The August ArtLab students range in age from kindergarten to third grade. In conjunction with games and exploring the natural habitats, my students are incredibly interested in the sculptures dotting the grounds. Inevitably this led to creating our own sculptures focused on combining cardboard shapes with either glue, tape or cutting notches; using the colors and patterns of our Snake Tree sculpture neighbor as inspiration; and connecting natural and non-natural materials through weaving and object placement (inspired by New City Art’s pinecone weavings).
Artlab students were inspired by the portraits and works of Alex Katz, and helped to minimize the “terror” of doing a self-portrait by thinking about the shapes of color that compose a form. After taking a photograph to reference, students first created cut paper collages and then a gouache painting. Whenever they hesitated, I reminded them to think about the shapes they saw and even had them block in shapes on a transparency.
Of all the work my artists did the summer, one of the projects I think they enjoyed the most was inventing colors and names. I think they relished mixing colors without feeling the pressure of a finished project. Many of them were concerned their art wasn’t good enough, and these are kids who choose to come to art camp! In response, many of our experiments this summer were about process. Here are some photographs of their colors, which I think are worthy of being called works of art on their own.