I intended to write about this almost a year ago now. The museum’s community art education department also hosted their usual youth art workshops thematically related to their current exhibitions. At that time, it was my Seven Social Sins exhibition, on display at the Angra Museum from February 23-June 9 of 2013. However, life happened, and while I was able to help with a couple of the workshops, I failed to post about my delightful experience until now.
The leader of the museum’s art educational workshops, Ana, first walked the classes through my exhibition. For the younger groups, she (necessarily) drastically simplified the concepts of the works to a level more relatable to their age group. Of course, with the older students, they could explore the seven social sins concept far more in-depth. After they viewed the show, they moved on to the hands-one part, where they were able to creatively explore these themes based on their own unique perspectives of the topic.
Ana and I wanted to the students to have the opportunity to play with mixed media and found objects/imagery. In preparation for the workshop, we used seven large vinyl banners from previous museum exhibitions. I sketched basic conceptual imagery on each, reminiscent of each thematic sin for my exhibition. From this point on, the young artists were able to add the banners as they saw fit. It was fascinating to observe the group dynamic of the Portuguese children, and how they were open and creative and accepting to the ideas of each other. The other interesting component to this project was the fact that all age groups work on all banners. Teens and children worked on the same banners during different sessions. The results were truly collaborative works of art.
Assisting with these workshops was a unique experience for me as well, due to the language barrier. I speak very, very little Portuguese and some of the students spoke a little English–however, I was still able to fully enjoy the processes of watching and helping these young artists explore the mixed media collage.
Several months ago, the museum displayed the students’ collaborative works at an event held in the museums gorgeous courtyard. Due to a scheduling conflict, I was unable to attend the event. However, I couldn’t have been more proud and amazed by the students’ combined creativity. Hearts.