SchoolArts Magazine

OCT 2010

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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Luke Boyd Carol Horst M emento. Memoir. Memorable. Memory. Memorial. Commemorate. In Memoriam. These words may remind us of stone monuments, or larger-than-life heroes and loved ones far distanced from us by space and time. The act of remembering, though, also belongs in the world of the everyday and the ordinary, and has a valuable place in an art classroom. "Do you have images you carry craft knife without too much diffiaround in your head," I asked stuculty. Each sketch had a substantial dents, "that you remember from your edge that could fully join with a porchildhood?" Maybe these images tion of the concave shape of the cardare like photographs, or maybe phoboard cylinder. tographs have gotten mixed up with After several foreground, middle actual memories to the point where ground, and background shapes were it's hard to remember which is which. cut out, a line of glue was applied Maybe these images commemorate along the edge of the cutout shapes to important events join to the inside or maybe they These humble little objects wall of the cylincommemorate an der. The shapes function as visual memoirs. were then placed ordinary happening—a glimpse and allowed to of a moment that has passed and dry. Students were reminded of the that, for some reason, remains a unpretentious nature of the materistrong visual memory. als they were using for this work, and The artist David Hockney that imperfections could add to the reminds us "the smallest event work's allure. can become a story if you tell it in the right way." A couple of Glimpses into the Past teacher examples can be helpful The events that students chose to in reminding students that very memorialize were rich and varied. ordinary memories can tell an One was a remembrance of a pet who interesting visual story. died. Another was a memorial to a fleeting moment from past friendship. Using the Personal Another was a glimpse of a hotel room and the Commonplace from a childhood trip. The work of Anastassia Elias is These humble little objects funca reminder that bathroom tissue tion as visual memoirs. They give rolls and brown paper are excellent students the opportunity to honor materials for these small, intimate something that has passed—whether a mementos because they reside fully person, pet, or dream, feeling, or event in the world of the personal and the that has become part of their own percommonplace, but also because, like sonal narrative. The combination of books, viewers can intimately pick an intimate viewing experience, use of them up, hold them in their hands, everyday materials, and play of light and "read" the artist's narrative. They and shadow makes these surprisingly allow students to "tell" their story of compelling mementos. a seemingly insignificant event in a Carol Horst is an art teacher at Tehachapi charming way. Construction Sketching Memories After students came up with a memorable "visual snapshot" they wanted to work with, they traced around the bottom of a bathroom tissue roll until they had several circles in which to draw small sketches. This project required students to come up with at least three "layers" of memory: something in the foreground, middle ground, and background. The sketched shapes were simplified to the point where they could be cut out with a High School in Tehachapi, California. carolhrst@gmail.com NAtioNAl StANdArd Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use. Web liNk www.anastassia-elias.com schoolartsonline.com 27

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