Learning Through Art: Steven Alan at P.S. 42
Teaching artist Jennifer Cecere has been instructing 5th graders at P.S. 42 in the Lower East Side as part of the Guggenheim Museum’s Learning Through Art program for 12 years. Working with their teacher, Eric Carbone, Jennifer introduces students to working with fabric through a variety of mixed media projects, including collages, sewing, and most recently, mobiles. We’ve been donating fabric to the program for a while and recently stopped by to observe the process and admire the students’ work. We also talked to Jennifer about this year’s project, which will be featured in the Year with Children exhibition at the Guggenheim later this spring.
This year’s work began on a personal level. The students created portraits of themselves or their classmates, which prepared them to take on themes that connect to the historical figures they are learning about in Social Studies, using art as a vehicle to communicate something about them. Drawing on the techniques they have learned, they will create mobiles about a character from history for the final project.
For the first assignment, students created traditional silhouettes, but used stitching to add in their features and details.
Students looked at the mobiles of Alexander Calder before creating these three-dimensional portraits from pipe cleaners.
Next, they learned about proportions, moving on to very detailed proportional sketching of the figure. They then designed clothing for the figures, beginning by sketching patterns on tracing paper, then cutting the fabric and learning to sew.
As teachers, Cecere and Carbone were struck by the level of focus and attention to detail exhibited by the students. They made very considered, conscious decisions when it came to choosing their fabrics, and really took to making patterns and appreciating how their own clothes are made. As they were working, they saw the kids looking at their own clothing, examining the seams to see how they were put together. We can’t wait to see what they come up with for the exhibition.This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 11:54 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.