This year I am the "Resident Artist" at Montessori Children's Room in Omaha, NE.
I decided to creat this page as a record for myself and to allow the parents, students and faculty to get a peek into what the heck we were doing. And for anyone else out there interested in what I am doing and whom haven't ended up on the wierd part of Youtube yet.
For an annual fundraiser for the school I will be working with the students of the school. They will make work to take home. Using ceramics. I will also be making work for the annual fundraiser "La Soiree" which be held at the Bemis Center for Contmepory Arts.
I have been primarily working withe Elementary students, 1st through 6rh graders. The first projecyt I did with the students we made wire sculptures. For my first project I decdide on this just to get their beaks wet on thinking about working in a 3D manner...most kids I assume will have more experience drawing or painting rather that sculpting. My thought was to use what they would be familiar with---line--- and to bring it into the 3D realm.
Being my first teaching experience Itried my best to create a ideal model/cirriculum, for which I knew would be altered by the numerous variables; time, space, materials, my teaching ability etc....in other words I knew LIFE woulde get in theway and change my plans. Just kidding. that is life right? ........like a twig in a stream...
So the wire sculpture was to bring line(something familiar by way of drawing) and adding thsomething less familiar ...e 3rd dimension(with the aid of wire---still, in a sense drawing--but with wire.) Then I had hope they would break that 3rd dimension and the Z axis into thier creation. THe kid did well this project...with wasn't a surprise but a delight to watch.
As I said before I had a good idea of how I would have liked the progress..to ..well..progress. But time is always against us and I have been creating projects to get the children familiar with clay as a material and to allow them a chance to create and complete work that they can take home...all while having them crank out of work that I can use for the Soiree.
The collaboration witht he kids was something I was definitely excited for..but as expected a bit anxious about. To make work that showcase and utilized their creationsand still allow me to make work that was in my .."style"--for lack of a better word. hopefully in the end by combing thier creations and mine, we will transcend .....something....not sure what.
The first piece I made with some of Primary kids "Cookie Cutter" clay pieces I whipped up together without too much thought/analysis and went with it. It was great because as an artist , for me...it is sometimes a difficult line to cross in to something unfamiliar...or even to decide if something is unfamiliar, challenge or crutch? It's difficult to even decie whether I am be formulaic or on a macro level challenging myself---so macro no one else can see it!!
I am having a great time with the kids.. it's a bit of a challenge to switch modes for the different age levels. I'll tell you what though...those Primary kids were hanging on every word I said. How do I know? Well, as I said I have to try and tweaks my words for the different age groups(obviously) , I also have to adjust my attempts at humor accordingly. Now I know those little 3-5 year olds were listening to me when I cracked a joked and they responded with a very blank/confused stare. Such good listeners!