I just want to welcome you to my world of glass. As a resident artist in Portland, Oregon, I have had the opportunity to reach over a thousand students in the public and private schools. These are a few of the projects that were installed in the schools over the past 10 years. Students learned the medium, techniques and also the Science of glass. It has been a fun adventure!
I was requested as a resident artist in an elementary school to complete a mural using a crushed glass technique. Little did I know the teachers would prepare a Van Gogh drawing instead of a simple outline of the 8-year old student’s drawing of trees. I was amazed the student and I could manage such a huge challenge. We did it!
These four 24×48″ fused glass panels are installed in the entryway windows of Jackson Middle School in Portland, Oregon. The windows are a result of the Bernstein Artful Learning unit directed by the 8th grade teachers Dave Molloy and Liz Kobs and completed by their 4 classrooms. 125 students met with me for 2 weeks and learned elements of abstract art and fused glass art techniques. Students were challenged to use four elements: color, line, shape and size to express and idea. After practicing with colored pencil to express a particular mood, the classes were introduced to the medium of glass: how to cut and break it, how to snip glass rods, how to heat and bend pieces of stringer and how to apply confetti and frit.
The curriculum connection is the study of the U.S. Civil War with a focus on conflict as the overriding concept. Some of the significant questions included: What is conflict? What causes conflict? What are some different kinds of conflict? Why is conflict sometimes necessary when a party is unwilling to compromise? etc.
Students experienced several masterworks during the unit – West Side Story, Lincolns Gettysburg Address, and Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising” album which was written in response to the tragedy of 9/11. Student’s inquiry involved identifying and examining six different types of conflict, as well as analyzing the historical factors leading to the Civil War.
The students began working individually, then worked in teams of three to four. Students had to negotiate the conflict that comes with 32 students in a classroom working together. They had to employ conflict resolution techniques and negotiate a method for selecting one mural design per classroom. Although each class was divided into eight groups to make parts of the mural, installed pieces in the entryway windows are true to the original designs!
Famous conductor and legendary Leonard Bernstein emphasized in his world-wide educational program that art should underlie everything we do. Jackson Middle School in SW Hills of Portland, Oregon adopted this intensive program and philosophy, trained teachers and successfully integrated the arts in all subjects in every classroom.
I have had the fortunate opportunity to work in the Language Arts, Science, History and Art classrooms.
The Fibonnaci blocks were introduced as a study of Nature and an understanding of the mathematical Fibonacci model which was taught in the Art room by the core study Math teacher.
Jacob Wismer Elementary’s, first class of Kindergarten students were graduating 5th grade. The PTA offered a residency to create a lasting gift to the school. I designed this project “Weaving Friendships” to hang as a curtain in the front hall entrance.
Latest glass installation with 150 students at an elementary school in Lake Grove, Oregon.