SchoolArts Magazine

NOV 2013

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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High School Studio Lesson UNDer WraPs Left: Sophia Ali. Above: Nina Robicha. Betsy DiJulio M arried collaborators, Christo and JeanneClaude are best known for decades of large-scale installation projects. But it was the small-scale wrapped household objects from earlier in Christo's career that inspired the project I call "Under Wraps." Quite a number of years ago, I had read about a wrapped chair unit in one of the art education journals. I was drawn to the concept, although it seemed to be missing something, but 34 November 2013 SchoolArts I wasn't sure what. I filed the lesson away in hopes that I would be able to use it later. An Unexpected Lesson We all know that necessity is the mother of invention, so when I started off last school year with a studio challenge for my AP students that was a bit too challenging for them, I had to regroup, back up, and start over. It was then that the wrapped chair article popped back into my head, and I decided to get serious about adapting if for my classroom. But what was the extra aesthetic or conceptual "something" that the challenge needed? I thought back to a 2005 visit to the Bass Museum of Art in Miami, Florida, where I viewed a Christo and Jeanne-Claude exhibition that featured collages, drawings, photographs, and scale models of three of the couple's projects. I remember being struck by how appealing I found Christo's vigorous and expressive drawings, along with his handwritten notations in the margins and perspective lines. My Challenge Inspired by this memory, I decided to require students to use linear patterns and stenciled faux notation purely as design elements—divorced from any function—to enhance their wrapped

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