The High School Craft Experience: Part I

Last week the Center spent a wonderful and stimulating morning with some our favorite guests, students from Fairfax High School. Today we enjoyed this privilege again with Van Nuys High School students. Both schools came to view The Craft School Experience: Outcomes and Revelations exhibition, which is on display until March 11, 2017.

Each class was given time to absorb the art work on display and discuss the artwork among themselves and then to the entire class. It is always surprising how shy and quiet the older students can be, but every class has some outspoken students who encourage the rest of their class to speak up. This is how our visit went. When confronted with questions about the exhibit, only a small handful would respond and comment confidently. This encouraged Brenda Cruz, our Education Coordinator, to single out the more reserved students in order to provoke a more effective discourse: “Do you agree with what your classmate said? Why or why not? What would you do differently?”

Both visits focused on the Visual Thinking Strategies in order to promote successful dialogue about the art produced in the U.S. craft schools. Through our Craft in America footage, students were able to see and hear craft school artists talk about their learning, teaching and working process. We also predominantly focused on processes of glass artists like Einar and Jamex De La Torre, Preston Singletary, and Dante Marioni. The students were especially interested in learning about Dante’s glass process because his work is currently on view in the exhibit.

Towards the end of the visit Van Nuys was able to work on a quick clay project where each student sculpted something inspired by the exhibition. This was a quick assignment in comparison to their longer workshop with metal artist Jaydan Moore, who will be visiting each school this week to create sculpture-based projects with the students.