The Outdoor Arts Foundation invited Local Artist Eileen Goldenberg to create a playhouse for it's "R'Kidtecture" project. As a Berkeley parent, Mrs. Goldenberg knew the project would be a great opportunity to collaborate with Berkeley students. She sprung into action by preparing the design for the house, working with a builder, and delivering the house to Berkeley where it has spent almost three months being prepped for its eventual big reveal at the Tampa International Airport. The public art project features 20 children’s playhouses designed and built by Bay area architects and artists. The airport exhibit will feature 10 of the playhouses including Berkeley’s “Kids Rule” playhouse. Mrs. Goldenberg has fond memories of seeing her own art on display as a student and hopes Berkeley students will experience the same type of thrill. “Whatever career path they choose, I'm hoping that this experience will stay with them, and that they'll always have opportunities to tap into the creative side of their amazing minds!”
In collaboration with Mrs. Goldenberg, and art teachers Terri Forester and Anna Arcuri, students spent over 1,000 hours working on the project. Fifteen art students in Middle and Upper Division originally volunteered to work on the house as part of their class grade, however other students became interested in the project and emerged to put their touches on the playhouse as well. Students were involved in each detailed section of the playhouse’s transformation. Students took great satisfaction in being inventive as the base coat dried, and the addition of small painted embellishments, molding, and mosaic tiles began. In addition to using a variety of mediums, students also learned how to use certain tools which helped them put an assortment of artistic touches on the playhouse. Among the many details the art teachers took on, they had the painstaking task of adhering the painted tile to the sloping roof and making sure the mosaic tile floor is safe for the lucky children who will eventually play inside. Some of the students had the very detail oriented duty of painting an entire Harlequin pattern on the inside of the playhouse, while others beautifully painted the small embellishments which were added throughout the project. Mrs. Goldenberg included the students in several of the decision making aspects, giving them the opportunity to come up with great ideas! Lower division students added a few finishing touches including the delightful mobile and the whimsical art which is being featured within a frame inside the playhouse.
Berkeley is excited to represent and help support this amazing program which helps benefit local children’s programs. Berkeley students certainly had their creativity and imagination inspired in creating this must-see playhouse. Read more in Tampa Tribune’s article “Berkeley students help decorate, build artist's playhouse.”