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About Susan Schwake
Susan works with diverse groups of people making art. She was hired to organize and create a permanent exhibition of children's art, involving more than one hundred local children. The children created the artwork for a new children's wing in the local library. She also was chosen to direct a similar project with four hundred people in an intergenerational setting for a new multi-agency facility. This process-oriented program was designed to bring the staff, families, and clients more closely together through the process of making art together and was permanently displayed in the facility.
Following the release of her first three books the Art Lab for Kids series - Susan continues to offer workshops and programs to parents, teachers at universities, art studios, community organization, public and private schools. Her fourth book: Art for All Seasons, published by Two Little Birds is due out November 1st 2014. This book offers a curriculum to be used all year around and each lesson is inspired by the natural world and a contemporary artist.
She exhibits her own artwork in galleries in the United States and Europe. Susan has been juried public art exhibitions, creating large-scale, site-specific outdoor works. She has curated over 80 compelling contemporary exhibitions to date in her own gallery of hundreds of national and international artist's work. She curates a rotating gallery in her city's hospital and has worked with many corporations installing original artwork from her gallery's stable of artists.
Susan works alongside her husband Rainer at artstream studios in New Hampshire. Together they collaborate daily within each facet of their creative business. Rainer holds a masters degree in Design from Farholschule, Muenster Germany and has created award winning websites and print materials for companies in a wide range of sectors. Art for All Seasons features Rainer's layout and design, including over 400 photographs that the couple styled together and photographed. They work together creating exhibit layouts, media design work and promoting the art school which they have built together. They wouldn't have it any other way. They have two creative children who write and make art and delight them endlessly.
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Developed for the younger set (4-6 year olds) and targeting one of the most critical developmental periods for children, Art Lab for Little Kids is the perfect book for both parents and teachers who are seeking enriching and unique experiences to offer this age group.
As in Susan Schwake’s first book, Art Lab for Kids (Quarry Books, 2012), the Labs can be used as singular projects, or used to build up to a year of hands-on fine art experiences. Each Lab also features the work of a prominent artist for inspiration. The book begins with an introduction on materials and setting up a space for making art. The lessons that follow are open-ended to be explored over and over – with different results each time. They are geared for children being taught or guided by adults and are successful on all levels of experience and age. They do not result in “cookie cutter” end products, but are a method of learning something new each time they are used.
This motivational book stands out as a unique reference for creating fine art with children through finding the student’s own voice, marks and style and with playful lessons that result in significant skill building. Gorgeous photography shows different results from different people using the same lesson, exemplifying the way the lesson brings out each artist’s personal style. Art Lab for Little Kids is a fresh source of creative activities for families and community groups or will work as lesson plans for both experienced and new art teachers in home school, preschool, and kindergarten environments.
"Susan Schwake's Art Lab for Kids is a well-thought-out guide, making it easy to introduce art into children's lives. Simple, clear explanations of technique, combined with inspiration from established artists, will enable children to feel successful and encouraged to explore art as a form of expression." - Rebecca Emberley, best-selling children's book author and illustrator
"Art Lab for Kids encourages all ages to be fearless in seeking and nurturing their creativity. With lessons, inspiration, and advice, Susan Schwake gives you the tools to find and explore your artistic side." - Kathreen Ricketson
A refreshing source of ideas for creating fine art with children, Art Lab for Kids encourages the artist’s own voice, marks, and style. This fun and creative book features 52 fine art projects set into weekly lessons, beginning with drawing, moving through painting and printmaking, and then building to paper collage and mixed media. Each lesson features and relates to the work and style of a contemporary artist. Lisa Congdon, Megan Bogonovich, and Amy Rice are just a few of the artists included. The labs can be used as singular projects or to build up to a year of hand-on fine art experiences. The lessons in this book are open-ended to be explored over and over–with different results each time! Colorful photos illustrate how different people using the same lesson will yield different results, exemplifying the way the lesson brings out each artist’s personal style. Art Lab for Kids is the perfect book for creative families, friends, and community groups and works as lesson plans for both experienced and new art teachers. Children of all ages and experience levels can be guided by adults and will enjoy these engaging exercises.
One of the most important gifts we can give children is to nurture their creativity and allow them to express themselves freely. There's no better way to express yourself than through creative art projects. This is especially true for children because it gives them an outlet to explore their developing interests and strengths.
Art Lab for Kids: Express Yourself contains 52 brand new original art projects that will draw out each young artist as they discover their style, document their thoughts, and build confidence in their unique perspective. Each lesson asks questions and offers personal choices while encouraging diverse approaches and creative thinking.
The Colorful Beasts project, which incorporates discussion of endangered animals with the Blue Rider art movement, asks children to use torn colored tissue paper and glue to create an expressive representation of a favorite vulnerable animal. In I Built This City, children imagine and build their own cityscape using columns of newspaper text to make buildings on top of a watercolor painted background, and detailed with marker.
Many projects include varying examples and executions of the activity to illustrate and reinforce the open-ended nature of the labs, inspiring children to embrace and share their own voice.
Give children the great gift of creative self-exploration with Art Lab for Kids, Express Yourself.
The popular Lab for Kids series features a growing list of books that share hands-on activities and projects on a wide host of topics, including art, astronomy, clay, geology, math, and even how to create your own circus—all authored by established experts in their fields. Each lab contains a complete materials list, clear step-by-step photographs of the process, as well as finished samples. The labs can be used as singular projects or as part of a yearlong curriculum of experiential learning. The activities are open-ended, designed to be explored over and over, often with different results. Geared toward being taught or guided by adults, they are enriching for a range of ages and skill levels. Gain firsthand knowledge on your favorite topic with Lab for Kids.