I am currently working as the lead artist for the 2014-2015 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Community Arts initiative, Artist Project. The Artist Project is a collaboration between an experienced artist, the Museum of Fine Arts, and ten after-school community organizations in the Boston area. The program is designed to engage children in the art-making process under the guidance of a lead artist.
The MFA currently partners with ten community organizations, who I teach three days a week. I work with each club once a week for a six week cycle. The current partners include five Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston located in Blue Hill, Charlestown, Chelsea, Roxbury, and South Boston; Paul R. McLaughlin Youth Center, Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester; West End House Boys & Girls Club of Allston-Brighton, United South End Settlement House (USES), Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC), and Vine Street Community Center.
Elemental (the tentative title of the project) is bringing children to the MFA for six fun-filled visits of art viewing, photography, and art making experiences. Each of the six visits focuses on one of the fundamental, technical elements used to make art. These fundamentals: line, shape, form, value, color, and texture, are the elements at the core of visual art, and are certainly a part of every piece of art in the MFA collection. Through the use of various media, the children are creating art inspired by the element they learn about in the galleries through a combination of photography scavenger hunts and a guided inquiry method. The students are also being exposed to a variety of materials they may not have encountered during traditional art making activities in school. My project is helping to fill the void of limited art education and exposure in school to 125 elementary age children.
Using the artwork generated from the students weekly visits, I will create an installation located in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I started work on the project in September and will continue working with the students, and on putting together the collaborative installation until the project is unveiled in May 2015. The project will be on display for six months.
The specific objectives of the project Elemental are (1) to teach six fundamental and foundational elements that are used to understand and create art, (2) to help enable children the to question how and why art is made and to become a more observant viewer, (3) to unite art from different times, places, styles, and artists, (4) to expose children to new art materials and techniques, (5) to teach children how to document ideas through photography and (6) to help the children realize that creating art is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.