Olney Charter High School

Neighborhood: Olney
Olney Charter High School draws students from the Olney, Hunting Park and Kensington neighborhoods of North Philadelphia. Olney is one of five ASPIRA charter public schools in Philadelphia – that intend to empower Puerto Rican and other Latino communities through advocacy, education and leadership development in its youth.

Fall 2019
Classroom Teacher: Joy Waldinger
Teaching-Artist: Daniel de Jesús

Olney Charter High School students were introduced to printmaking by exploring the versatility of screenprinting. To begin, they painted directly onto screens from which they pulled monotypes using watercolors. They experimented with drawing fluid and screen filler to learn how to manipulate positive and negative space on the silkscreens. Students also cut and screenprinted with paper stencils. As their familiarity with screenprinting techniques grew, the students developed a concept for making artwork inspired by their own identities, personal narratives and collecting habits. The final project was inspired by the students’ collective fascination with Maria Veronica San Martin’s artist books exhibited in The Politics of Rhetoric. They started by choosing a song they felt contained powerful language and then illustrated the song using watercolor paint. After watching demonstrations about measuring and folding paper to construct different types of books, students used their imagery and math skills to create either a one-sheet or accordion style book.