Monday, March 7, 2016

Benches on Parade

My daughter and I spent a month in Europe during the summer of 2001. And while there stumbled upon these incredible benches. Apparently the concept of public art in the form of benches started in Zurich, Switzerland. The first venture, which were cows, was a concept from artistic director Walter Knapp and was called "Land in Sicht" translated to "Countryside in View" in 1998.  When the mayor of Chicago, Peter Hanig visited the area and saw all of those wonderful cows all over the city, painted to look like anything but a cow, he brought the concept back home and launched the "Cows on Parade" as a fundraiser for the city. The cows were so popular they were reproduced and sold as collectibles. I actually have a couple (my oldest grandson called dibs on them) in a display case in my living room.  

I totally missed the cows but was lucky to find all these magnificent benches AND I also found the book at the top of this post, in one of the shops as I went through the town.

Here are some photos from the book:

They are both amazing and amusing, don't you think?? Now this wonderful public art fundraiser spawned in a variety of different ways all over the world. In addition to cows and benches there are horses, lions, manatees, turtles and many more!!

The benches are a wonderful lesson in which to introduce functional art. The art palette is my sample from the first time I did this lesson. I photographed it so I didn't have to save it. The sewing machine is the sample I made to show my students this time around.

I did a power point with art benches after a Google search just to inspire my students and of course I shared the book with them. I changed out the original directions I had, because I decided to stream line it, that's why some of it is crossed out.

Students were given the directions, 12" x 18" white paper, 18" long rulers, scissors and pencils.  Even though they had the directions I still insisted that they do this with me step by step.           
                               Using rulers with them for some reason is just tricky??????

I wanted my 5th graders to have the 3D bench up and in front of them to understand how to go about planning it. When I saw the benches, originally, certain ones made sense in front of certain shops. So I wanted them to think of where their bench might be. And to consider all four sides.


Now, unfortunately I went on medical leave right in the middle of this project. So the directions to do the back on a separate sheet of 9" x 12" paper to attach while assembling the bench didn't really get out there. Backs were left blank???   Anyway here are some fronts to feast your eyes on!

I thought these came out great!!!

The NAEA conference is about 10 days away........ Have totally whined daily to my husband about missing it this year (having surgery.....) Anyway have been asked to share the info on the photo below. I was there last year and it was a blast to meet some of MY favorite bloggers! So if you are there and can make over to the Art of Ed booth, it is totally worth it!

Below is from New Orleans, 2015 
Thanks for reading!! Hope to see you next year in New York!

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