NO SCHOOL was a series of workshops held during the month of August, 2015.
Frank Traynor, artist, odd-shop proprietor and now teacher, knew he wanted to work for the summer with Arts in Parts (a non-profit organization that reaches out to kids in areas of New York City through community-based creative workshops). He began to teach natural baths and carbonation workshops during their Summer Explorer’s League where the kids and workshop leaders dug big holes in the beach, made jacuzzis with coconut milk, talked about how nasty soda is, and made their own fizzy drinks with stuff from the garden. Here at Pomelo, we were so intrigued with the images that were popping up on instagram, a heady mix of summer sun, sand, and next-level arts and crafts, that we had to ask Frank to fill us in with some details. Frank replied:
The Summer Explorer’s League went really well and then it was about to be over so Diwa (Tamrong, Founder/Educator) and I decided to keep going. I had just moved the shack out to the beach to become the mud and seltzer house. It made sense to bring all of our friends along. I knew I didn’t want to sell stuff anymore, so instead we worked with a bunch of really special people, writing workshops and projects based on their “practices”- teaching kids how to do the stuff they do – The Perfect Nothing Catalog x Arts in Parts – NO SCHOOL. I love everything about Arts in Parts, They are some of the most radical people I know and that was really one of the most blissed-out chunks of my life.
We are talking about possibilities for another program this coming summer- there will be more.
~At the end of August, NO SCHOOL held a retrospective of the projects that were created during the workshop.~
(Frank’s captions below…)
This is the quilt that started it all, made on a sunday with nothing to do on the front porch. Neighborhood kids came around to draw, and we cut up and patched it all together. decided to start NO SCHOOL.
These are from the first class, sand-casting pewter with Will Stewart. The kids wanted to make a copy of the key to the arts-in-parts house and then one of them drew this flower in the sand. Pouring molten metal into wet sand from the beach was a perfect first activity to set the tone for the rest of the program.
A pink pirate hat spray painted gold during Jeannine Han’s fashion workshop. We worked on making new clothes and also modifying found stuff. We had two big bags of thrift store stuff, the kids were going nuts.
Another front porch piece, working on “hawaiian flowers” with some of the kids and one of them left this awesome piece of beach foam. I hung it in the mud house so it’s kind of weathered, it’s one of my favorite things I’ve seen in 2015.
Two pieces from Jessica Hans’s workshop.
Installation view. After Topless Gallery closed down for the summer they let us hang our show in their space.
Another installation view. Two hats and a mask from Jeannine Han’s clothes-making workshop, two pieces from Jessica Hans’s ceramics workshop, two pieces from Andrea Bonin’s flower arranging workshop and a fish print from Frank Traynor’s gyutaku workshop.
This was from a gyutaku workshop I led on one of the last days of NO SCHOOL. The fish were caught nearby and donated by Whit’s End. It was really fun to watch the kids freak out and become comfortable touching dead fish.
Elise McMahon came and taught us about simple furniture making. We all made lap tables and stools. Powertools!
This is a beautiful mylar kite made during Chris Wegman’s workshop. We talked about how kites fly and flew them out on the beach.
This is a ring of rocks from a farm in Queens. Charlotte Sullivan came and taught the kids about making sigils about their summer dreams or secret goals.
I love these poured wax flower arrangements. This one has flowers from Edgemere Farm and clippings the kids collected from the neighborhood. One of the kids insisted we include his lucky penny.
Another from Andrea Bonin’s. Sunflowers and vines from the fence. They were made with beeswax and smelled so good.
We gathered a bunch of beach junk from Dead Horse bay and Rockaway Beach and made these mobiles with Abel Macias.