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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Page 60 of 67

Continued from page 39. Middle School Studio Lesson BEARING WITNESS Laurie Bellet E The Responsibility of the Artist very year at Oakland Hebrew As artists, we bear a different burden Day School, a dedicated group than typical historians. When we of middle-school students work, we bring our creativity and comes together to study the emotional being to the endeavor. We Holocaust through art. This study bring human perspectives to the raw culminates in an installation piece facts. Through our art, we each reveal to be displayed at community coman individual perspective and focus memorative events. The art curwhile, at the same time, allowing riculum at OHDS is choice-based, onlookers to layer requiring students our work with their to assume responTo truly "bear viewpoints. sibility for their art witness" involves Art carries perpetdecisions, process, making an experience ual value. Years from outcome, and evaluavisible, tangible and now, spectators will tion. Working within emotionally compelling. be able to interpret a collaborative group the emotional conadds significant comtent of our work as well as the factual plexity and reward to this art experidata of the history it represents. We ence. The following is a description have used enduring symbols that have of this years work as developed by universal meaning. To understand students. our work does not require lengthy study. It does, however, implore us to The Responsibility return to it, to view its many aspects, of Bearing Witness to focus on its different regions, to We recognize that we are a unique re-examine the potential of what we generation. We are the last generation have expressed. to have the opportunity to learn about the Shoah directly from individuals The Art Problem who experienced it. We feel it is our We were given the task of creating responsibility now, and in the future, artwork that described the Shoah to Òbear witnessÓ for those who can through the vision of a witness, as no longer do so for themselves. To if we too, were survivors. Early on, truly Òbear witnessÓ involves making we recognized that bearing witness an experience visible, tangible, and requires our eyes, mouths, hands, emotionally compelling. souls, and hearts. The scope of this realization carried great significance for us, causing each of us to connect personally and profoundly with the task. The Process Our research took us through historical accounts and photographs, art of post-Shoah American artists, and the art created in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. Printmaking was selected as the medium we would use because it demands bold symbolism and a lot of physical interaction with the materials and the creation itself. Some of us traced our own hands into the work, imprinting ourselves even further into the subject. We were surprised to see at the end that we had all included eyes in our work. After our preliminary sketches were completed, we drew our images onto printing linoleum and carved the designs. We printed with black and metallic inks and had a wide color selection of paper. We each completed six prints and were responsible for personally selecting the print to be incorporated into the final piece. These final choices were made on the basis of ink quality and contrast with the background paper. 2010 Art Materials Catalog The Outcome For most of this project, we worked as individual artists and it was unclear how our pieces would weave together for a communal outcome. As a group, we determined that black would give the greatest drama to our background. The prints were then mounted against a background of World War II photos. Just as the photos create a background for our prints, the war was the background for the Shoah. Done in blackand-white, the photos have an almost blurred, fading effect. This represents how memories fade after a prolonged time period. In contrast, consider the bold colors of our work, demonstrat- Discover 100s of exciting NEW art and craft supplies in the United Art and Education Art Materials Catalog! Continued on page 59. ing that witness accounts of the Shoah must always stand in the forefront. As your eyes travel over the landscape of this piece, please notice the clockworks that mark the passage of time. Absorb the gaze of the eyes in each print. Look carefully at the position of each hand. Is that hand shielding, pushing back, or declaring? Reflect upon how the elements of fear and entrapment have been expressed in a variety of ways. We each offer you our concept of sadness, terror, and the integrity of the individual through unimaginable, horrific circumstances. We invite you to add your perspective and power to the experience. Laurie Bellet is the art teacher at Oakland Hebrew Day School in Oakland, California. lbellet@ NatioNal StaNdard Students integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in their artworks. Web liNk calendar It doesn't matter if you shop with our catalog or online, our goal is to make shopping fun and efficient for every customer. We want to offer you creative inspiration while saving you both time and money! We offer a volume discount program and free shipping for extra savings! Request your FREE 2010 Art Materials Catalog online at, or call 1 (800)322-3247. 1960-2010 Celebrating 50 Years P Box 9219, Fort Wayne, IN 46899 .O. Circle No. 344 on Reader's Service Card Free furniture kit! With the purchase of a Paragon kiln For a limited time only, buy a new Paragon kiln and receive a free furniture kit to go with it. The free furniture promotion runs from September 1, 2010 through the end of 2010. This is our way of thanking you for your loyalty. Only 10- and 12-sided Paragon top-loading kilns qualify for the free furniture program. This includes the S, SnF, TnF, Janus, and Viking series. The furniture kit includes a carefully selected assortment of shelves and posts for each Paragon kiln model. In addition, many Paragon ceramic top-loaders offer 2" more interior depth than most competitive models. So you get extra kiln depth as a bonus to go with your free furniture. Call or send email for a free catalog on rugged Paragon kilns. Visit our home page to find an authorized Paragon reseller and to sign up for the free Kiln Pointers newsletter. Circle No. 158 on Reader's Service Card 2011 South Town East Blvd. Mesquite, Texas 75149-1122 800-876-4328 / 972-288-7557 Toll Free Fax 888-222-6450 Circle No. 141 on Reader's Service Card

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