A Life in the Day

For the first time since BFS moved, I got to spend a full day in the new space. Historically, I have come on a semi regular basis to work with students in drawing. The form this usually takes is that I come with my equipment, sit myself down in a visible area, and just start drawing. Whoever wishes to join me is welcome. In the old space, we had a dedicated work room in the basement. But I avoided it as it was cold, damp, musty and windowless. In the new space, we now have 2 dedicated art spaces (one not yet open). In this space it was warm, dry, and I was able to work in front of two huge windows. The room was always occupied by a few students, and the atmosphere was way more relaxing.

Danial Schaefer, another parent volunteer, and a professional comics artist was already in the room conducting a class. The class basically involves blank books with panels already set in place and the children just work on developing their own stories. So rather than doing my usual schtick, I joined them. I found that I was able to support the class with my experience.

My original career goal was as a cartoonist when I entered art school. I had Harvey Kurtzmen and Jerry Moriarty as teachers and occasionally crashed Will Eisner’s class where I would hide in the back and observe. My favorite class at SVA was History of Animation. Three hours of vintage cartoons with occasional lectures from the teacher. And then last of all was my half day class with Gill Miret who I believe was a former Disney employee (all the animation teachers hated Disney). Gil’s class was a workshop where we worked on our own projects. There was an old Oxbury camera set up and we all had light tables to work on. I spent the entire year working on my stream of consciousness animation which after 10 months rolled out to be 59 seconds in length.

I hope to post some of what I worked in Dan’s class, but that will have to be another time. I just wanted to share the excitement of having the school at a new and dedicated location. No more moving stuff around to accommodate the church. No more dank, cold, windowless spaces. Clinton Hill proves to be a very hip and quaint area with its many old mansions and brownstones. There are at least 2 large playgrounds within a few blocks and there may even be an athletic field one train stop away. It feels to me that BFS is in a place where it can really take new form as it places itself on the frontier of education reform.

If you wish to help in some way, volunteers and visitors are welcome. Visit the school on the web at www.brooklynfreeschool.org

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