Modern life is full of contradictions. We over-schedule our kids and test them to death in school while at the same time preaching that creativity and flexibility will be the most prized skill-set in the future. Research shows us the benefits of hands-on learning at the same time that art classes are slashed from school budgets. In challenging times, artists often fill the gaps left by shifting priorities and shrinking public dollars.
The FrankenToyMobile, a pedal-powered art studio, was born from this challenge. It brings building activities to parks and public spaces throughout the South and West Sides. The mobile makerspace uses discarded, donated and sometimes broken toys as a tool for creative expression and community engagement. Participants work with zip ties, needles and thread, and hot glue guns to transform the old into something fantastical and new, mashing up dragons with baby dolls and plastic cars to create toys that are pure manifestations of their imagination.