Pelham Art Center Celebrates Community Art Day

By Stephen E. Lipken



Community Art Day was held at Pelham Art Center on Saturday, August 27th, beginning with an origami (Japanese art of paper folding) demonstration in the PAC Courtyard by local artist Douglas Caine.


“My particular and sinister, if you will, is called ‘modular origami,’ where two or more papers are folded into exactly the same shape and by virtue of that shape, link together to form the finished model…,” Caine noted.


 “There was a computer firm in Larchmont that had me take their business card logo and create an origami sculpture. Two and a half months later, [with] 10,640 pieces of paper, the finished model measured seven feet, ten inches by 28 inches tall by three inches thick.”


Next, the “Nerdy Duo,” PAC Teaching Artists Melissa Weiland and Erin Cardullo, discussed their science projects, beginning with Weiland boiling red cabbage to extract its pH value.


“You can pour it into a liquid like vinegar and it will turn red; in water, just purple.  Red cabbage juice goes all the way from yellow, if you pour in bleach, to green; bright red if you pour it into strong acid.  


“’Elephant Toothpaste is an explosive exothermic reaction, created using hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. You add your catalyst which creates an explosive, exothermic reaction of foam that sprays in the air,” Weiland stated. 


Cardullo demonstrated 3D-printed figures, teaching children how to sculpt on iPads. 


“Children dress up anatomical models, what amounts to digital clay or use basic shapes to construct their creatures, squares, spheres, printed out.”


Then David Vashti and wife Fatima Logan-Alston presented an African Drum and Dance workshop, utilizing Djembe, Songba, drums using sticks and Kenkeni drums.  Vashti said that the Mandiani dancing represented the rite of passage of young girls coming into womanhood and coming together in peace, originating in the 12th-13th Century Mali Empire, during the reign of Sundiata Keita, the original Lion King.