-Working on lesson plans
-Meeting with Lynda
-Working on lesson plans
-Meeting with Lynda
During MCAD's spring break I made it out to each residency once during the week. This was due to a liturgy being held at DeLaSalle on Wednesday and me being too sick to go in to Perpich and work on Thursday.
This last week at Perpich Center for Arts Education was a productive one, students were busy finishing projects, critiquing them, and starting up new projects right away. The drawing class had been busy working on their visual notations, a drawing assignment where students created compositions that included both imagery and text in order to practice using text as a design element. After a solid week of in class work time, we began the critiques with feedback from the class and afterwards received a description and reflection from the artist. Though the students were all following the same prompt, there were no two pieces alike as they all varied greatly in content, construction, and technique. Approaches ranged from those having the feeling of a field guide, travelogue journal, or blown up sketchbook page to those that became their own fantastical worlds where text served as different natural elements such as grass or smoke. Having been at Perpich for a few weeks now, it was incredible to witness the entire process of these students creating such confident works of art. Upon receiving the prompt, most of them were confused by this unusual assignment and unsure of which direction to take it in. They began their drawings tentatively and slowly found solutions to filling the space and incorporating text into them. Students learned to use text as design and as a mark-making technique, and in the process they created dynamic compositions that seemed to exceed their own expectations. It was a pleasure to work with the artists during this time and to be able to attend their critique!
Hello again my dear friends and blog followers!
First things first I would like to apologize for my late post this week, I was terribly sick over the weekend and for those few days my memory was completely shot. Fortunately, I did not miss any of my residency hours before the weekend! Last week was another busy one, I spent the usual two days working at DeLaSalle and, in addition, I began my residency at Perpich Center for Arts Education. After wrapping up with the students at De on Tuesday, I headed over to Golden Valley and met with Pat Benincasa, the Chair of Visual Arts Instruction at Perpich. During our short meeting she was able to give me a tour of the visual (or "vis", as they call it) arts wing of the school, including their large gallery spaces, classrooms, and a variety of studios. I was sort of blown away by the level of professionality in their studio spaces and equipment, for a high school a lot of their resources were at or above a college level. Following the tour, Pat and I wrapped up our meeting by discussing what my role will be as an assistant in the classroom and she came up with a variety of questions that will help gauge my level of engagement and learning at the end of each day.
I returned to Perpich on Thursday to officially begin my residency, excited but still unsure of what exactly to expect. The first block of the afternoon is a 90 minute drawing class, and fortunately their critique happened to fall on the day I started so I was able to dive right in. At Perpich they begin critiques by having the artist state three key points about their work, followed by a class discussion that follows the 4 steps of critique. These steps are (1) describe, (2) analyze, (3) interpret, and (4) evaluate/judge. A majority of the pieces we were focusing on that day were from their last drawing assignment which required the students to pick a spot or object from the large still life in the studio and to blow it up, as if you were looking at it through a zoom lens. Students approached this in a variety of ways, some of their compositions being more graphic or illustrative where the original object(s) is still discernible, while others became very abstracted and began to create new forms out of the ones that they were looking at. One of the ideas that Pat emphasized with this project is the constant struggle for an artist to find source material and how, at Perpich, they aim to equip students to find inspiration and material in anything they come across and then figure out how to portray them. This idea of the intellectual process being a part of life is essential to the artist (and is definitely something I wish I would have learned in high school). Following the critique, Pat went around the room and had each of the students talk about at least one thing that they learned from the critique and can take into their own practice. I found this to be an important teaching tactic that helped the students to review what they learned and remind them of key points that they may have discovered during the critique or the art making process itself. All in all I had an extremely informative and insightful first day at Perpich and I can't wait to continue to experience all that they have to offer!
Until next week,
Work by an anonymous student,
photographed with permission
This week has been an exciting one, as I have finally begun working with DeLaSalle High School! As a DeLaSalle alumni, I am very excited and grateful to have this opportunity to return to my roots and to continue to foster arts education in the Lasallian community. I returned to De on Tuesday, 1/24 and will continue my residency Tuesday and Wednesday mornings throughout the spring semester. While there, I will be observing and assisting the first three fine arts classes of the day, which include Intro to Visual Arts, Advanced Placement Studio, and Honors visual art. On my first day, I gave a short presentation about myself, my work, and what I do at MCAD to give students visual examples of what I do and why I am working with them in their classrooms. Since then, I have started to get to know the students and get a feel for their work. I am most excited to work with the AP Studio Art students and help guide them as they build on their concentrations for their final portfolios. After just one week I feel that I am becoming immersed in these classes and invested in the student's work. I can't wait to see all that is to come!
Earlier this week, I was also busy kicking off another portion of the Teaching Artist Practicum course: The Shadowing. I had the chance to meet with teaching artist Jan Elftmann at the Science Museum of Minnesota this Monday afternoon. After connecting with her in the lobby, she took me on a behind-the-scenes tour of all of the resources the Science museum has to offer. In a short amount of time, I was able to explore their classrooms, studios and storage rooms of materials, and to meet other teachers and artists who work alongside Jan, many of them being MCAD alumni. Throughout this meeting we discussed different opportunities for me to get involved, both in the Museum community and the arts. While we have tabled the idea of me actually assisting in Museum activities until the opportunity arises, I plan to attend some of her gallery openings and local events in this upcoming month. I am excited to get involved and see her work in person, and will update you all when more concrete plans to actually work in the Science Museum are made!
Until next week,
This week has been a busy one, both with classes starting back up and making necessary preparations to begin working in classrooms outside of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I am thrilled to say that this semester I will be completing residencies at DeLaSalle High School and Perpich Center for Arts Education, as well as shadowing Jan Elftmann at the Science Museum of Minnesota. In order to do so, I have been communicating with those involved in each of these institutions and organizations over the course of my winter break. It has been difficult trying to find the ideal schedule but I believe it has finally been done!
As well as piecing together a schedule for this semester, I also completed the necessary training to begin working with teachers and students at DeLaSalle. On Saturday morning I attended a 3 hour workshop at the Basilica of St. Mary's about protecting children, specifically from sexual abuse. While the training was particularly difficult to complete as the focus of it was a very sensitive subject, it was very encouraging to know that these schools are taking extra precautions to protect children from abuse and educate as many adults about it as possible. Now I am fully qualified to begin working at DeLaSalle, and I am extremely excited to get into the classroom in just two days!
Looking forward to updating you next week!