Thursday, August 24, 2006

Making a Splash
I finished my second Artsmartz week at Neilson Park. Paper Sculpture enticed only six kids and at first I was a bit disappointed, but when I ended up having to help them individually, I wasn't so sorry. A technically difficult course, the kids had to learn some different skills than the usual ones they need for painting & drawing, etc. We spent a week with paper - bending, folding, spindling and mutilating - first class training for the Post Office. I take for granted skills that have been a long time in the acquiring and I am always (surprisingly) surprised when my students are so UN-handy with an exacto knife. But there were no injuries, only a few bungled cuts.
We made 'Noh' masks, Waterfall Cards, Spiral Boxes and Cards, learned Pop-up techniques and, yes, paper sculptures. By Wednesday, several of my students were sitting there, glassy-eyed & unable to lift a hand to create anything - so I think I wore them out. During the week it seemed like we hadn't accomplished much, but when we set up for the art show on Friday, everybody had a plethora of paper art, so it looked great. I would love to do this class again, now that I have a better idea what to expect - but it's certainly not for everyone.
A showcase of Neilson Park's instructor's work is on display right now in the Hall Gallery. I included a conte sketch, 'Peter', and a Paper Doll dislpay, 'Beyond Beef and Boyfriend Treats', featuring cartoon likenesses of my son & his girlfriend. They seemed not to mind being displayed in their underwear.