Mark A. Rodriguez, Idea Art for Kids
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Book
27 × 24 cm, 96 pages
2020

Mark A. Rodriguez (b. 1982, Chicago, IL, USA) wrote and self-published Idea Art for Kids in 2006 while completing his graduate thesis at California College of the Arts. Through lessons both droll and defiant—“Post missing signs for things that really aren’t really missing”; “Teach a non-human how to read”; “Develop a machine to make art for you"—Rodriguez invited children to make contemporary art practices their own. Fourteen years later—and with fourteen new lessons and two original essays by curator Lola Kramer and educator Manny Lopez—Idea Art for Kids is re-issued here for the first time. Produced in a limited run of 400 copies.

Published by Zolo Press, ISBN: 978-1-7345275-1-3

A photograph of the front cover of Idea Art for Kids. The title is arranged as a square, with 'Idea' at the top, 'For' on the right, 'Art' on the left, and 'Kids' on the bottom. In the middle is a child's drawing of an extraterrestrial stick figure.
Pages 4 and 5, featuring Mark A. Rodriguez's introduction, as written in 2006. The text occupies three columns and is set in a grotesque san-serif font.
Pages 12 and 13, with the second prompt. On the left is the instruction, which reads 'Post missing signs for things that aren't really missing.' On the left, in a pinkish box, is a scan of a drawing by one of the kids who did just that.
Pages 28 and 29, with the sixth instruction: 'Obtain free condiment packages from restaurants and use them as art supplies.'
Pages 42 and 43, with the tenth prompt: 'Write letters to companies praising their product and request a hand-drawn picture of what their office looks like, what they would rather be doing, where their boss is, or what their boss looks like.'
Scans of the response that Mark received from Amy, a Customer Relations employee at Trader Joe's. On the left is her letter, on company letterhead. On the right is a sketch of her boss, Lauree. Lauree doesn't get mad, Amy says, but this is what she would look like if she did.
Instruction 13: 'Make a time capsule to be opened in one hundred years that chronicles a period of time no longer than a minute.' On the right, a black and white photograph of one such time capsule: it resembles a pear.
Two pages of Lola Kramer's essay on play, idea art, and children. Like Mark's introduction, it runs across two columns. On the right page is a black and white image of a young girl, Luna, prone on the ground like a snow angel.
A set of additional art ideas that Mark wrote for the publication. For example: 'Draw a picture until you run out of ink' and 'Have a deteriorating object set the time for a project to be completed by.'
The book's back cover. The title and author are printed at the top. At the bottom is noted the publisher (Zolo Press) and ISBN number.