SchoolArts Magazine

November 2017

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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school-community collaboration were arranged, students were given a prompt to create their bra design by transforming an ordinary object and using it within the design in a unique way, while relating the con - cept thematically. To clear a path- way for generating ideas, the prompt w as followed by a presentation and discussion of artists who take every- day objects and see them in a new w ay. Related artists included Ken Knowlton, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Jennifer Maestre, Ken Vieth, Nat - sumi Tomita, Susan Beatrice, Kumi Y amashita, and Seo Young Deok. Acquiring Materials Local businesses involved in the col- laboration donated mannequin torsos for students to use as the base of their bra design. We wrapped and taped them in plastic bags prior to begin- ning the project as a way to assure that we could get messy and unin- hibited and return the mannequins in the same condition in which they were received. A few new bras were also donated by local businesses, but it was also an opportunity for spring- cleaning at home. Plan B for the stu- dent who might feel uncomfortable was to complete the same prompt on a shoe (maintaining the theme, but echoing the Relay for Life campaign). But, to my delight, all students, male and female, were eager to begin. Bra Fabric Challenges Because bra fabric is not made to with- stand paint, hot glue, and the weight of v arious objects, we created a substrate of either plaster wrap or fabric stiffener to provide a solid foundation on which to build. This also assured that the bra would free-stand when taken off of the mannequin. Another tip prior to beginning is to paint the base of the bra a color that enhances the final design to ensure craftsmanship if the base of the bra will be seen through the application of the mixed media. A Personal Project As students finalized their bra designs, they each wrote a short summary about their artistic pro- cess, choice of materials, and words of encouragement to display by their artwork. It was revealing to find that several students dedicated their designs to a loved one lost to cancer. This was serendipitous, as I did not know that this would also turn out to be a very personal proj - ect for some. I was reminded of the p ower art holds to support the heal- ing process in others, as well as the p ower it holds to help heal the artist, too. Compassion. Creativity. Com- munity. Connect the dots as often a s you can, whenever you can, and it will lead to meaningful experiences on many levels. Monique Dobbelaere is an art teacher at Hilton Head High School in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Monique.dobbelaere @ N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and exter- nal context. W E B L I N K Left: Hannah Fedor, Sweet Success. Middle: Sarah O'Neil, Guardian Angel. Right: Jennifer Martinez working. SCHOOLAR TSMAGAZINE.COM 43

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