Winter blues…and pinks, yellows, reds, oranges!

February 8, 2014 by

Winter is a quiet time at the workshop. It takes the studios a little while to pick up steam after the winter break and when it does most of the hustle and bustle is focused downstairs in the ceramics department as staff and volunteers prepare for the annual Chili Bowl Fiesta.

So it was a burst of fresh air when 8th graders from the Kingston School District’s J.W. Bailey Middle School rolled off the bus and spread out into the studios to explore intaglio, papermaking and silkscreen. Students from Rachel Forte’s Studio and Art class were selected to participate in WSW’s program Hands-On Art, an acclaimed Art-in-Education (AIE) program that invites students and their teachers to come work in WSW’s professionally equipped studios side by side with practicing artists.

This winter the middle school students are exploring the theme of transformation, spending an entire day in each of the studios, taking risks and solving problems while learning the basics of etching, hand papermaking and screenprinting.

WSW intern alumna and AIE coordinator Tara Hagen put together a team of WSW artist alumnae well versed in each of the studios: Cheyenne Mallo in etching, Paige Simpson and Tona Wilson taking turns in silkscreen, and Tara teaching papermaking, all working with groups of six to nine kids in each studio.

WSW’s newest artists-in-residence, studio interns Liz Cunningham and Emily Ritter, are helping out in papermaking and silkscreen respectively.

WSW’s  model arts program Hands-On Art  has been working with area schools for over 25 years, and has served over 7000 elementary, middle and high school students, along with their teachers. When spring finally does arrive (will it? my fingers are crossed) elementary students from E.R. Crosby will take their turn in the studios, and high schoolers, many of whom use their time at the workshop to fine tune their portfolios in time for college applications, will round out the year in the fall. Each of these groups wrap up their experience with an exhibition of the work they produced at the Workshop. Stay tuned for information on when and where the next one will be!