Sunday, November 27, 2016

Field Trip! A Visit with Camilla Spadafino

For the second installment of my Field Trip! series, I was excited to sit down with the amazing artist and art teacher Camilla Spadafino. Long before I ever met Camilla, I had heard all about her: what a wonderfully kind and warm person she is and what an incredibly inspiring teacher. My best friend Mallory put it best: she's the kind of person who makes you feel good just being around her. So y'all can imagine that I was thrilled when she agreed to take part in our Field Trip! 
With this Field Trip! series, I want my time with the artist to feel natural. I also want the artist to feel comfortable so I have been letting them decide on the format. With Bebo, we watched him create one of his fun and funky sculptures. Being a teacher, Camilla suggested walking us through how she created the portraits for her Miss Camilla's Neighborhood Coloring Book
In the video, Camilla chats about what initially inspired her portraits. Since then, she's created over 100 portraits of friends and family in her east Nashville neighborhood. What I love about her process are the endless ways they can be used in our art rooms. 
While she was sharing her method, I got the idea that my Gallery of Gratitude project could be updated. Instead of the kids drawing the portraits, we could use Camilla's process, thus making the portraits more realistic and, if on canvas, more permanent. Also, the kids could interview the person to find out their interests and their dreams for the future. How fun would a wall of the faculty and staff of our schools be?! 
I learned so many new tips and tricks by hanging out with Camilla. I love how she talks about working quietly to let the art speak to her and finding magic in what she is creating. I also love when she chats about respecting art supplies. Doesn't she do a fabulous job including vocabulary? The perks of interviewing an art teacher.
I love what she had to say about using certain colors and how that is a form of branding. I had not thought of that! But what a wonderful way for the kids to think more carefully about the colors they use. 
Another idea I had came when Camilla was talking about her pet portraits. This year, my school is reaching out to the local animal shelter and working with them on several projects. I have been trying to come up with a way for my students to create portraits of the adoptable pets. With this method, I can drop by after school, snap photos and have the kids use these. I know they will LOVE this project. 
Having the kids create coloring books of the portraits would be a wonderful fundraiser as well. I'm telling you, when I walked outta Camilla's house, my head was spinning, I had so many ideas. She truly is magical.
 When Mitch came home from work that night, I was so excited to tell him about my experience with Camilla. Every sentence started with, "...and then..." 
Camilla also shared her latest project called Paint the Town by Numbers. I learned so much about the back story behind this new endeavor including how she dreamt up this project and is bringing it to fruition. I'll be certain to share that with you in a follow up blog post and video. She was even kind enough to give me one of her paint by number kits which I enjoyed on Thanksgiving, in between plates of food. 
What a wonderful time I had hanging out with Miss Camilla! I'll be certain to share my video'ed lessons to company my visit here. I often update my YouTube channel before I share here so subscribe to stay tuned! 
Special thanks and a warm hug to Camilla for being so open to an interview and being a lovely host. Have fun, y'all!
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1 comment:

  1. Fantastic video and interview. Very inspiring and uplifting. Thanks for planting positive seeds.

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