For one week every summer I will put a pause on my Decorative and Fine Arts Camp and switch gears. From 6-12 year olds come the 12-18 year olds. We spend an entire week creating large scale carousel animal inspired sculptures. The campers design their animals, I build them wooden armatures, and then they cover them in chicken wire, papier maché and paint. Unfortunately the historic carousel was closed this summer for renovations while we held the camp, but before they tore up the roof of the carousel pavilion we were at least able to have a nice photo shoot!
Every week at the Decorative and Fine Arts Camp we start off the week with painting in the mornings and clay in the afternoon! It’s always a big hit. We have a clay tile relief sculpture project with more specific instructions and then campers also have the freedom to do free experimentation and sculpture making. These small sculptures usually reflect their own interests, such as foods, animals or fictional characters!
We are having so much fun with papier maché and recycled materials this summer at the Decorative and Fine Arts Camp! Students help us amass a selection of cool shaped recyclables like berry containers cans and paper towel rolls and transform them into papier maché sculptures.
I couldn’t be more proud/happy/excited/nervous/ecstatic/ready to be back at the Decorative and Fine Arts Camp, and this time as the camp owner. Since my amazing mentor and talented sculptor Sinclair Hamilton retired I will now be running the Decorative and Fine Arts Camp under Emma Teaches Art LLC. and in partnership with Glen Echo.
So far the first two weeks were full, and full of fun. If you have been following me for years you’ve seen this project before, but here we have our first and signature camp project. The DFAC covers all sorts of art-making, and we start our week with painting. The color wheel project is also differentiated by campers ages and weeks of experience at the camp. This means that campers who have never been at DFAC before and are 7 and under start with “color wheel A”.
Those campers who have never been at DFAC before and are 8 and up start with “color wheel B” a slightly more complicated version of the color wheel.
Those campers who have been at DFAC before and have completed “color wheel B” move on to “color wheel C” a slightly more complicated version of “color wheel B,” but with the challenge of choosing their own colors, and this trend continues in color wheels “D,E,F”. (You get the idea)
Finally, campers who have returned enough times to get to F then get to invent their own color wheel, shapes and all!
As in years past, our final exam for the Foundations of Studio Art class consists of an independent project designed by the students themselves. My goal is that each student sets out to explore their personal art interests. This means they can re-visit any of the materials, techniques, and themes we have explored during the school year. They do not need to revisit an entire project, just pieces of it. This way they already know set-up and clean up processes, as well as basic techniques with their chosen material and I can focus on guiding them through their though process, and perfecting their (mostly painting) technique.
They are graded using a contract filled out by each student and signed by me before they begin. I absolutely love the results this year, take a look!
We finally finished our recycled art projects and what wonderful sculptures they turned out to be! Each group really did a phenomenal job this year finding a unique way to solve a problem: How do you give a second life to an old box? Some transformations were more extreme than others. Some students preserved their original box while others disguised and incorporated their box into a larger sculpture as a material. The breadth of materials used this year was inspiring. One group even visited a few restaurants asking for corks, because they had their heart set on using them as “stones”. Some kind business owner happily gave them two trash bags full! Another group took a more direct approach to the assignment and created a garden exploding out of a box. All were really impressive. Take a look at the results!
What better time of year than the day after the annual art show! It’s like, phew we made it! Below you can see some of the wonderful artwork, not only my students but my wonderful colleagues’ students as well! Also, you can see the beautiful floral arrangements and decorations done by one of our parent volunteers. She has a background in interior design, and is truly incredible!
While I was away my students created beautiful acrylic paint and pastel landscapes based on their own photographs with my substitute. Lucky for me, my maternity leave sub was the wonderful woman who taught in my position at Stone Ridge for 25 years before I came along. So needless to say she knows a thing or two. Check these out!
We have begun our well established recycled unit. This year I have revamped the assignment by restructuring our project around a recycled amazon box. Each group has to bring in an amazon box, or use one of mine, as their jumping off point. My hope is that this constraint will encourage even more creative solutions to this problem. We will see.
Also, before I let everyone start we re-organized and reset the classroom, just so that we could mess it all up again. #artteacherlife