Monday, October 11, 2010

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art - Visions Program

Gary and I had a wonderful experience teaching 3D paper sculpture for SMOCA's Visions Program. The Visions program, now in its twelfth year, brings together 40 high-school art students from diverse Phoenix metropolitan-area high schools for a year-long series of activities designed to cultivate artistic skills, collaboration and civic engagement. The program is based on a strong community partnership between the Museum and participating schools, which represent economically, ethnically and culturally diverse communities. Students are chosen for participation by their visual-art teachers at the start of the school year. During the course of the year, participating students, teachers and professional guest artists and speakers work side-by-side in workshops, lectures and discussions. This is such a fantastic program!
At their 2-day retreat in the cool pines of Prescott AZ, we taught the 3D workshop, Kate Timmerman rocked the students with encaustic and Chandon Thorell taught alternative photography--I was so excited to see the student work in these areas that I forgot to take pictures.  Not only were the student fabulous, we had the extra bonus of getting out of the Phoenix heat! Gary and I were so impressed with the event. Laura and Michelle with SMOCA do an amazing job of programing for these students--it makes you wish you could go back to high school!

In the paper sculpture workshop, the first thing we did was take a hike in the woods so that the students could observe the shapes, textures and forms in nature (nature does it best!).  Armed with found objects and ideas, the students came back to start creating their sculptures. The thing I love about the students in 3D is that they know how to MAKE things with their hands as opposed to those who just create on a computer screen.

Students used wire and branches to create structures and formed  wet sheets of abaca and kozo pulp around the armitures. The great thing about kozo and abaca is that they have high shrink rates so they dry tight around the forms. We worked outside and it got a bit windy. Only in AZ do things dry TOO quickly! Here are some pics of work in progress.

See the whale?

It was a fun day and we were so inspired!