I am taking on a summer course at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. It is called Multi-Dimensional Studio. My explanation of the course for our school website goes as follows:
“An exploration in the decorative and fine art, Multi-Dimensional Studio will challenge students to find new meaning in art through studio work and museum visits. The course is designed to introduce various art mediums, techniques and styles including acrylic paint on canvas, soft sculptures, mixed media collage, recycled/upcycled art, charcoal drawing, digital photography and film. Multi-Dimensional students will study the basic elements and principles of art and design, and use these elements and principles to guide and assess their work. There will also be multiple field trips to area museums including the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries, as well as the National Gallery of Art and the Hirshorn. Students will develop their critical thinking skills while they assess their own artwork as well as famous works of art.”
As I suspected things have started off brilliantly! I am teaching to a small class of three young women, and they are a lovely and quiet bunch so far. However, if years as a summer camp counselor has taught me anything, they wont be quite for long…
To begin with we are taking a look at Pop Art from Great Britain and the United states. We will be exploring art through the movements and working our way back in time. This backwards investigation will find each movement and it’s inspirations and origins. This will guide our backwards travel through time. And what better place to start than Pop Art?
On our first day we took a look at the “father” of pop art Richard Hamilton and his famous definition of Pop Art,
“POPULAR, TRANSIENT, EXPENDABLE, LOW COST, MASS PRODUCED, YOUNG, WITTY, SEXY, GIMMICKY AND GLAMOROUS”
and some of his early ironic social commentary collages. We then used his work as inspiration to make our own ironic collages, inspired by social commentary. I say “we” because I made one along with them. While irony and social commentary were our themes, I challenged my students to focus on two elements and two principles of art. In this case I asked them to think about shape and color (elements) as well as movement and unity (principles).