“The dog came to life and asked me to take him to the park. So I took the dog to the park.”
That’s what third grader Scarlet wrote about Balloon Dog (Blue), a giant steel balloon animal by artist Jeff Koons. Before creating her original work of fiction, Scarlet toured The Broad museum with the rest of After School Tutoring students from 826LA in Echo Park as part of a field trip organized in conjunction with The Broad museum.
Students and volunteers were divided into small groups, then assigned three pieces of art to find in the museum, look at, and write about. As Scarlet and company arrived at the Koons piece, each student suggested different things that the dog brought to mind.
“It’s blue. But it’s also golden. It’s golden blue,” said Lucas, first grader. The other students nodded in agreement.
After gazing upon many works of fine art and eating slices of pizza, the students drew on their observations to write about the day’s experience at the museum. With the help of 826LA volunteers and staff, they wrote letters, short stories, and even comics inspired by famous works including Lichtenstein’s famous Benday Dot paintings. When Scarlet’s group sat down to write, they shared many of the descriptions they had come up with together such as “golden blue” to describe the metallic sheen of Balloon Dog — museum musings became collaborative masterpieces.
Some writing was more personal. In response to Robert Therrien’s interactive Under the Table, an enormous table and chairs, kindergartner Yareli wrote, “It feels like I am at home.”
At the end of the writing session, students shared a wide variety of stories and interpretations that were funny and entirely unique. In fact, we’d say 826LA came away from The Broad museum with their very own works of art.
~ Cathy Mayer, 826LA Intern
Missed the field trip? Check out more photos of 826LA from Art+Story field trip at The Broad Museum here!