Sunday, February 21, 2010

Montessori Students Create Theater from My Picture Book

Katie Kovach and I were introduced via email through mutual friend, musician Alex Battles. She and I later connected on Facebook where I took special note of her alice FOUND photo galleries. Katie, a talented photographer, takes emotionally energetic photos of local bands.

Best of all, Katie and I connect through Arts in Education via my book, MERMAIDS ON PARADE. Katie is the drama teacher for 2-5 year olds at Montessori School of Manhattan. She covers acting, writing, set design, costume design and props. They even work on Shakespeare and opera!

Katie sometimes works with picture books as a source of drama exercises. She said "Your book was perfect because it centers around an event with a specific place, has beautiful illustrations that the kids are drawn to (making it easier for them to note things about the place to include in their designs), and it is local. Several of my students began to tell me about their own trips to Coney Island. And of course the Mermaid Parade in general is so fantastical and dramatic, it's like it's own theater piece".

Enjoy some of Katie's students set designs for MERMAIDS ON PARADE.

Thanks, Katie and Students!

Photo Credit: Alex Battles

Friday, February 19, 2010

Artists in my Book/ *Evan Reynolds* Interview

I know Brooklyn artist Evan Reynolds from Superfine. He marched as a Neptune with the Superfine Dinettes in the 2006 Mermaid Parade. And, he's painted in my book, MERMAIDS ON PARADE.

Can you spot Evan? He is #53.

Evan likes many different forms of art and he uses as many as possible to create short movies. For many years Evan played music in bands. He plays drums, bass, guitar; he has made recordings where he plays all the instruments and sings all the vocals. For his last short movie Evan made sculptures, painted them, filmed them, edited them, and created the music. To Evan this was a lot of fun, so he is in the process of doing it all again.

Here is a link to Evan's highly creative short movie,"Todt/Toad".

Evan was generous to answer a few questions.

Q: If you had a mermaid name what would it be?

ER: Triton

Q: What does Coney Island mean to you?

ER: Hot Dogs, the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel, Ruby's, the parade, old Russian men sunning themselves, and just freaks in general, but also New York's beach. If you go there on July Fourth (which I have done) there are easily a million people there. It's pretty amazing just to see that many people in one place.

Q: Why do you enjoy marching in the Mermaid Parade?

ER: It's a freaky party... all the strange ones come out... it celebrates the impossible...It's a majestic tinfoil hat!

Q: What are you currently working on?

ER: I am working on my second short film called "Frog (swimming)"

Thanks! p.s. today is his 40th Birthday! Happy Birthday, Evan!

Photo Credit: Evan Reynolds
Illustration detail from MERMAIDS ON PARADE