Impressed, proud and excited are all euphemisms for how I feel when I look at the images of my students work with this project. These artists really went to town with the choices they were given and made the most of their time in the art room. I introduced them to the artist Dale Chihuly who is a Seattle based glass artist. Since we don’t have a hot shop or any access to working with glass, I gave them some options to create work inspired by his pieces. We talked a lot about the elements and principles that are incorporated into his work. The lines and colors that he chooses for his pieces, some colors are complementary, others are contrasting, and some look unified. The proportion and scale of his works was also something of importance that we discussed, the fact that he makes large scale installations, composed of lots of smaller pieces. Most importantly though, we talked about how Chihuly, like any artist, makes choices. Careful and thoughtful choices when creating his work. I showed students the sketches that Chihuly created before executing pieces. Ultimately I left it up to my students to decide what they wanted to make within a few options; they could create paintings or drawings based on looking at Chihuly’s work. Create a mock Macchia piece out of coffee filters using watercolors crayons and watercolor paints, or create paper mache versions of Chihuly’s sphere’s from the Niijima floats.
Students loved this project, and I think this may have been one of my favorite projects to give!