Perpich High School - Graham Judd - 3 Hours
MCBA - Cindy Gipple, Lucy Hawthorne - 6 hours
Perpich. This week was critique! It was only half the class because the seniors were putting up a show, but I think it was nicer having a smaller group. It went really well, we started by talking about technical problems, and issues people had. We picked pieces we were initially drawn to and talked about the emotion they conveyed before the artist spoke about. The students had great suggestions for their peers and often the conversation flowed naturally. I didn't have to constantly prod them to speak which was a relief. I think we could have gone more into the content and context of some of the prints, instead of just the aesthetic merits. The prints themselves turned out really well aesthetically. It seems the students are having less major technical errors only minor ones like the color printed darker than expected. It was surprisingly fun to lead critique, but maybe because I didn't have my own piece to worry about.
A smart thing Graham has the students do after every critique is first leave the pieces on the wall. He does it so others can see but the artist often can see their prints differently from far away or on a different day. He also has the students clean the studio. That way each project is started with a clean studio space and fresh start.
MCBA. First day this week was papermaking in the basement. It ran just as smooth as normal. I think something really important to think about is classroom management. We were in the basement which is a smaller space. The second graders would be bumping into each other way more often and it was a little more chaotic. As a teaching artist it must be hard to gain respect and authority from a group and maintain in all in about an hour. The primary teacher is always there, and they can usually command the group, but it all depends. There are also always parent chaperones at MCBA. Sometimes they are really great and helpful. They move about the room, ask good questions and are generally a good addition. Sometimes they aren't. I've experienced that some 1st or 2nd graders are better at following instructions than parents, it must be because they are more used to follow directions than adults.
My second time this week at MCBA was working with 3rd graders on a hieroglyph printmaking poster. It runs the same as the font poster class except with Egyptian hieroglyphs. I noticed that students tended to be more creative when working with our alphabet. When given a hieroglyph they often copied it and didn't add anything to it. Maybe it has to do with familiarity or less clear instructions. It seems that the 3rd graders had less of an understanding (or paid attention less) than a group of first graders I observed. Regardless of this, the project was done very well, as always at MCBA.