Spring and Artmaking are in the Air!
It's not where you start, it's where you finish! At PS 6 in Jersey City, students did both - start and finish.
Teaching Artists Fatima Traore and Sarah Gumgumji demonstrated to 5th graders several ways to add light to their gray scale and sepia tone watercolor portraits with a white Prismacolor pencil. After finishing touches were made, Fatima announced "it's important to look at your work and know when to stop" - because many students were adding too much paint or too many details. Her instructions were heeded and the results are beautiful.
An afternoon 5th-grade class discussed the distinctive style of American artist Kehinde Wiley and worked diligently on their portraits of school principals, mayors, presidents, and other people in administrative positions of all genders, races and cultures. A couple of students created their own Kehinde Wiley styled backgrounds while others opted to make collages with decorative paper. The final portraits are concealed in our art room until its time for installation in the gallery.
Simultaneously, students working with Teaching Artist Quentin Williamston in the gallery began a lesson on large scale projection drawings and paintings of the school building. Students outlined images of the school on acetate and projected them onto 55 inch wide Fabriano paper and then outlined again in much greater scale.
During an interval, Dennis and Sarah learned the new school anthem, written and performed by PS 6's music teacher, Peter Bellomo.
While some projects were finished, others were beginning - all focused on the 100th anniversary of PS 6.
Art Club Students from MS 226 in South Ozone Park, Queens and their teacher Ms. Dyer traveled to Clinton Hill Brooklyn to visit ART YARD’s exhibition Transformers at St. Joseph’s College Alumni Room Gallery. I met the group in front of the school where we all admired the forsythia starting to bloom, beds of pansies, crocuses and daffodils.
Gallery Director Ramona Candy welcomed us inside the building starting the visit off on the right foot. This group of students are training to become docents for our ART YARD at MS 226 Gallery, so I worked hard to set a good example enthusiastically explaining the exhibition concept and the work on display. I also talked about my curatorial decisions and how Quentin and I installed the work using the picture rail and rod system which protects the historic site.
Our dialogue was lively and filled with “Ah Ha” moments. Students loved seeing the work of their teaching artists in person. They love that Claudia collaborated with her mother on her painted quilts. They were so impressed with the masks that Dennis knitted. They made connections between Glendalys’ own style and the lessons she taught them at school.
Ramona made sure the big board room table was set up for our class which helped everyone find a good vantage point to draw an art work on view.
During critique we talked about how inspiring it is to hold class surrounded by art, in a beautiful gallery within an exciting collage community. It was truly a pleasure to share this exhibition with our students.
Student work inspired by the exhibition:
Speaking of our Transformers exhibition, you are cordially invited to join us TOMORROW Saturday April 5 from 1-3pm for an artist’s talk. The gallery is located at St. Joseph’s College 245 Clinton Avenue, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Refreshments will be served!
Hope to see you tomorrow!