Open Source Gallery is a wonderful non-profit art learning space in Brooklyn that has recently integrated littleBits into their programming which focuses on creative play. Monika Wuhrer, owner, shares her experience with how the gallery has grown organically over time and why she chose to use littleBits.
“I love the concept of open source so it was an easy decision to name my art space Open Source Gallery,” says Monika, “The term “open source” refers to software that is open and accessible to the public and an inspiration for how I wanted to develop our art space, but our idea of what that means has evolved. I opened the space as an art gallery, but I also wanted something different — something that would involve the whole community. I wanted to bring in neighbors, kids, musicians, and builders.”
Their first opening featured kids painting and doodling on the walls and selling cupcakes. This event set the tone for the future of Open Source Gallery and from there they began to grow. Artists from around the world came and showed what could be done with a little square footage and some really hard work. Soon after, they began to get some attention from the press for their annual Soup Kitchen and for the Soap Box Race.
Then Monika heard about littleBits and knew she had found a perfect marriage for Open Source Gallery. The result of this union is the development of her bitBots workshops. They offer classes for third grade up to the seventh grade where they make robots and other exciting projects, like movies utilizing the bitBots as props (see video below). They plan on expanding their offerings for a ninth grade class as well. To learn how to make your own bitBot, Monika has shared the basics on our gallery page.
Monika tells us, “Kids love it, parents love it and I love it. These little circuits are more than just robots and toys, they are the perfect manifestation of the original ‘open source’ idea. By creating things with littleBits, students learn something about how to gather and share ideas from all over the world and build from there, piece-by-piece, brick-by-brick…”