Akane Takayama's Dog Days

UK artist, Akane Takayama had an idea. The idea is pretty simple. You enroll school kids to make 1000 cardboard dog sculptures and then participate in their installation around various London parks. But it's so much more than that. The kids get to make something, then they get to take it home and photograph the situations that the "dog" gets in to. Then they get to be a member of this cool, secret art club that goes around London, installing hundreds of cardboard dogs in parks. Then they get to watch the public interact with their creations.

Good thing we are systematically eliminating art classes in this country, or this kind of thing might happen here too.

via NotCot

Correction: Seems that I got this story backwards. Thanks to Jack for straightening me out. This from him:
"Actually you have got the story wrong which I thought you might be interested in, especially
as you appear to have a thing about the disappearance of art in schools (we absolutely agree).

What Takayama did was actually totally brilliant and innovative on every level and the fact she
did the whole thing herself as an independent artist makes the achievement, in this bureaucracy,
even more amazing.

She was absolutely certain from the outset that she didn't want to be another artist going around
doing "social inclusion projects" just to get arts council funding and use a load of kids to work for
her. She is a passionate artist, very erudite in her subject, totally committed and a genius at transmitting
art knowledge and skills to kids.

What she decided to do was to run sculpture workshops for primary school children showing them how
to conceive of, design and build four dimensional sculptures from readily available materials. From the
outset she was determined that the children should express their own creativity and be their own artists
rather than be harnessed to her work. The involvement of the DOG Sculpture Installation was for the
children to see an artist in the process of a public art work and for them to understand that such projects
are also within the possibilities of their own lives.

She approached, on her own, many schools and 19 responded. She prepped up teachers, designed a fluid
workshop module and then went and delivered the workshops to the children who then created their own



Do take a look at these because some of the work the children produced was stunning."


  1. I agree! We wouldn't want kids to get excited about the idea of creating something, feel empowered that people respond to something they created, and have a positive experience at school. Better to have them memorize material to score well on fill in the blank tests and "reward" them with candy for sitting still all day. UGH!

  2. I love this idea for kids. Creative. Interactive. Accessible. And it's cardboard! This just turned my day around. Thank you.

  3. Art doesn't have to happen for kids just in a class, although I agree with you.

    Everyone can be an artist, or a scientist or a politician, we, as parents and mentors should take the task in hand to set the example and quit waiting on the "system" to do it for us.

    Love your blog! Keep it up!


  4. Thanks for the comments. Totally agree that not only should we take art education in our own hands, but we should take it away from the systemic virus that is killing it.

  5. I love it! What a wonderful experience for the kids, and I am sure, their parents as well. This is the kind of thing I would love to encounter, thank you for sharing it!