Summer Art Intensive

By Minori Shiga, homeschooled

Students finish three weeks at institute

By Alison Rooney

Now in its 21st year, the Summer Art Institute at the Garrison Art Center offers teenagers a chance to dip into art, including disciplines not typically offered at their high schools.

The three-week institute, which concludes today (Aug. 9) included an exhibit last weekend of work created during the first two weeks. The final week included instruction in shibori dying, mixed media and collage, paper arts, felting and photographing artwork. Other workshops covered modern necessities such as building a digital portfolio.

The artwork on display at the Garrison Art Center (Photo by A. Rooney)

Foundations of Drawing and Painting, taught by Lori Merhige, was a cornerstone class. “The idea was to practice and develop those foundational skills that apply to so much in art,” explained Kit Burke-Smith, who coordinates the institute. Electives included ceramics and pottery led by Lisa Knaus, abstract painting with Martee Levi, printmaking with Melissa Scholbohn and sculpture with Merhige.

The Basics

In abstract painting, students were encouraged to study how well-known artists used lines, colors and shapes, before creating their own.

In pottery, most of the students studied throwing on the wheel. Students created objects over three days, then spent the fourth day trimming and working on details and the fifth day decorating with stains and underglazes before firing.

In drawing and painting, students spent the first week drawing from life with pencil, charcoal and ink, then moved onto watercolors and acrylics to paint objects, landscapes and figures.

In printmaking, students studied carving, mixing inks, printing on a press, tearing paper and editing. They also practiced printing on fabric, collaging prints and chine collé, which allows printing on delicate surfaces. While using marking tools, students were encouraged to “show the light” with techniques other than simple lines.

Bridget Goldberg, a rising senior at Haldane High School, said she took a number of lessons from the three weeks at the art center, including how to draw the human figure, how to create print textures and that “the point of making abstract art is not to tell a story but to convey emotion.”

Besides Goldberg, students from the Highlands included Erika Bauer, Kyle Frommer, Elliott Goldberg, Nate McPherson, Luke Parrella, Honolulu Romer, Fiona Shanahan, Mason Sharpley and Minori Shiga.

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