Friday, February 25, 2011

Birds of a feather

I conducted a 6 week printing workshop with Jr. High students at Good Shepherd Montessori School. Art Specialist, Ms. Rousseau and Guide, Miss Hoipkemier assisted. In preparation for creating a print the students first visited the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame to see examples of various relief prints selected from the Snite’s vast collection. Through the prints students were able to see firsthand examples of techniques in mark making and subject matter to further enhance their own image making potential. The next five weeks allowed the students to draw, carve out, and print editions of their linoleum block images.

Birds of Indiana were selected as subject matter for the prints the students and I would create. I believe that a personal connection with a project resonates truer with the creator, as well as, the audience. GSMS's students' farm experience has contributed to their knowledge of the local environment. Each participating student chose a different bird that is commonly seen around their state.

GSMS also commissioned me to create a work that the school can give as an award at this year's annual benefit. This year’s award recipient is partial to the Great Blue Heron so I chose to print a 12 x 12” image in addition to my smaller class room demo entitled “Great Blue”. Because the award honors a community leader for their commitment to improving the lives of children in the Michiana community I included some of the students’ work alongside my own. Therefore, the finished composition “Birds of Indiana” consists of my own depiction of a Great Blue Heron bracketed by prints of six other birds familiar in our home state – Purple Martin, Snow Goose, Mallard, House Wren, Loon, and the Woodpecker each created by – Jace, Izzy, Laurel, Olivia, Robin, and Jonathan respectively. These prints were collectively printed in my studio with the press. I liked the look of the works all together so much that I decided to print a small edition of just the smaller student blocks along side with my own, Ms Rousseau's and Miss Hoipkemier's.

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