools within the greater Boston area. The students at the Chestnut Hill School also spent the afternoon creating a “friendship garden”, which highlights values that ARCK and CHS share: multiculturalism, community, and literacy. Each student drew their own component of the garden – bugs, flowers, birds, trees, and even a garden gnome. Each element displays the students’ unique artistic styles and highlights their differences as well as their similarities. These colorful components were then put together on a poster to represent the garden, and also the cohesiveness and diversity of the school community. This friendship garden will be gifted and on display for the students at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Jamaica Plain, MA. ARCK is very grateful for all the donations that the Chestnut Hill School students gathered. We look forward to presenting these materials, along with the friendship garden, to the students at the JFK Elementary School as a gift from the Chestnut Hill students. ARCK wants to extend a special thanks to ARCK board member and Chestnut Hill School parent, Evie Dykema, for making this collaboration with ARCK and Chestnut Hill School possible.  Check out all the fun the students had creating the garden and some of their creations below!

Friday, February 21, 2014

“Spirit Animals”: A Lesson in Aboriginal Pointillism and Color Theory

Last week, 3rd graders at JFK Elementary School in Jamaica Plain, MA got messy with paint creating spirit animals!  Since students have been studying ancient cultures and religions, teaching artist Iemanja Wells-Wingfield connected the art movement of Pointillism with Aborigine culture. To engage the students, she designed a project where students would get to experience this for themselves and create their own spirit animals using Aboriginal and pointillist elements.  

The class began by learning about color theory, first discussing primary vs. secondary colors, then learning about different color tones, warm vs. cool tones.  Do you know what optical mixing is? Well, the students at JFK Elementary learned that optical mixing is a technique that overlays colors on top of one another without mixing them.  They then discussed Aboriginal cultures and the painting technique of Pointillism, a style of painting using small dots of color to create a larger image.

Combining what they had learned, each student chose a spirit animal ranging from snakes to birds to dogs, bears, and even a lion.  One student wrote “My spirit animal is a swan because I am pretty and elegant.”  Another student wrote, “My spirit animal is a viper because I am fast and furious.”  Using black construction paper, the students created an outline of their animals. Students then chose a color scheme and, using cotton swabs, dabbed paint around the outline of their animal and filled in their animals with acrylic dots of paint using the pointillism technique.  Check out some of their work below!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Arabic Calligraphy at GPA

Middle school students at Gardner Pilot Academy in Allston have been spending time learning about Arabic calligraphy. Last week, they discussed the origins of Arabic calligraphy and practiced traditional writing techniques, using bamboo and ink.

After watching videos about graffiti artists and how they turn large wall spaces into public murals using text, the students began to recreate their own small versions of graffiti art using Arabic text. They learned how to write characters that spelled out their own names, and decorated their pieces using markers and glitter to create their own special logo!

In the next class, they were taught about Arabic art and history, and how it related to the culture. They looked at pieces of early and medieval Arabic art housed in the Metropolitan Museum, such as bowls or manuscripts that illuminated the art of calligraphy in these times and how it affected art and culture and the impacts it had. They then began to create their own patterns, using a connect-the-dots technique, which will be used on their final project, a big mural encompassing all the Arabic characters and techniques they have learned. Calligraphy is an art form that has a lot of potential, and is often overlooked. It is an ancient art form that is used for communication, and has led to important contributions to society – for example, a calligraphy class helped Steve Jobs to create the Apple computer, and if not for his calligraphy skills computers may not be what we know them as today. If these students continue their interest in the subject, who knows what they may be able to create!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

December's D-Lab Bridge Project

The students in our MIT D-Lab STEAM collaboration at the JFK Elementary School really loved the final bridge-building project we did in December! The kids had a design challenge to prepare them for real world application.  This challenge helped prepare students to face our current economic challenges.  When given this type of opportunity to learn real life skills, students will ultimately make these types of amazing contributions to our society!

The JFK students created these bridges by first interpreting different paintings featuring bridges.  They identified types of bridges and elements of bridge structure, such as beams, arches, and suspension wires.  They then connected the concept of triangulation to the use of triangles in trusses. Finally, the students had to explore and demonstrate tension, compression, and balance!

The JFK students did unbelievable work!  Take a look at some of their awesome handmade bridges!

Visit our Facebook and Flickr pages for more images from these wonderful lessons!