Stage III Art Updates
First Year Self-Portraits
The process of creating our self-portraits was a challenging one. Using self-portrait mirrors, we thoughtfully observed our faces. We talked a lot about the placement and proportions of our features. Each artist brought a unique perspective and vision to her or his portrait. Encouraged to explore paint and other media, each portrait reflects the artist’s expressive style and creative choices. It is through creative challenges that children develop skills and wonderful habits of mind.
Zora’s words express her creative process:
"I really put a lot of effort into my face. When Mary told us we would be doing this, I was not thrilled. But, when I realized that it’s not what it is that counts, it’s the thought, I got really excited. Now, I’m done and proud of my work!"
Our Outdoor Studio
First Year Artists
Our woods and creek are among the most cherished places on our campus. While the weather was warm, we lugged our materials and drawing boards down to the creek near Tire Mountain. Each artist chose a view; some had an instant affinity for the leaves floating on the water, while others were drawn to a more panoramic view. Later, we worked from photos of our views, and the children chose from a range of materials as they completed their Outdoor Studio compositions. The pieces are on display in the Steward Building lobby, hallways and library. Here are a few -
The Outdoor Studio
Second Year Artists
Maureen: "When you go outside to draw, you feel the essence of the place - the woods and creek."
Ivana: "Being outside is like magic. It makes me feel more...open!"
The weather could not have been more cooperative during this second Sign-Up! We enjoyed observing the changes as we visited the woods and creek over a period of a few weeks. Taking our Prismacolor pencils, charcoal and oil pastels down to the creek, we added layers of detail and color as we listened to the creek. It was a wonderfully peaceful (most of the time!) art experience.
A Stage III Art Elective Class
1st and 2nd Sign-Ups
We were all inspired, intrigued and delighted by the art of Nick Cave. his artwork, as well as the work of other artists, informed our experiences. Nick Cave's Soundsuits explore the concept of identity and the narratives we create. Since art is a visual language, we can use materials to create our own visual narratives. Using styrofoam heads as bank canvases, we planned, investigated materials and constructed our own imagined identities. Our creatures and characters took evolved as we investigated media and techniques. Some artists used wire as an armature and added plaster. Others painted with great care and intention, adding layers and details. Everyone seemed to enjoy digging into our bins of found and donated materials! We have quite an assortment of characters, from a queen of the forest to a Martian. Here are a few of the completed pieces -
A Few Words About the Art Process
I recently came across an article entitled, The Role of the Arts in Transforming Consciousness, from Yale University. This piece resonates with me because I find that much of what the author talks about relates directly to our recent experiences in the Stage III studio - and in our Outdoor Studio. I also believe that it is especially pertinent, given our gifted children. Here are a few excerpts:
The arts invite us to attend to the qualities of sight, sound, taste and touch, so that we experience them; what we are after in the arts is the ability to perceive things, not merely to recognize them. We are given permission to slow down perception, to look hard, to savor the qualities that we try, under normal conditions, to treat so efficiently that we hardly notice them.
Another cognitive function of the arts is that in the process of creation they stabilize what would otherwise be evanescent. Ideas and images are very difficult to hold onto unless they are inscribed in a material that gives them a kind of semi-permanence. The arts, as vehicles through which such inscriptions occur, enable us to inspect more carefully our ideas, whether those ideas emerge as visual art, music or in a form of language... The arts are a means of exploring our own interior landscapes... They provide resources for experiencing the range and varieties of our responsive capacities.
Happy Thanksgiving to All -
Next Post: More assemblages and Second Year self-portraits. I make an effort to make sure every Stage III child is represented in our blog over the course of the school year.