Monday, February 15, 2010

Thinking Outside the Frame

“Going out into the world and seeing people who live, breathe, and ARE their art was incredible.”

In order to help students think outside the frame for a self-portrait assignment, the Addison Gallery arranged for three Lawrence High School photography classes to visit three art galleries in the SoWa (South of Washington Street) neighborhood of Boston’s South End.

"Visiting the exhibit clarified my goal…”

At Gallery Kayafas, Arlette Kayafas talked students through the taxonomic groupings of portraits by August Sander, the seemingly candid street scenes by Jules Aarons, and the portraits of women and children in Lebanon by Rania Matar.

One student, who had been struggling to find the best way to format her desire to use a series of photographs of the moon to express her individuality, was inspired by Sanders’s “wall photos side by side creating just one of his main topic.” She now plans to use this grouping idea to generate visual interest in her image.

“I remember a certain piece of art that was so small that people had to get really close to see the shape and detail. It was fascinating! So, I’ll put small details in my [work] that will stand out by making people focus more.”

At Carroll and Sons, Joseph Carroll invited students to explore works from the Boston Drawing Project, created to make works on paper available to a larger audience. This incredibly wide variety of works, ranging from paintings and drawings to photographs and collage, inspired students to think about creative modes of expression for their self-portraits.

“I plan on adding some of the artists’ techniques into my own artwork, such as creative textures and repeated patterns for the background of my photos.”

“I noticed that artists don’t just have one thing that they’re influenced by. For example, Raul was influenced by his culture, where he grew up, his own likes and imagination, AND Japanese anime! He displayed all of that in his work and I plan to collaborate most of my passions and influences into my work as well.”

Raul Gonzalez, whose exhibition of drawings, animations, paintings, and an artist book featuring fictional characters that play on vintage animations and cartoons, entitled “Lookum Here: It Might Could Have Been,” was on display at Carroll and Sons, talked through his inspiration, process, and work with students. This opportunity to meet an exhibiting artist moved some students think more about their own artistic process

“I’m thinking of getting a sketchbook and drawing specific characters I always draw… The art gallery showed me that I can most likely integrate my cartooning tendencies with photography as long as the main idea stays intact.”

“You can barely notice where he cut the image.”

At the Howard Yezerski Gallery, students were fascinated with the collages and photomontages of John O’Reilly. Comparisons between his work and the works on paper by other artists in the exhibition inspired other students to consider the applications of these techniques in their own work.

“I am going to use John O’Reilly’s focus on collage and incorporate it into my text. I want to take a picture of our student body at lunch and then take pictures of different letters for my text.”

As one student realized, having the exposure to artists and artwork, “instead of looking at someone’s artwork online or in a book,” greatly widens their approaches to their assignment and their work as artists outside the classroom. “I’ve realized that artistic freedom is limitless.”

Posted by
Jamie Kaplowitz
Education Fellow

1 comment:

Kezza said...

Jamie, This is so awesome! I want to take some classes with you and be inspired like these students!