Lines of Communication

 A student displays her concept sketch of the New York City skyline which was incorporated in the new mural at Hamilton Grange Middle School.

A student displays her concept sketch of the New York City skyline which was incorporated in the new mural at Hamilton Grange Middle School.

Talking "IRL"

In the internet age, when social media platforms allow young people to instantly broadcast their thoughts and opinions to the world with a just a few taps on their smart phone, face-to-face conversations can seem quaint. Yet conversation and public speaking are skills that kids and adults use every day in school, with friends and family, and on the job. 

In January, students in CAW after-school art workshops had a chance to talk about their art to friends, family, teachers and administrative staff IRL (in real life) at several culminating events, including the unveiling of a new mural inside Hamilton Grange Middle School; a presentation of creations from our “Wearable Art” program, also at HGMS; and a gallery exhibition of dozens of paintings and drawings by students from PSMS 278

A thread of communication from start to finish

Of course, communication plays an important role in the art-making process from start to finish. At the unveiling of the new mural, New York Night Lights, Teaching Artist Viktoriya Basina, said, "All of the ideas that you see in this mural originated from the girls in our group. We started by brainstorming ideas making drawings and paintings, and then we discussed how to put together all our ideas. We then presented a design that incorporated work from all the students to Principal Lev and other school officials, so some of the students have already had some public speaking experience." 

  New York Night Lights,  the new mural by CAW students in an after-school mural painting program at Hamilton Grange Middle School

New York Night Lights, the new mural by CAW students in an after-school mural painting program at Hamilton Grange Middle School

Your Ideas Matter

At the gallery show for CAW's after-school Drawing and Painting program, students from PSMS 278 demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of art techniques and facility with art vocabulary. Several artists volunteered to talk about their creative processes to the assembled audience, and all students took the opportunity to discuss their work with small groups of family, friends and classmates. These kinds of interactions give students an opportunity to reflect on what they have learned and a chance to see one another in a different light. Most importantly, students learn that their ideas are valuable. People want to hear what they have to say.  

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There are no accidents

"Zack and Ayla taught me about under-painting – That’s when you layer different shades on top of each other. Even if you completely cover up a layer, it will still show through a bit. I accidentally got some blue paint on my white moon, (“accident” being the key word here – a friend told me that accidents are really my choice), but after putting down another layer of white and thinning the paint with a little bit of water to make it transparent, I got a nice powder blue ring, and it's actually pretty cool."

 

Creative Art Works’ after-school programs at PSMS 278 and Hamilton Grange Middle School are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural After-School Adventures (CASA) Initiative in partnership with the City Council and Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez and Mark Levine.