2013–14 Learning Through Art Residencies
Listed below are brief overviews of the LTA residencies from the 2013–14 school year.
Artifacts of the Bronx
PS 86, Bronx
Fourth graders at PS 86 explored the idea of culture and how it develops in their community. They thought about objects, ranging from a crushed soda can to a book, and how they are reflections of their community and the people who live there. Using papier-mâché, students recreated a variety of artifacts found in their Bronx community, and then selected objects to be displayed together in the neighborhood. The accompanying photographs show these intentional groupings of work.
Moments in Time
PS 86, Bronx
As the sixth graders at PS 86 prepare to graduate this year, they spent time reflecting on how experiences have changed them over time. Their final projects are pages from a graphic novel that convey the story of a person who goes through a personal challenge or change. Students learned about visual storytelling techniques such as showing a point of view, creating mood, and composing a picture. The pages were created using a variety of media: acrylic paint, collage, drawing, and text.
A Map of Me
PS 676, Brooklyn
3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades
Students at PS 676 were asked, “Where am I? Where have I been? Where am I going?” They began by thinking about themselves within their community of Red Hook and slowly moved beyond to think about Brooklyn and the five boroughs. Through this process they investigated maps on many different levels: how lines or borders on a map are conceived, how maps change over time, and how maps can be used to show geography, population, or landmarks. Their final project is an abstract map of their lives that may include a self-portrait, family photos, sketches of themselves and their community, and other personal symbols.
PS 42, Manhattan
Fourth grade students at PS 42 studied character development in literature and applied it to their creative process of art making. In collaborative groups, students sculpted “creatures” that reflect the traits of several characters found in their books. Built from found objects and papier-mâché, then painted and collaged with fabric and various unique materials, students applied their skills using diverse materials in both technically motivated and spontaneous ways.
Bringing the Outside In
PS 317, Queens
The location of Rockaway Beach—home to students of PS 317—outside “the city,” provides a unique landscape for artistic exploration. Second grade students observed and collected items from the beach adjacent to their school and used these objects to create mixed media collages representing their personal and collective landscape. Students worked in small groups to make collaborative artworks, comprising observed and imaginary drawings. Approaching the question “How can we engage with our landscape?” students provided answers in the form of artistic and visual research.
Inventing the Now
PS 184, Manhattan
This series of collaborative hanging sculptures is inspired by the Italian Futurists’ interest to express their passionate philosophies on contemporary issues. Students contemplated their residency’s essential question: “For what will you be responsible?” Integrated with the fourth grade social-studies curricular concept of freedom, the students’ sculptures respond to contemporary challenges (e.g., the environment, hunger, animal rights) and provide an expressively creative solution to those problems. These selected works are constructed of painted cardstock and are attached using a variety of methods such as tabs, slits, hole punches, and ties.
Making the Invisible Visible
PS 144, Queens
Third graders at PS 144 explored the idea of energy and discussed how one might visualize this unseen concept. Students created gesture paintings of their peers in action during recess, charted their own energy levels during various activities, and then interpreted the artistic and scientific findings into abstract sculptural forms. They relied on their knowledge of influencing energies (light, heat, sound, potential, kinetic, wind, internal) as they built their sculptures. This full-body exploration required students to practice perseverance, patience, self-assessment, control, and mindfulness.
Movements in Space
PS 48, Staten Island
Throughout the year, third graders at PS 48 explored the ways in which physical, social, and mechanical movement shape artistic expression through drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and animation. By sculpting clay figures in motion, students mined their essential question, “What moves us?” They built wire armatures of themselves in an action pose. The sculptures are coated with a tinted color glaze, sealing the work with a personal touch.
Personal Stories: Experience and Understanding
PS 48, Staten Island
Students investigated questions such as, “How does experience affect understanding? How do you describe yourself? What experiences made you that way? How does that impact the way you see the world?” The final work is a reflection of the students’ personal histories filtered through their collective art making experiences in LTA, utilizing mixed media and construction techniques. Each student assembled a low-relief box as both a literal and metaphorical container for this accumulation of ideas and materials, incorporating the range of mediums as well as abstract and narrative themes that students worked on throughout the year.
Strike the Pose
PS 8, Brooklyn
Third graders at PS 8 in Brooklyn have been exploring the relationship between collaboration and community. Students explored these ideas through symbolism, color relationships, and pattern making. Inspired by the work of their mentor artists El Anatsui (1944, Ghana), Vasily Kandinsky (1866, Russia), and Kehinde Wiley (1977, United States), each class first created a mural of their personal symbols. They then formed small groups around common personal ideals such as family, hope, or fun. Posing in front of their murals, each small group composed a tableaux using gesture to further express their group ideal.
Call and Response
PS 8, Brooklyn
Each fourth grade class at PS 8 in Brooklyn developed their own essential question after discussing the overall concept of connections. Students explored various tactile crafts such as weaving, monoprinting, and sculpting with Model Magic™ and clay. Through these explorations they practiced connecting their work with a partner or table group; individual works were eventually combined into communal pieces. The final project evolved into a two-part piece in which students used photography to respond to clay sculptures created by other students.
Need Over Want: What My Community Needs
PS 9, Brooklyn
How does one define richness? This year at PS 9 Brooklyn students have been exploring layers of richness within their community. Connecting to their social studies curriculum, students investigated urban, suburban, and rural communities, learning the difference between want and need. Students used this understanding of “layered richness” to create paintings of city blocks highlighting the services and facilities a community needs to serve their public.
Rule Breakers and Rule Makers
PS 9, Brooklyn
Students at PS 9 explored games and analyzed what makes a game successful to address the question, “What role do I play?” Fourth graders realized that people play games for a variety of reasons: to learn new skills, to learn responsibility, to learn morals, to build relationships with others, and to have adventures. Preparatory exercises focused on students creating both 2D and 3D elements using a wide variety of materials. Exploring allowed students the opportunity to become familiar with the concepts of overlapping, twisting, bending, rolling, and bundling. As individuals or in small groups, students invented games as well as created images of games. In addition, students focused on created characters for their game, considering both the traits of that individual but also the physical balance of the piece to ensure proper movement on the game board.
Greenery for the Common Good
PS 28, Manhattan
How is nature part of your community? At PS 28 students learned that food has a huge impact on their community. Students grew sweet potato plants in their classrooms. Children learned what the plants needed to grow by observing and sketching the sweet potato plants at varying stages of development. Students ultimately created collages of their own invented plants that demonstrate the mutual benefits for the plant and the community.
Lotería Character Cards
PS 88, Queens
Students at PS 88 created Lotería character cards based on the Mexican Lotería game. Each card depicts a character (the students) with specific traits. For example, if the trait is hard-working, the card shows an individual involved in strenuous labor. The character cards were created with collage, printmaking, and watercolor as a way to study their own character development. The cards are grouped into boards in the manner of bingo cards and reproduced so that students may play the card game.
PS 88, Queens
Fifth grade students at PS 88 in Queens have been contemplating, “How do my actions now affect who I want to be?” To explore the question, students worked in groups to discuss their dreams and what they would have to do to achieve their goals. Students sketched themselves and mapped out things they would have to accomplish in order to live their dream. For their final work students created portraits visualizing themselves now, as well as their future selves.