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Raise your hand if you learned cursive handwriting in school!

Cursive handwriting served as a springboard for Teaching Artist Claudia Alverez’s lesson We the People can Change the World. In her own preamble Claudia showed students works by artists José Parlá, Jim Dine and Leonardo da Vinci, all of whom employ text to great effect in their artwork. We had a lively discussion about the use of text to deepen content and pointedly address social justice and personal content in a piece.

José Parlá, "Nature of Language"

Claudia’s demonstration in the use of charcoal and graphite was thorough and awe inspiring as well as instructive.

We then walked over to Valentino Pier to practice our cursive and develop ideas for our work.

The view of the Statue of Liberty “...I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" by Emma Lazarus (engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty) and the nearby graffitied quote from Martin Luther King: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” provided great fodder for thought.

After choosing a spot to work in everyone hunkered down to become familiar with the materials, and meet the challenge of working with personally meaningful text in script. The drawings are complex and moving.

We had a lively mid-day critique.

Then a lunch break which included delicious ice cream generously donated by Ample Hills! Fueled by the scrumptious salted caramel treat we gathered for a colored pencil demonstration and instructions.

Students could opt to work inside the gallery or out in the yard.

Most developed ideas begun in the morning session and everyone pushed themselves to complete a complex work in color.

Tomorrow we will be exploring natural plant based materials with Teaching Artist Iviva Olenick.

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

P.S. A few people asked for a bit more time to complete their work. If you are one of those artists, feel free to come in at 10 tomorrow. You can work on that as we set up. We will see the rest of you at 10:30.

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