Fairfax Magnet Center for Visual Arts In-School Workshop

Last week, as Pamela Weir Quiton’s exhibition began it’s deinstallation, the Center’s Education Outreach Coordinator visited Fairfax Magnet for a follow up workshop with the students who visited the “Made to Play” exhibition. The Coordinator acted as workshop lead and provided a brief prompt for the students to think of creative ways to build, destroy, and rework building blocks. The building blocks which we played with as kids were referenced as inspiration for Pamela’s “Made to Play” objects. Pamela also displayed and discussed how various types of precious woods were necessary to create singular pieces.

With this in mind, the Coordinator made sure to have scraps of wood available for the group of students to utilize their own building skills in the classroom. Only one student in the two classes that participated in the workshop had worked with wood before. Students were separated into 7 groups and each given a 5 gallon bucket worth of wood; other tools supplied were mini hack saws, bar clamps, a power drill and dowels. In the end, we had a full on wood shop class. Every group produced an anomaly of structures, simply because they knew they could. If groups finished early, they were told to knock down their structures and rebuild something new. Most blocks were connecting through dowels.

The Center was glad to receive a wonderful donation of soft and hard wood scraps from local woodworker Morgan Street. All together we had about 100 pieces of good wood to share with high school students who otherwise had never worked with the material in this manner.