Friday, May 11

Culminating events

If I've been MIA it's mostly due to trying to work out logistics for hanging work in the Philadelphia School District Youth Art exhibit the past week. The show is HUGE, spanning 3 floors of the building's atrium plus a few hallways and lobby areas. Every art teacher in the school district is allowed to submit about 5 pieces of their best student work- overwhelmingly 2D work as there's very limited space for sculptural installations. The district allowed the residency program I'm working in to install work as well, so while I was there I took a look around to see if I could find any fabulous projects.
I've seen this show almost every year for the past 5 years or so, so I've become familiar with the range of work- after a while it becomes obvious that some teachers have their favorite projects, and others have jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon. My eye was tuned to elementary level work, since that's the age group I've been working with most, and most of the high school work was just good observational drawing or portraiture. But here are a few that caught my eye:
 I loved this combination of hieroglyphics and self-portrait-as-Pharaoh silhouette layered on top. It definitely shows a serious sequencing and layering of learning activities.
 Fellow teaching artist Ben Volta had two of these Chuck Close-inspired grid enlargement portrait collaborations on display. The kids each produced a strip of the portrait using a lot of color, texture, and shape exploration.
 Once again, the yarn paintings caught my eye. I snapped pictures of two other ones last year. I'm just amazed at the precision of the designs and craftsmanship in gluing everything down.
 There was something intriguing about these interior views done in black ink and watercolor. I couldn't tell if the kids were depicting their own interiors or reproducing magazine images. Considering how "designy" they are, I'm leaning toward magazine inspiration. Either way, the selection of interiors had interesting line qualities, compositions, and sweet color combinations.
Then there was this totally random thing that caught my eye. I think I like this because it reminds me of graffiti on a textured wall. It's tempera paint over black corrugated cardboard- the kind teachers use to cover bulletin boards. The surface texture is what makes these exciting. I'd love to see the lesson plan on this one.
Maybe that's the unifying theme of my selections this year- overall they make me wonder "how did the teacher teach that lesson?" I think these art teachers must be thinking like artists as they plan their lessons.
Congratulations to all the artists and art teachers! The young artists exhibit will be up for about another month, and is at the Philadelphia School District Building at 440 N. Broad St. With the amount of work on the walls in this show it's mind-boggling how much artwork is made by students every year all over the city!

In other news- congratulations to my fellow M.Ed grad students who walked in commencement ceremonies at Temple/Tyler today! I could have walked today, and didn't because I thought it would have felt like an anti-climactic afterthought (having finished in January). But I feel a twinge of regret today that I didn't don a cap and gown and walk with my classmates. At least I spent my day in a classroom teaching art and applying everything I learned over the past 2 years. It was definitely worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pieces!Love the Chuck Close collaboration. And I'd also really like to see the lesson behind the tempera on cardboard. Congrats on your Masters!