Diving In with Hands-On ArtDecember 8, 2016
Every fall, our studios fill with excited young artists from Kingston High School’s Advanced Placement art program. Once a week for four weeks, they spent a full day working in one of our studio disciplines under the guidance of WSW artists, practicing new skills and techniques.
In the studio, KHS students got the chance to not only explore new methods, but also to get feedback and support from working artists leading their workshops. WSW’s Art-in-Education Artist’s Book resident Phyllida Bluemel taught in the silkscreen studio while producing her artist’s book, The Tang of Height. The project, still in its beginning phases when the students arrived, evolved and grew over the next four weeks alongside the students’ own work. Ora Schneider Regional Residency recipient Katie Grove had just completed her residency at WSW when she joined Art-in-Ed to teach etching. Chris Petrone, our studio manager, led the way in the papermaking studio, and our merry band of interns lent their hands and expertise as well.
At an in-school visit to KHS, we showed the students examples of a range of finished work in each discipline. They were encouraged to keep these examples in mind as they collected ideas and imagery so they could hit the ground running when they arrived at WSW. Working from their already strong artistic foundations, they pushed the boundaries of their ideas to grow and encompass new methods and skills. In the silkscreen studio they focused on flat layers and graphic imagery; etching invited playful textures and lines to the page. Amidst the sloshing of the paper studio, they studied how fibers come together to make paper and tried their hand at pulling the perfect sheet.
After three weeks of rotating through papermaking, etching, and silkscreen, they were invited to spend their final full day in the studio of their choice. We introduced a bookbinding tutorial, where students learned to make to make sewn, hardcover books. They also constructed books to show off their handmade paper, made in previous weeks.
With only one or two days to spend in each studio, the students were surprised at how deeply they were able to utilize each medium. Many of them expected to feel rushed or restricted, but instead found that they were able to use their time to exercise their own creative instincts in deeply explorative ways. As always, we at WSW love having the studio brimming with students. Their enthusiasm and creative energy was palpable all month, even when they’d gone back to school.
But enough about us! Let’s hear from some of our featured artists about their time at WSW.
Hannah Bouck: “It was fun, friendly, and allows for creativity!” Favorite part? “All of it!”
Raquelle DeCirco: “I had a good experience meeting new people and learning new techniques that I will hopefully use again.”
Regina Lacy: “Etching was easier for me to do my style, and handle my style of work. Silkscreen was fun to learn, easier to get. WSW was a great experience. Everyone should try it once.”
Paige Kowal: “It was a brilliant way to express myself as an artist in new and undiscovered ways.”
Erin Dougherty: “Our goals for the day and what we had to focus on were different. There was more experimentation.” Favorite part? “Having a wide range of materials to work from and being able to work with anything.”
Katie Houston: “It was an amazing experience. The highlight of my school year so far.” Favorite part? “Bookbinding!”
Join us in celebrating these emerging artists! Their work will be on view at the Kirkland Senate Room in Kingston from December 10 -19th, with an opening reception on December 10th from 3 to 5PM. We think you’ll be as impressed as we are!