Thursday, March 9, 2017

At NAEA - a workshop with artist Michael Albert

It's Michael Albert!   I mean, look how animated and adorable this guy is!  He told us that he's 50 years old, but by his looks, I would have guessed he was closer to 30.  I guess making art agrees with him! 
Let me back up, since you might not know who I'm talking about.  I first blogged about NY artist Michael Albert and his collages made from cereal boxes and other consumer packaging, exactly 6 years ago, in 2011.  You can find that post HERE.  My students had been studying surrealism, and we used Michael Albert's "cerealism" as a way to segue into pop art.  The kids "got" the joke, loved his work, and enjoyed making their own cereal box collages.  I wrote about him again in a blog post 2 years ago, HERE.  I was very excited, last fall, when he wrote a comment on this post!  It's always cool when the blog gets an unexpected viewer.  Here's a quote from his official website:  
"Albert has been creating ART since his college days at New York University, where he studied business. His art has evolved from doodles and Pen & Ink, to serious wax oil drawings,  to the cubist mosaic Cereal box collages he has become known for. In the past several years he has been creating large scale "Epic" collage works on various themes including historical, biblical, literary, musical, lyrical, botanical, mathematical & geographical....".

Anyhow, when I read that Michael Albert was teaching a hands-on workshop at the NAEA convention, I knew I wanted to attend.  But I waited to buy a ticket because I wanted to make sure the workshops I would be teaching would not conflict.  By the time my schedule was set and I looked again, the tickets had been sold out.  So I was disappointed, but still planned to just pop my head into the workshop and thank him personally for visiting the blog.
But that's not what happened.  About an hour before the workshop, I went on the convention app to see if I could find a companion for dinner that night, but instead, discovered that someone had posted that she had a ticket to this workshop she couldn't use, because she was too sick to leave her hotel room.  All I had to do to claim the ticket was meet her sister in the lobby of the other hotel being used for the convention.  I put on my coat and headed across the street and just a few minutes later, the ticket was mine for free!  I stopped worrying about dinner plans and not much  later I was walking into the workshop to meet the artist and enjoy two hours of delightful fun.  Below, we are all making a mess working on creating cereal box collages.
I enjoyed hearing Michael's story.  He is not a trained artist; he earned a business degree in college and his path into an art career was not direct.  But he has found a niche for himself, and his work is colorful, fun, and very 'user-friendly'.  He says he is not a teacher, but he does a lot of workshops with both kids and adults.  He spent about half the workshop time talking, and then gave us time to make our own collages.  I'm afraid I didn't get many pictures, but the creations were diverse.  I wish I'd gotten a photo of the terrific 3-D relief construction made by a gentleman at my table whose personal expertise is sculpture.  Anyhow, here's a few quick pics. 
The dragonfly below was made by me.  I didn't have time to finish.
He gave us all large-size posters of his work, and I ended up with two favorites: the Preamble to the Constitution, and Pi, written out to 777 digits, which I'm giving to my middle school math teacher friend in the school where I taught before I retired.  (Does anyone else recall having to memorize the preamble, probably in 5th grade, and get up in front of the whole class and recite it?  I had to do that!)  And I did get my photo taken with him, too!  Here we are!
 He remembered posting a comment on the blog and called me 'The Dragon Lady'.  I  think I kinda like that!  Thanks, Michael Albert, for a fabulous couple of hours!
For a link to Michael Albert's official website, click HERE
You can also find him on Pinterest, HERE


  1. A teacher in my district arranged for him to visit a couple of the elementary schools last year. The kids adored him! Thanks for sharing.

    Renée at My Adventures in Positive Space

    1. I've been thinking that it would be fun to arrange for him to come here. Just a matter of logistics!