Imagination finds an outlet thanks to The Wolfsonian-FIU’s Comic Kraze

Article from FIU News!

07/15/2011 By Martin Haro

Move it, Iron Man…step aside, Superman – here comes…Phoebe Corrigan?

That’s the name of the bespectacled, clueless, 26-year-old company assistant Comic Kraze student Carolina Beguiristain dreamed up while she participated in the annual, 10-day summer workshop at The Wolfsonian-FIU.

Phoebe, Beguiristain said, is always finding herself in circumstances that require that she save the day from the grip of her corrupt bosses, who are set on becoming an evil monopoly.

“She’s always getting herself in these situations that she doesn’t know how to handle,” the 14-year-old artist said. “So, basically, Phoebe always foils their plans by accident.”

Beguiristain was among 17 Miami-Dade County Public Schools students who took part in the workshop June 20-July 1. This marked the second year the Wolfsonian-FIU hosted the program, which was offered free of charge thanks to The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation this year. Additional funding from The Batchelor Foundation, Inc. is supporting open lab hours for students who participated in either the summer workshop or Saturday workshops throughout the school year.

“Comic Kraze is an opportunity for teenage kids to learn a little bit about the process of making comics, from script to finished product,” said instructor Gonzalo Battaglia ’96, MEd. ’02, a Dade County Public School art teacher. “And they also learn about traditional tools – basic pencil, paper and ink – and how to work on computers to create their own comics, which are very sophisticated.”

Battaglia was impressed by the caliber and originality of the work he saw the kids producing, and by how they came together – not everyone knew one another – to form their own community for the duration of the program.

Every day, for instance, they celebrated one of girls’ birthday during lunch, as a goof. On the day we visited the museum, 14-year-old Jessica was turning 22.

It’s that kind of camaraderie that drew Lenny Perez, 16, to join Comic Kraze for the second year.

“Personally, I think it’s great. It’s so much fun,” he said. “You meet new people and you get to learn so much, and on top of that, you improve as an artist. I think it’s a blast.”

To view some of the creations by the Comic Kraze Class of 2011, click here.

Now that the intensive summer workshop is over, the Wolfsonian-FIU is having open-studio sessions for Comic Kraze alumni. Beginning in the fall, the museum will begin offering Saturday classes – so stay tuned for those details – and the goal is to expand the program into an after-school workshop for middle school kids.

For more information on Comic Kraze, contact Claudia Caro Sullivan, the Wolfsonian-FIU’s manager of Youth & School Programs, at 305-535-2684.

Original article posted in the FIU News site.

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