Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Our youngest artists’ work, on display in April

April showers us with art from our students

The work of our youngest artists will be on display on April 2 and 3 at the Artists for Kids Gallery, 810
West 21st Street in North Vancouver. The after-school programs will be proudly displaying their work on April 2, from 6:30-7:30 pm, while the architecture students will have their work shown on April 3, from 7-8 pm.

Since January, about 150 students have been discovering their talents as they explore various media through the 14 after-school programs offered by Artists for Kids. From introductory classes for those in Kindergarten, to printmaking and jewellery making, and a pre-University studio program for students nearing the end of high school, the next generation of artists are discovering the breadth of their talent, and will proudly have it on display on April 2. 

Beyond after-school classes, students with an interest and aptitude for Architecture have been part of a special immersion program. Architecture Canada (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada) has supported three architecture-specific programs during the school year. In November 2011, and in January 2012, almost 50 Grade 3 students had the opportunity to work with an architect to expand their understanding of space and forms. In addition, in January, a group of Grade 8 students participated in three day-long classes designed specifically for them. Through these programs, students were able to learn more about the power of architecture and the elements that make it effective as well an asset to our communities.
“Beyond the simple joy of creating, an education in the arts allows students to explore the work around them, and reflect what they see through art. In addition, the arts allows students to learn creative problem-solving techniques, a skill that will benefit them in whichever career they pursue,” says Yolande Martinello, Director of Artists for Kids. 
Be sure to attend the presentations on April 2 and 3, and see the spirit and energy of our next generation of artists and architects.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Colouring Outside Your Mind - Winter Session

The third Colouring Outside Your Mind classes was held last week, and the students had lots of fun warming up with the classic parlour game, Exquisite Corpse.   Exquisite Corpse is a term coined by surrealist artists in the 1920’s and 1930’s to describe the process of several artists (or writers, musicians, playwrights, etc) working together on a single piece without knowing what each one was making.  The basic concept behind this technique is for one artist to begin a drawing and then to conceal what he or she is making from the other artists in the group.  The next person in succession continues the drawing using only minimal clues left behind by the first person’s drawing.  The drawing is finished after each person in the group has made a contribution to the final product.

The next exercise involved "Drawing your Day"...using black sharpies, the students put their pens down on the paper, and drew a continuous line across the page, doodling the highlights of their day with quick gestural lines.   The resulting shapes were coloured in with Aquarelle crayons, and then water added to give them a watercolour quality.  This exercise was quite popular, as it gets you thinking about your day and all that it typically holds.

Fun with Shadow-drawing!  For the next exercise, the students worked in groups of 3, each taking a turn at casting shadows, and then directing the others so they could draw overlapping shadow outlines onto large pieces of paper.  

Once they had the right number and arrangement of shapes on their page, the students began painting in the shapes with acrylic paint and gel medium.  This group really knows how to get down to business, and they all completed painting their piece (quite a lot of painting, really) in the balance of the class.



 Once they had filled in all their shapes, the students had the option of using black grease pencils (China markers) to follow some or all of the shape outlines to enhance the piece, and highlight the shapes...the results are spectacular!!

Thinking Outside the Canvas - Adult Art Class Winter Session

The third of four Thinking Outside the Canvas classes took place last week, starting with a (verbal) warm-up exercise called an "idea-tree" or "idea-network."  Beginning with one word inspired by the photo that each student brought with them (and which has informed many of the exercises in the class), the students began to free-associate related words, building a stream-of-consciousness word network.   These "drawings" can later be ripped up and glued to their final piece, or simply used to give direction and purpose to their final piece.

Next the students looked at maps, and using a viewfinder, zoomed in on a small section of map with interesting features, colours and/or symbols.  These cropped map sections were then drawn quickly onto paper using the contour drawing technique, and painted with acrylics.

The students then turned their attention to a "mapping" exercise inspired in part by the work of the Austrian artist Freidrich Hundertwasser.  Listening to a series of instructions, the students drew on a coloured paper an aerial view of the Capilano watershed, using contour lines, shapes, and symbols, and then painted these in with acrylic paints.  The final pieces were very fun, and very colourful!


The last exercise of the day included adding pieces of map, and a repeating pattern with stamps, to the students' large rosin paper pieces.  These pieces, already layered with gesso and drywall paste, and a layer or two of acrylic paint, will be added to, built up layer upon layer, painted into again, and eventually turning into beautiful one-of-a-kind mixed media collages that can be either hung as is, or cut into smaller pieces...tune in next week to find out!