Clinton Middle School’s Art Teacher, Ms. Pinkney, is always excited to hear when the Craft in America Center has planned a field trip and workshop for her students. She has visited us now for over two full school years and consistently brings a bright group of young teens to explore our exhibitions. Today they initiated our Fall 2018 Craft in Schools programming and it couldn’t have gone better. We had a group of about 30 students enter the Center today to view Kiff Slemmon’s paper jewelry and her segment in our BORDERS episode. The students were thrilled to learn where the paper in the exhibition came from and how it was made; they understood the importance of water and natural resources like plant fibers in order to produce sustainable paper.
Our middle school students are always our most engaged group of individuals and are always ready to ask questions and discuss their reasoning behind artists’ ideas. We had several students eager to share their favorite necklaces and bracelets and other students who were very quiet, but enjoyed taking several photos of the art work with their cell phones. Ms. Pinkney also brought along a few of her media art students so that they may take photographs using their school-issued DSLRs and camcorders.
After discussing Kiff’s work, we moved on to the hands-on workshop portion of the visit. The Center prides itself in providing well thought-out activities for our visitors and today was no exception. When the students viewed the demonstration on how to roll your own paper caracol, they could hardly refrain from grabbing materials. Everyone participated and had time to make several rolls of paper beads, using construction paper and newsprint. The students were enjoying themselves so much that they didn’t want to stop working when the bus arrived to pick them up. Luckily we were able to supply Ms. Pinkney with a few extra materials so that students may continue the project at school if they wanted to.