Stay cool this April Fools with a all new in-person art camp at Abrons Arts Center led by CMA Artist in Residence Frank Traynor and his experimental educational program, No School. Campers will enjoy week of projects looking at the history of tricksters, pranks, jesters, optical illusions and general clowning around — that means sculpture, collage, poetry, music, and plenty of other tricks up our sleeve!
Below, check out five fun facts about No School.
1. No School started when Frank closed down his shop The Perfect Nothing Catalog to turn it into a mud bath. Instead of selling artwork made by artists, he invited those artists to teach kids how to make their own versions. He teamed up with the organization Arts in Parts in Rockaway Beach and enjoyed a few great summers leading workshops on the beach.
2. Frank and co-director Lydia Glenn-Murray met after two trusted friends insisted they would get along. Frank flew to Los Angeles, where they met at the airport. He ended up camping in her backyard for six months! They brought No School to Los Angeles and converted her art gallery, Chin’s Push, into a monarch butterfly sanctuary.
3. No School loves to work with the word TODAY. It’s about potential, celebration, right now .. carpe diem and be here now and all of that! Their favorite song is “Tell You Today” by Arthur Russell.
4. No School’s most exciting projects have been large-scale architectural interventions of the buildings where they work. After a three year residency at 2727 California Street in Berkeley, California, the kids installed a terrazzo patio, welded three new security iron gates, and carved a 40-foot frieze over the front doors and windows of the former corner grocery store.
5. They once made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from scratch.