Charting Our Own Course: Observation and the Sublime
    In the fall of 2016, AISP classes responded to two exhibitions at The Print Center: Victoria Burge: Penumbra and Celestial/Terrestrial. The curriculum drew on the ways the artists in these exhibitions approached the idea of the sublime. Projects explored the variety of scale through which each of us may experience the sublime, from the epic to the minute. Students were asked to create art works that manifested the things that awed them, drove them crazy and connected them to a life that is bigger than themselves.

    Two of art teacher Harmony Thompson’s ceramics classes at Northeast High School worked with teaching-artist Marguerita Hagan on projects that combined scientific exploration, printmaking and ceramics. The classes worked on school grounds to make drawings and photographs from nature, exploring the theme of “Micro and Macro”. Students also collected samples for viewing under microscopes, which were made available through a collaboration with the school’s Science Department. The “Micro" images served as inspiration for more drawings, which were then traced, cropped, edited and recomposed. Using multiple processes and techniques, students experimented with how to best transfer their imagery to clay plate forms. The final transfer process involved multiple steps, including the creation and then application of printed decals onto the clay, resulting in the transferware plates. Exhibitions of the students’ final images and plates were mounted in the library of the school and at The Clay Studio.

    Two of art teacher Linda Heeg’s classes at the School of the Future worked with teaching-artist Mendal Polish to create self-portraits utilizing several different printed and drawn media. Students started the semester making a series of cyanotypes (sun prints) created from abstract drawings, which were then used as a light resist to make prints. Students then experimented with creating photographic portraits of each other using DSLR cameras, with the intended goal of using these images as the starting point for a multi-layered work. Prints of these photos were used as the basis for collages, using a variety of materials. The residency continued with students carrying out a series of creative writing exercises, culminating with each student writing a poem entitled I Am. Each poem was accompanied by a large watercolor painting. Finally, numerous images, including the photographs, poems and watercolors, were layered digitally by the students and printed. These works were exhibited in the classroom.

    Two of art teacher Josh Kleiman’s classes at The U School worked with teaching-artist Marilyn Rodriguez on a project that combined a wide array of print and photo processes and resulted in a permanent installation in the school. The residency started with the group collectively discussing what form their project should take. They opted to create a multi-layered, strongly graphic mural. Students created rubbings on paper using objects that they had on their person: a phone, a key, a necklace. They also experimented with scratch board to make drawings of other everyday objects. At the same time, students began taking photographs and combining them with images drawn from the internet. These served as inspiration for relief prints made with foam and linoleum plates. Prints of the photographs, along with the rubbings, drawings and relief prints were combined into one large work, which students drew on top of. This large work was wheat-pasted to the wall outside the classroom.