Monday, February 01, 2010

Course Work for the Artist in Training

Students find inspiration from MFAH works and learn from time-honored tradition

For centuries, art academies required students to copy the work of the Old Masters. From drawings and prints, students learned to create lines, master shading and contour figures. From paintings they learned composition and how to develop visual narrative.

Kingwood Park High School Art Teacher Kara Czepiel has revived this time-honored tradition with her Advanced Placement (AP) art students to introduce them to the many approaches to the creative process and to spur them to ponder the source of their ideas. As part of their program, students have the freedom to work within a concentration of their choice with most choosing to draw, paint, collage and photograph with the use of Photoshop for their concentration.

The rigorous curriculum requires a piece of quality artwork due every week to the College Board for their AP credit.

Their work is on view now through Sunday, June 27, 2010 as a Kinder Foundation Education Center exhibition New Masters on Old Masters through the MFAH Education Center.

The 16 pieces in this exhibition reflect both Czepiel’s students’ command of the technical skills of art-making and their discovery of the infinitely nuanced process of conceptual thinking: the invisible choices artists make before pronouncing their work “finished.”

“Teachers focus on skill-building, but the thought process about why a student is inspired to make a work of art often becomes lost,” said Czepiel. “So, I decided to make my students into visual interpreters, by instructing them to find a work from the museum’s collection, then to create their own version of the work. As the students became intellectually curious about the pieces and dug deeper into the artists’ lives, the concepts of interpretation and creativity began to take root.”

Until the next nap time...

Valentine's Day with Kids at Home

This year, Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday, which means that parents need to prepare themselves for holiday activities. What ideas do you have for spending February 14 with the kids at home? Please post your ideas using the Comments feature. Everyone who adds a comment to this blog post will be entered into a drawing for a Barnes & Noble gift card. Let's generate some fun ideas for kids and parents alike.

Until the next nap time...