SchoolArts Magazine

October 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 43 of 66

the Hiberno-Saxon artworks and then showed them how Stella was inspired by those to make his Protractor works. I then asked the class how we could be inspired by both artworks to cre - ate something new. Students liked the sharp curvilinear shapes and colors Stella used but thought there should be pictures inside them. They liked the idea of having the shapes frame photos of themselves like a decorative collage. Combining Ideas In addition to Stella's circle and half- circle shapes, some students wanted to use shapes that we were studying in math, such as the triangle and square. Other students liked the gold, silver, and metallic colors in some of the Hiberno-Saxon art, while others pre - ferred the almost Day-Glo colors of the Stella works. Several students wanted to combine both types of colors to see what would happen. Photos, Colors, and Shapes I took ten photos of each student in various poses to get a sense of their personalities. Then I called Maria Teresa Cardenas, a Los Angeles art teacher who I frequently collabo - rate with, to assist with the project. She helped students pick colors and shapes that they wanted to use. We tried to keep the shapes basic like the ones we were studying in math, but students still needed help mak - ing and cutting the circles and sharp straight angles. Trial and Error Students looked at examples of the Hiberno-Saxon art and Stella's paint - ings to get an idea of what they wanted their artwork to look like. This took a lot of trial and error as students played with shapes, cut pictures of themselves, and moved their ideas and images around before gluing them. We knew that if we just let students start gluing without play - ing around with the composition, that the gluing would end up hampering the artistic process because things would tear and come apart if they wanted to make changes. It was difficult for some because they wanted to include too much in their work. We tried to get students to learn how to make changes and let go of some ideas that didn't seem to work. It was through this process of playing with their photos and shapes that students really started to get into a zone of creating that, at times, resembled the long attention span many would experience when playing and building with toys. They also took inspiration from each other by gazing at each other's work. Shaping the Canvas Once students glued down their com- positions, they cut out the composition based on what form it made because we wanted to keep Stella's influence of the "shaped canvas" in the artworks. Maria assisted some students with cut - ting the canvas and then showed them how to apply a water-based sealant over the finished work. Human Expression Students' portraits were hung in a show at the Lindhurst Galleries at the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California. The mash-up of color, shape, and human expression looked striking in the gallery setting. What began through the influ - ences of lavishly decorated pre-Renais- It looked as if Stella's controlled circular geometr had become vibrant and humanized in the buo anc and pla fulness of students' personalities. CONTINUED ON PAGE 50. Anthony Hernandez. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 39

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