For the eighth installment of this series of easy, fun and engaging arts integration activities that kids and families can enjoy together, we’re exploring relationships. Integrating the arts with students’ everyday academics is proven to increase comprehension and retention! Whether your kids are learning virtually, in a classroom setting, or homeschooled, there are plenty of opportunities to learn together with this creative, introspective activity. For more arts-integrated activities, visit www.okaplus.org/sailbox or find more details on Facebook at SAIL Box, OKA+ Schools Institute.
Lesson 8: The Unexpected Us – Exploring Relationships
The relationship between concepts, objects or people is how they are connected. One of the first examples you may think of is the relationship between you and a friend or family member. Relationships are also an important part of math, science and art. “The Unexpected Us” is an art installation by Denise Duong and Gabriel Friedman at Scissortail Park in Oklahoma City. Look at this picture or better yet go visit it in person. As you can see it is a very different experience to see it in daylight or to see it at night.
What do you notice about this piece? What relationships do you notice in the art?
Relationships are the way in which things are connected. This piece has many connections. The longer you look, the more you’ll find! You may notice the way the willow branches connect to create a woven basket. You might see a bird that looks like it is in a nest, which is the relationship between an animal and its home. You may have noticed that two artists worked together to create this piece, a relationship between people. These are only a few examples of many!
This art installation is on display at Scissortail Park through the month of August. Visit it in person for inspiration and to inspect the way that it is woven to find more relationships.
String Art Sculpture
Take inspiration from “The Unexpected Us” art piece to create your own sculpture using: yarn, glue and a balloon. You will also need: two bowls, water and a sharpie.
- Prepare your space. This project can be messy! Make sure your space is covered with a craft tablecloth, newspaper or trash bag. You may want to make an apron out of a plastic bag to cover your clothes. Cut a hole in the top of the bag for your head to go through and a hole in either side for your arms. You could also use an apron or wear old clothes.
- Prepare your base. Blow up your balloon. Mark a circle around the knot of your balloon with a sharpie. This will be the base where you will not wrap the yarn. For a more advanced project, you can mark another space on the sculpture that can be an opening like in “The Unexpected Us” sculpture.
- Prepare your glue mixture and yarn. In a large bowl, mix equal parts of liquid glue (like Elmer’s) and water. The mixture should be thin enough to be absorbed by the yarn. You may need a full bottle of glue or more. Place your whole ball of yarn into the glue mixture. Move it around and give it time to absorb the glue.
- Wrap yarn. Find the end of your yarn. Begin wrapping it around your balloon. Cross the lines of yarn over each other as you wrap around the balloon. When you are finished wrapping, take the end of the yarn and tuck it under another piece. Rest your balloon in the second bowl to dry. Make sure the area that is resting on the bowl is not covered in yarn (the area you had marked). Pour your remaining glue mixture over the top. Allow to dry for two full days.
- Remove the balloon. When your sculpture has fully dried, you can cut or pop the balloon. As the air releases, gently pull it from the yarn if necessary.
- Finish your sculpture. Look at your string art creation. What does it remind you of? What relationship does it represent? Could it be an animal home or a fairy habitat? Maybe it would make the perfect lampshade or decoration for your room! You may want to add other elements or objects to complete your sculpture or leave it as is.
Share your work. We want to see your sculptures! Share them on Facebook @okasailbox, OKA+ Schools Institute, or email them to email@example.com.
Integrated arts activities are created by certified teachers and provided by Oklahoma A+ Schools to meet the Oklahoma Academic Standards across multiple content areas. Find more activities at metrofamilymagazine.com/