showed them a large stack of 20 x 26"
( 51 x 66 cm) recycled cardboard I had
collected and told them that each project had to reuse at least one full sheet
of cardboard in a creative way.
Students returned to
class with their articles and sketches.
During a lively
roundtable discussion, they shared
their passions and
ideas. I was amazed that each student
had focused on a different interest,
ranging from the images of women in
society to saving sycamore trees. This
group of students has been together
in art classes since freshman year.
They have always been taught to take
and give opinions in a thoughtful and
meaningful way, but I continue to be
impressed by their openness and willingness to share ideas and be excited
by the input of their fellow students.
These advanced students had explored
varying methods and materials
throughout their high-school art expe-
riences, so I gave them the freedom to
choose the media
for this project.
Through class dis-
cussion we consid-
ered the following
question: How can
you get your mes-
sage across to the
viewer in an inter-
esting and thought-provoking way uti-
lizing a successful composition?
How can you get your
message across to the
viewer in an interesting
way utilizing a successful
decided to show the waste in our society by creating a three-dimensional
sculpture. She showed the debris by
mounting objects such as toy cars and
cell phones on a road while poverty
and danger surround it.
It was a powerful and exciting experience to see the process, exploration,
and results created by these students.
It is uplifting to know that these
future citizens are aware, involved,
and creative problem-solvers.
Alice Gebhart teaches art at Cranston
High School East in Cranston, Rhode
The results were as varied as the initial ideas. One student depicted the
state of the economy by showing a
blank figure surrounded by dismal
black-and-white newspaper articles
about her topic. The figure looks out
to a colorful world of collaged items,
far out of reach. Another student
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.