Melanie M. '21
This project was extremely interesting to create and furthered my understanding of some of the works we have studied this year. I was ultimately able to harness my creative side and teach children while using my knowledge of art history. When I first started to brainstorm, I was very interested in incorporating interactive elements for children to learn from but also create their own artwork in the book, as I had done. I went about recreating each piece, or aspects of the piece that stood out to me, in a variety of different ways: watercolor, paper collage, and sketching. I wanted to make the book engaging so I chose to incorporate bright colors and other materials that kids would enjoy touching and looking at. For example, for the Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson and The Gates by Christo and Jeanne Claude, I used sandpaper and felt to allow children to experience these public pieces on paper. In an effort to encourage students to test their own artistic skills, I added in activities where readers could mix their own colors and even construct their own buildings. Ultimately, the book was meant to be both an educational and interactive experience for students.
When tasked with choosing pieces to create the greatest impact, I was considering how they represented both shape and color. When remembering the principal art skills taught to students, I first thought of color and shape. However, I wanted to display how color and shape can be raised in a complex way showing both skilled technique and abstract expression. When recreating each piece, I wanted to focus on the aspects that I thought responded to the construction of shape and choice of color. This was a creative way for me to be a student myself and encourage readers to find their own inspiration. In mostly choosing pieces that were considered abstract, I found myself having a greater appreciation for the mind of an artist and the ways to interpret abstract pieces. This book was such an enjoyable experience to make and encourage others to create their own. I hope my book can inspire young kids and give them a preliminary introduction to art history.