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Friday, June 1, 2012

Art All State: The Breakdown

Members of my group from last year
Art All State Officially begins today at around 830 am or so.  Artist Mentors arrive, grab some breakfast and get together one last time to meet with Gillian Bonazoli, Art All State Manager, for last minute details as well as a package listing our students before we head over as a group to a large meeting hall across the street for the Welcome message and introductions to the Student work.

Mark Lynch of WICN puts together a great video showcasing both the student work and their comments so we can take notice of the talents in our groups.

In previous years, WAM Director Jim Welu also offered a lecture on THE ARTIST AT 16 which looked at the old masters and how their work progressed.  With Jim now retired it goes to new director Matthias Waschek to welcome the students followed by the artist presentations (in past years done at dinner time) so that the students can see who the artist mentors are and what work they do.

Then we'll break off into our respective studios and begin our first session, which includes the Ice Breaker and visits to the museum for inspiration.

In previous years I've used the 'puzzle' method for ice breaking, giving each student a small piece of paper with a portion of an image on it they have to reproduce on a larger scale, and then they are given the task of assembling the image as a whole.

The Ice Breaker Assembled in a previous year, with the group
The Ice Breaker accomplishes a few things:
1. Most of the students coming into the program don't know what to expect, but they are anticipating doing some kind of drawing or painting while they are here.  In years past I've seen actual disappointment that there is not much of that-- which is quickly overcome by the art making, but with this project they get to do some drawing or painting.

2. As opposed to just drawing in the galleries (which we will also do) this allows them to draw as a group-- each one of them having their own piece but curious what the other pieces look like.

3. It gets them to work as a group in assembling the final image, which gets their problem solving skills working-- essential to making the program a success.

I'm always concerned about the amount of time the Ice Breaker can take, but I feel strongly that it's an important component to the success of our group.

From the Ice Breaker we'll head into the museum to look at the pieces we've chosen for our group to use as inspiration-- we'll get them drawing to remember elements of them, see what works and what doesn't and how those pieces might translate into our limited materials we've been given for our project.

After some time in the galleries we'll break into smaller groups of six to hammer out suggestions and ideas and then present them to the group as a whole, choosing what elements might work well together and formulating a plan to make it work.

I'll start LIVE Blogging this morning once we've begun Studio work.