Students taping the walls of the school, including right outside of the Head of School’s office!?! What in the world is happening?
It is art! Art in action, art as performance, art as problem-solving, art as a dynamic way to engage the community, art as a process.
Students pass by and can see the progress that has been made on the piece since they last saw it. Installations are in School Center, the Oliver Science Building, and the Senior School, laying claim to walls and corners, and ceilings and floors in a way that challenges us to think about the spaces we inhabit.
This multi-week project has been fascinating to see, especially as it has brought the process of making art out into the community of the school. To see and hear the students engaging with one another and their teacher, L.K. Sleat, who provides coaching and guidance, asking probing questions to prompt the students’ thinking about their goals and what they are trying to achieve with their work, has been inspiring. What the careful observer is given access to is the creative process of making art and also of teaching and learning, laid bare in the same way that a fan at a basketball game can see a play unfold and yield a basket or not. It is rare in the world of art to be able to see the process as well as the product, and the bravery of our young artists who are doing this for the first time is impressive and, frankly, inspiring.
The tools are simple: black painter’s tape, walls, ceilings, floors, and space. The results are hardly simple with lines bisecting spaces in novel ways and drawing the eye purposefully in one direction only to leave the viewer at the jamb of a door. Ladders, stripes, shadows, bars, lines, angles, positive space and negative space: these are all deployed in a manner that is engaging both visually and, as one is privy to the development of the piece over time, narratively. The pieces ultimately become the story of the process, of the collaboration among the group of students.
Congratulations and thanks are due to Ms. Sleat and to the "Drawing and Painting II" students from the Senior School. They have changed the way we look at our school and the way we appreciate how lines might grow into sculpture over time. Bravo!