A Glimpse Into the Minds of 6th-Graders Through Art

The finished creations make a very impressive display for all to enjoy in the main lobby at the Silas Wood 6th-Grade Center.
The finished creations make a very impressive display for all to enjoy in the main lobby at the Silas Wood 6th-Grade Center.
This is the piece by renowned photographer Maggie Taylor that started the creative process.
This is the piece by renowned photographer Maggie Taylor that started the creative process.
The creative process at work.
The creative process at work.
Silas Wood art teacher Ms. Hickey integrates art lessons that coordinate what her students are learning in their other classes. Her collaboration with the Heckscher Museum of Art is one of many unique opportunities she brings to our 6th-graders.
Silas Wood art teacher Ms. Hickey integrates art lessons that coordinate what her students are learning in their other classes. Her collaboration with the Heckscher Museum of Art is one of many unique opportunities she brings to our 6th-graders.

The Heckscher Museum of Art and Silas Wood sixth-graders have been creating some pretty amazing pieces of art recently. Centering around the museum’s current exhibit: Modern Alchemy: Experiments in Photography, Joy Weiner, the Museum’s Director of Education and Public Programs, and Kristina Schaaf, their Associate Director of Education worked with Ms. Hickey’s art classes as they explored 20th and 21st-century artists who have pushed the boundaries of photography.

“We asked the students to think about what it means to be inspired and to be creative. We all agreed that artists often find inspiration by looking at works of art that have come before them, but also by thinking of ideas that are new and original,” said Ms. Weiner.  The museum gave an engaging presentation into works of art by Surrealist Rene Magritte, and learned about the unique characteristics of Surrealism such as dream-like images, changes in scale, and unexpected combinations of everyday items. It was then that the students looked into contemporary artists and became intrigued by renowned photographer Maggie Taylor. “Using a Maggie Taylor piece as their inspiration, the students were able to express themselves and share what’s unique about each of them,” said Ms. Weiner.  “They began by taking self-portraits and then created a collage about the things that they imagine, things they like, things they think about, and things that make them special.”

The final pieces were extraordinary in a way that allows the viewer to get a glimpse of what each student is like. By adding images that formed a visual cornucopia to their own self-portrait, students shared their inspiration of Ms. Taylor’s style by creating a piece that is uniquely theirs.

“As a school and community we all have many things in common, but as individuals we also have many qualities and interests that are unique,” said the museums Associate Director of Education, Kristina Schaaf. “Each beautiful self-portrait celebrates Silas Wood 6th Grade Center’s diversity and creativity.”

The finished creations make a very impressive display for all to enjoy in the main lobby at Silas Wood. Thank you again Ms. Weiner and Ms. Schaaf for showing our students a wonderful and creative way to express themselves through art.

 

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