Thursday, July 12, 2018

Governor's Institute on the Arts Sculpture Class

I'm back from the Governor's Institute on the Arts (GIA), held at Castleton University from June 24 - July 8. It was exhausting, exhilarating, and very wonderful. There were about 80 students participating in many different classes at the GIA this year, and I taught a sculpture class and a painting class.

The main project for the sculpture class was making an assemblage in a suitcase related to the theme of migration. I had gathered old-fashioned suitcases (the kind without wheels), which I brought with me, along with several boxes of "stuff" I thought might be useful in creating the assemblages. The students were very resourceful about finding other materials too (like dirt, wood, grapevines, and stones). One of the students suggested a title for our installation: Case Studies.

Here are the individual works. Two students made pieces related to their own families' immigration stories -- an ancestor who came from Italy and opened a farmstand, and a great grandfather who came from Eastern Europe after a terrible massacre, hoping for a better life, but wound up working in a coal mine at the age of 12.

Two of the suitcases made work directly addressing the current global migration crisis, the first one , showing two sides of the southern border.

The one below presents the cases of children removed from their families, with their "files" and possessions mounted in the case (which was a government-issued briefcase).

The last suitcase sculpture was a conceptual piece, in which the "borders" represent artificial barriers separating sections of soil and stones that are essentially the same.

The sculpture class also made mobiles and altered books. All the work was extremely impressive, and I felt privileged to participate in this wonderful program. Thanks also to Haleigh West, a wonderful class assistant!

In a future posting I will show work from the Painting class.

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