LIFELIKE: Trompe L’oeil Sculpture (and More)

Trompe l’oeil means ‘fools the eye’ in French. Maybe you have seen a painting or sidewalk chalk art that looked so real you felt you could walk right into it. I just came from MCASD’s extraordinary LIFELIKE show which features trompe l’oeil sculpture (and painting) of everyday items. It is one of the rare museum exhibits I’ve seen that is perfect for children of all ages! Here are a few pieces.

Ai Wei Wei’s Sunflower Seeds:

Ai Wei Wei's  porcelain sunflower seeds look absolutely real!

Ai Wei Wei’s porcelain sunflower seeds look absolutely real!

These sunflower seeds are unbelievably real, even close up. They are porcelain, hand painted with slip.

Not your everyday bag:

Susan Collis' 'Refugee' bag


Susan Collis’ bag looks so ordinary – something you’d use to carry your laundry. Look closely – it is not woven, but constructed of paper meticulously colored with ballpoint pen and graphite. WHOA.

Hyper-realism on a different scale:

Mueck's unbelievably lifelike sculpture of a child. Photo source: New Orleans Museum of Art

Mueck’s unbelievably lifelike sculpture of a child. Photo source: New Orleans Museum of Art

Ron Mueck makes hyper-realistic sculptures of people. The scale is off – this crouching boy is too small. Mueck uses polyester resin for the skin – you can see every toenail and wrinkle.

A ‘working’ elevator:

These tiny elevators' doors open and close.

These tiny elevators’ doors open and close.

Maurizio Cattelan’s tiny elevators are really popular. The doors open with a ding and close with a tiny thud. Folks were crowded around the artwork waiting for the doors to open.

LIFELIKE originated at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.  It closes at MCASD on May 27 and reopens in Austin, Texas in June. If you are in town, check out the museum AND TAKE THE KIDS!

p.s. to San Diegans: The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) always has FREE admission to everyone under 25!

Want to see even more? Check out this 5-minute video.





Creative Self-Portraits at Young Art Show


Young Art 2013 at San Diego Museum of Art

For over 80 years, the San Diego Museum of Art has held a juried exhibition of student art. This year’s show is all about identity. Young Art ‘The Story of Me’ is on display right now at the Museum at the Center for Community and Cultural Art. Learn more in this article.

Our school had a record 12 pieces in this year’s show. Congratulations to all our young artists! Here are all their fabulous projects, arranged by grade:

First Grade: Clay Self-Portraits

matt and grace

 First Grade: Royal Self Portrait

L. and her royal self-portrait

L. and her royal self-portrait


Second Grade: Super Hero Self Portraits

super hero collage young art

Dream Catcher Girl

Third Grade: Heritage Self Portrait

Gavin’s heritage self-portrait, ‘Flag Face’, incorporates the flags of France and Italy.

Fourth Grade: CD Case Double Portraits

cd case portrait collage


 Fifth Grade: Charm bracelets and dog tags

Mo and his charm necklace

Mo’s self-portrait is a T-shirt and neck chain, with charms for skiing and Spiderman.


Bella's charm bracelet has charms for Mexico, swimming, Disneyland and more.

Bella’s self-portrait charm bracelet includes charms for Mexico, swimming, and Disneyland.

Jacob's salute to his family's military background includes a camouflage shirt and individual dog tags for family members in the service.

Jacob’s salute to his family’s military background includes a camouflage shirt and individual dog tags for family members in the service.


Well done artists!!!! The show is up until May 26, 2013. Hope you can visit!

Thanks to the fabulous art education team at SDMART for making Young Art happen. Our community truly appreciates all your hard work.




Happy Earth Day!


eyes on the table


Happy Earth Day!  Our fifth graders created this whole class artwork using recycled CD cases colored with Sharpie and oil pastel. For more art projects using CD cases, click here and here.

I just entered the piece in an online art contest offered by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) (P.S. MCASD is free to everyone 25 and under. It’s a great place for young people to discover contemporary art).

It feels great to make fun art projects and keep ‘trash’ out of the landfill!



Do you have a favorite recycled art project?

Yoga at the Museums!

Can you believe it? TWO San Diego art museums are holding yoga events this April.

The San Diego Museum of Art will hold a series of four weekly yoga classes Monday nights in April, 2013. Click here for more information.

Experience art in context during Yoga at the Museum. Strengthen your mind and body as you practice yoga in the San Diego Museum of Art’s Hibben Gallery and meditate on the art around you. Instructor Amy Pachowicz will offer a four-week course focusing on renewal, creation, and lifeforce. The goals are to increase energy through basic pranayama (breath work), supported backbends, beginning inversions and twists, and restorative poses. Hip-opening poses will also be taught as a way to increase creativity. Each class will be a mixture of poses and is appropriate for all levels.

How fabulous is that?

yoga at ncm

On April 19, 2013 The New Children’s Museum is hosting Namaste at NCM – An Evening of Yoga and Wine for a Purpose. This is a fundraiser to benefit camp scholarships for low-income children.

This special event will take place on the New Children’s Museum’s main level. The breathtaking architecture of NCM’s beautiful and modern museum space, surrounded by the twinkling lights of downtown San Diego, will help inspire your “inner yogi”– all while raising money for a great cause! The yoga practice will be led by Sabrina Garland of Garland Yoga, assisted by the talented instructors of Urban Yogi, while DJ Paul Peterson spins the evening’s tunes. BRING YOUR MAT! Sushi, bites, dessert, and wine will be served immediately following the yoga practice.

How fabulous is that?

Tickets are $45/person, $40 for NCM members. Click here for more info.


Journey Through the City: Interactive Sculpture

Journey Through the City Interactive Sculpture

It’s winter break here in San Diego, and I celebrated with a trip to the San Diego Museum of Art. I enjoyed a FABULOUS, fun, free exhibit that will definitely appeal to children: Beneath the Moon II: Journey through the City by Miquel Navarro. It is an interactive sculpture/game/artwork made of 1000+ pieces of cast metal, ready to be assembled by visitors of all ages.

Navarro created this artwork in 1994 for the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Since then, it has toured the world, delighting children in Europe, Asia and Mexico. Here is a video of French school children enjoying Beneath the Moon.



What can you do in the art room to tie into Beneath the Moon II: Journey Through the City? You may want to start with a discussion. What is a city? What do we see in the city? We might see houses, factories, roads, trains, freeways, rivers, bridges or skyscrapers. Swimming pools and skate parks! Do cities stay the same forever or do they change?

Lesson Ideas:

If you visit:

The exhibit is open during regular Museum hours through April 30, 2013. There is no charge for this special exhibition, located in the new Welcome Gallery on the first floor. For docent-led school tours and group visits, click here.

The San Diego Museum of Art is located in beautiful Balboa Park, home to 15 major museums, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, theaters, gardens and much more.

A final tip: allot some time….YOUR KID WON’T WANT TO LEAVE!!!



Would you like to see your students’ artworks exhibited at the San Diego Museum of Art? Young Art, the Museum’s exhibition of local student art, opens April 13, 2013.  The theme is ‘The Story of Me’. This is a juried exhibition.  Click here for more information. The deadline for submission is February 9, 2013.

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