BEE the Change

970172_10151941566901324_7809360038521488933_nIn honor of Earth Week, ACA teamed up with Arlington’s Whole Foods to talk about the health of our earth, natural processes, like pollination and how we can help.  Together, we came up with the art installation, Bee the Change, which is on view at the Arlington Whole Foods on Mass Ave.



During our week long Vacation Arts Camp in April, our team of campers and staff made bees from recycled materials.  We used paper tubes, posters and old advertisements donated by Whole Foods.  We also reused their banners and painted signs to to display in the store.



IMG_2606All totaled, our campers made over 150 bees of all sizes and designs. Different age groups of kids contributed different aspects of the project, from cutting out the wings to drawing the faces.   The project was overseen and organized by our Counselors in Training, who helped install the artwork at Whole Foods.

The result is a beautiful swarm of friendly bees hanging over the café at the Mass Ave Whole Foods!  Be sure to check them out next time you are in the area!

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“Beatle Mania” comes to Arts Camp

Pop Art Project, "Beatle Mania" week at ACA Arts Camp

Pop Art project for “Beatle Mania” week at ACA Arts Camp

It may be more than 50 years since John, Paul, George and Ringo burst onto the music scene, but the FAB FOUR still inspired lots of happy enthusiasm at ACA’s arts camp last week!

All week long, campers made art inspired by the 1960s, learning a bit about famous artists Andy Worhol, Claes Oldenburg and Jackson Pollack along the way.  In music and drama, we learned a bunch of Beatles songs and put together our own original all-camp musical featuring 5 Beatles songs.

On Wednesday, we had a special guest performance by the Beatles Ensemble from the Winchester Community Music School, led by our music teacher for the week, Tad Hitchcock.

Here’s a video “Yellow Submarine,” with the kids singing along on the chorus, and some great dancing at the end:

And here are a few other highlights and impressions of our week:

Campers created soft sculptures of musical instruments, inspired by the work of sculptor Claes Oldenburg.

Campers created soft sculptures of musical instruments, inspired by the work of sculptor Claes Oldenburg.

Our littlest campers, in the "Young at Art" group, created charming and colorful hand print pop art paintings.

Our littlest campers, in the “Young at Art” group, created charming and colorful hand print pop art paintings.

Counselors in Training created art inspired by music, including this great response to the Beatles' song "Let it Be"

Counselors in Training created art inspired by music, including this great response to the Beatles’ song “Let it Be”

The CITs took a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - what a great group!

The CITs took a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston – what a great group!

CITs took their field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - what a nice group!!

It was a timely visit to the MFA – CITs checked out the new “Hippie Chic” exhibit about the 1960s fashion revolution.

Want to see more “Beatle Mania”?

CIT Slideshow – artwork, field trip & more
Arts Camp Slideshow – art, music, drama & more

Friday Night Teen Clubhouse @ ACA

Friday night, and nothing for your teen to do?
How many times parents have heard that complaint! 

Now there’s a great option at the Arlington Center for the Arts – the “Friday Night Teen Clubhouse” – a place for creative teens to connect, socialize and be creative in a safe and fun atmosphere, led by two Arlington High School graduates who remember what it was like to be a teen in Arlington looking for a place to fit in and hang out with other creative teens.

looking for something fun for teens on Friday Nights? Join the Friday Night Teen Clubhouse at ACA!

The Teen Clubhouse meets on Friday evenings, with new sessions beginning in the Fall, Winter and Spring, with separate groups for middle school students and high school students.    The cost is $110 for eight weeks, or $95 for ACA members.  Pre-registration is required, and teens must sign up for the full eight weeks (no drop-in option).

The middle school Teen Clubhouse runs from 6:00-8:00, led by Chris Legare,  an AHS graduate who has since earned his BA from Mass College of Art.  Chris is a long-time teacher of arts and animation at ACA.  For the middle school group, Chris plans on starting each Friday night with a guided lesson exploring mediums such as charcoal drawing, animation, stenciling, graphic arts, painting, installation art, sculpting and more. The second hour of each class will be dedicated to open studio time where students can continue on with the guided lesson, work independently or in groups on their own projects, socialize, and just unwind, have fun, and make new friends.

Chris Legare (on left, in red) will work with the middle school group in this fall’s Teen Clubhouse. Chris is known for his imaginative projects – everything from animation to street art to photography and more!

The high school Teen Clubhouse runs from 6:30-8:30, led by Brian Biciocchi, also an AHS graduate and long-time leader of ACA’s Counselor in Training program.  Known for his fun-loving and compassionate style, Brian is planning to make the high school clubhouse “a fun, social space to be creative and feel supported.”  Teens will pursue their own self-motivated projects and be encouraged to explore their own artistic motivations and produce works of their own design and planning.   An array of materials will be provided as well as a fun-loving, “it’s-a-friday-night” atmosphere with music and plenty of time to socialize and make new friendships (or strengthen old ones).

Brian Biciocchi will lead the high school group in this Fall’s Teen Clubhouse. Brian is known for his outrageous good fun and ability to connect with teens.

To learn more or to register for the Friday Night Teen Clubhouse, visit or call the Arlington Center for the Arts (781) 648-6220.

Video Blog: Recycled & Altered Books

You’ll never believe what you can do with old books!
Diem Dangers will lead you on an amazing journey, transforming old books into stunningly beautiful and meaningful visual journals…

Next offered:
“Recycled Books” with Diem Dangers
Fall, 2012:  4 Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30pm, ages 11-16
You can register online
or call the Arlington Center for the Arts (781) 648-6220

Skye Murie and Jordawn Moses Receive ACA’s Community Arts Leadership Award

The Arlington Center for the Arts was delighted to present its 3rd annual Community Arts Leadership Award to Arlington High School Seniors Jordawn Moses and Skye Murie at the AHS Scholarship and Award Night on June 7, 2012.

The ACA Award, underwritten by former ACA Board President John Cinkala, recognizes two graduating seniors each year for their community service through the arts.  Through their leadership and creativity, the 2012 award winners truly reflect the mission of the Arlington Center of the Arts, which is to transform lives and build community through the arts. 

Jordawn Moses and Skye Murie accept ACA’s Community Arts Leadership Award at the annual Arlington High School Awards Night, June 2012. Photo credit: Mark Wilke.

The “after” shot – the AHS girls’ restroom after Jordawn’s covered over all the graffiti and painted the walls with bright colors and uplifting quotations. Jordawn is happy to report that at the end of the school year, there was not a single case of graffiti in the transformed space.

Jordawn Moses has used her creativity and initiative to improve the lives of others.  Concerned with the effect of graffiti on self-esteem, Jordawn transformed a girls’ restroom at AHS from a place filled with demoralizing and hateful messages into a space where, as she put it, “one could feel respect, solace, and beauty.”

Jordawn worked with a local paint store to select peaceful colors, painted over all the graffiti, and replaced demeaning messages with uplifting words and quotations.  In addition, Jordawn has volunteered with elders in the art therapy department of an assisted living facility, and her own artwork has been selected for the Spy Pond Mural project, slated to be hung on the Arlington Boys and Girls Club.

Jordawn will be attending Mount Ida College in the Fall.

See the artwork created by Jordawn and three other teen artists for the Spy Pond Mural.

Skye Murie is an accomplished visual artist who has excelled in ceramics, watercolor, acrylics and oil painting, and has received recognition from the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards, and received the AHS Arts Award in her Freshman, Sophmore and Junior Years.

Skye Murie’s Jacob Marley puppet was an impressive and memorable part of AHS’s 2011 production of “A Christmas Carol”

This fall, Skye saved the day for the production of  “A Christmas Carol” at AHS, volunteering to create a 7-foot tall puppet of the Ghost of Jacob Marley, after a professional puppet designer fell through.   Skye’s puppet received amazing reviews! Skye has also participated in the Concord Family Trees Exhibit, where she designed and constructed ornaments for holiday trees inspired by children’s books.

Skye Murie will be attending Hampshire College in the fall.

See more images of Skye’s artwork on her Flickr page.

The Arlington Center for the Arts is delighted to be able to recognize these talented young artists who understand the importance of the arts as a tool to better their community and change the world.  Jordawn and Skye have truly transformed lives through the arts.

Everyone at ACA offers our congratulations and best wishes in all their future endeavors!

Friday Night Teen Arts @ ACA

ACA was bustling with creative activity on Friday nights thanks to the Creative Teen Program, offered to middle school and high school students. The class was run on a grant given to ACA by the Arlington Cultural Council, allowing the program to be run at a low cost with experienced teachers to lead the way – not to mention the incredibly talented students that came to share their artistry in our classrooms.

The structure of the program was different from most ACA classes, as there was no set curriculum. The teachers came equipped each week with a project in mind (and the materials to do so), but also came with an open mind, hoping that the students would take the initiative to come with ideas of what they wanted to create. The general principle behind the Creative Teen Program was to give students the space and the equipment to express themselves in a safe environment with facilitators there to aid in the art making and to give ideas when a student seemed stuck or unsure of what they should create. While this method could have ended in the students staring at blank pieces of paper, the program was lucky enough to have students that were determined and motivated enough to come with their creative juices flowing as soon as they stepped into the room.

The projects that were created throughout the program turned out to be incredible – some created self portraits, posters to create awareness about a cause, 3D sculptures, and graffiti-style artwork. As skills were taught to the students, they took their newfound way of art-making and used it in different ways as the weeks went on. For example, when the basics of using spray paint and creating stencils were introduced, students came in the next week with items from home (such as shoes and even furniture) that they wanted to implement their new skills on. The outcome was impressive; the students were able to use their knowledge to create projects that genuinely interested them, while still learning the many ways that you can express yourself through art.

Overall, the Creative Teen Program was a huge success, ending the session with notable and striking artwork to bring home and great skills to continue using in their future artwork.

See more photos of the Teens at work in ACA’s Friday Night Teen Arts Program.

Emily Kindschy is an intern from Lesley University.