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Friday, May 11, 2012

Sculpture and Teaching Demonstrations

I was invited to be part of Portland Community College's Art Beat.

Art Beat exemplifies PCC’s dedication to education and community. For the past 20 years, Art Beat Week fills each Portland Community College campus with music, dance, literature, sculpture, painting, theater-all things artistic!                  All events are free and open to everyone.
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So how do you teach sculpture,  design and composition to people who've never considered sculpture?

You design a project that is easy to participate, simple to understand, engaging, doesn't take much time and gives immediate results.

This project showed participants how to create their own simple relief on a blank plaster stamp.
 To short curcuit the "I can't make art!" people were asked to just write their first and last initials.
 It was a mind game because you must write and carve your initials backwards.
 Laughing is good for creativity!

Did I mention that many of the participants were English as a second language students?

No problem, sculpture is so direct. In each group, one or two students with a better grasp of English acted as translators. Once the students got the concept of a carved line into the plaster = a raised line in clay, everyone got busy. Some did initials, others their entire name, while others did a heart or sun.
A teacher's dream. Everyone excited, engaged and learning.
A sample of the small clay relief "coins" with students initials.
A puzzle, composition and design, sculpture process and results,
all in under 2 square inches!  A successful project.

Thank you, Portland Community College.
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Other particpating artists were Richard Brandt, ceramics, Yuji Hiratsuka, printmaker
Ben Bush, comic book illustrator, Kate Fenker, mixed media.

2 comments:

Theresa Cheek said...

I think I see a silly grin on your face! You shared your passion and everyone benefitted! I love the "coins"

Patrick Gracewood said...

It's true, Theresa. Handing someone a white plaster die, telling them not to peek, handing them a small chunk of clay and have them roll it into a ball (a universal remnant of childhood) and asking them to press stamp into clay....When they see the results- a bunny, a bird, it's like a magic act that they created.
I purposely did not bring the Greek stamps- copies of ancient coins with drunken satyrs...save that for another audience.