Blogger Paige Bentley-Flannery

Surrounded by Art

photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Pablo Picasso was prolific – creating art for over 75 years.  Imagine his divergent styles in painting to sculpture. While teachers, parents or librarians might focus on Picasso’s “Cubism” style, his sculptures are also the perfect medium to share with children.  I felt joy seeing his works at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). “Picasso Sculpture” is now on view with over 100 of his sculptures until February 7, 2016.

My quick 48-hour trip to New York City included author events, a High Line garden walk, Whitney, poetry projects, The Author’s Voice and Vocabulary in Picture Books at the Society of Illustrators and more.

The city was filled with energy and surprising warmth for November.  When I arrived at MoMA, I smiled and thought of Seen Art? by Jon Scieszka.  I loved walking through the museum.  I visited a few old friends (favorite paintings by Magritte and Monet).  But most of my time was spent really seeing each of Picasso’s sculptures up close and discovering what materials he used.  What an amazing exhibit! Every time I walk through a museum, I start planning, creating and picturing art programs in the library.

photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

My favorite Picasso book to share is Oooh Picasso by Mil Niepold.  Ready? Everyone together say, Oooh.  Each page has a photograph of one part of a sculpture with the question, “What is this?”  Then I add, What do you see? After going through each part everyone guesses what it is and says at the same time, “Oooh! I am a bull” I also talk about what found objects Picasso might have used.

More Picasso books on rifflebooks.

Pablo Picasso program ideas to do at your library:

  • Picasso used found objects to create his sculptures. Bring in a huge box of assorted items made from different materials-junk.  Have children create something new.
  • Clay figures:  Use colorful clay or blue, to remember Picasso’s blue period, and make a collection of clay animals.  Name each animal.  If you have a clay Pop-Up program by the end of the day, your clay might look like this.

    Goat with clay. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery. Pablo Picasso by Darice Bailer
    Goat with clay. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery. Book: Pablo Picasso by Darice Bailer
  • Art postcards -Using card stock or blank postcards, write a letter to Pablo Picasso.  What would you ask Picasso today?  Tell him about your favorite sculpture or draw a picture of your favorite sculpture.
  • Guitar-Play guitar music and discuss Picasso’s guitar sculptures. Watch or listen to a MoMA video.
  • Did you know Picasso’s Bull’s Head is made from a bicycle seat and handle
    bars? Discuss what other materials you might use to make Bull’s Head.
  • Build a huge goat or any animal out of recycled cereal boxes, paper towel roll
    and other cardboard materials.

    photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
    photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Pablo Picasso Resources:
Check out and print out the MoMA Activity Cards.

Picasso Guitars and a selection of Picasso information videos.

MoMA educational and family resources.

New York Historical Society Children’s Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Art Projects for Kids by Deep Space Sparkle on Pinterest

Winter break is right around the corner.  What programs are you offering at your library?

Paige Bentley-Flannery is a Community Librarian at Deschutes Public Library. For over fifteen years–from Seattle Art Museum to the New York Public Library to the Deschutes Public Library-Paige’s passion and creative style for art, poetry and literature have been combined with instructing, planning, and providing information. Paige is currently serving on the ALSC Notable Children’s Book Committee, 2015 – 2017. She is a former Chair of the ALSC Digital Content Task Force and member of the ALSC Great Websites Committee.

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