CCA student interviewed a total of 6 local artists who have public works in Emeryville: Scott Donahu, Louise Stanley, Sayed Alavi, Roger Berry, Sheila Ghidini and Catherine Cortney. Each of my students spent time with an artist, interviewed them to write a short script that became part of our tour.
CCA students visit the studios of Emeryville artists Louise Stanley and Scott Donahue
I asked my students to reflect on the tour and capture some of the things they heard students saying or experiencing. Some of them did this through the lens of Studio Habits to think about both student learning and their own experience as teachers. Here are some highlight reflections from the CCA students about the tour:
"The tour was full of a lot of eye-opening questions - a lot of the student had became so submerged in their sounding that the art work had become a part of their everyday scenery to the point that it went unnoticed. One of my student for example said that "it was like trees - we know that they are outside and around us and we pay it no mind, but if they weren’t out there something would feel out of place, not feel right, the landscape would be missing something." To me this shows that art is like an unsung hero. Needed, but not given the praise or honor that is due. This also challenged the student to see, think and wonder about what they were seeing and experiencing. Having them look at what they see and what it would look like without, in terms of Studio Habits."
"I heard the following from students on the tour: “It is nice to see our work here cuz it makes me feel like we worked for something.” “People can see our work,it makes me feel really proud.”“I never new this was here, now I know and now I know a little bit about what the art is about.”
I think a lot of them were appreciative of seeing their own work in the context of the public and other artists. I could see and hear them investigate and try to figure out all the meanings of each piece-they really delved deeper into what the labyrinth piece by Sheila Ghidini meant to them. This process for this class has been really difficult for me because the style and intentions are different from how I choose to teach my students at Rock Paper Scissors. So I have had to develop craft of teaching styles by engaging and persisting -trying to still feel connected to this new teaching style.
This new setting-very chaotically structured and stressed on time and hitting landmarks- has made me push outside of my normal thinking framework and has made me more self conscious and aware of what I am doing and teaching and how. I have had to use Reflection a lot in the process I described above- to make sure I stay on track with the class and the new techniques I am learning. The real SHoM I have described as well is Stretch and explore: bc I am learning and implementing new teaching techniques I need to get used to them and allow myself to try new things before saying it is or is not my style."
"The public art tour was amazing! I loved watching the students explore and critique the artwork we showed them. Michael from our group when responding to the three labyrinth pieces behind City Hall compared the progression of the detail and intricacy of the mazes/paths to the progression of art itself. (How art is changed from simple to more complex) This thought had never come up in our class discussion and interpretation of the pieces then we 7 took the tour the first time. I really felt the enthusiasm and appreciation from these Emery students. They had so many questions and comments and they really got into the art once they had some background of the artist to propel their interest and stir up conversation. Their observations for the most part were similar to our own on our trip but they also have intuitive comments that were not apart of the first trip and added to the reflection and understanding. Another student commented a similar thought to my own in that we so often see but do not fully stop to appreciate the public art that is around us and having the researched background information gives us a lead to further investigate and talk about the work. At first I did not see the point of public art, I pass by it because I don’t automatically see the story but once I dug deeper I felt a stronger connection and personal identification with the art and I think the students at Emery now feel the same and that feels great!"
"Personally, I thought that the tour was a success. Kathy and I saw almost every student participating and using the elements of art. They were also able to speak more fluidly about how color and emotions intertwine. For instance, when we were at the Solar Rose, we had asked the group about how the colors of the glass made them feel and why. We even got to introduce the students as to what a triptych is. One student in particular made a very interesting and abstract point by linking the idea of a triptych back to Sheila’s labyrinth work. I had never even thought about viewing the work this way until it had been brought it up. Altogether it was just a great experience and I felt that everyone was engaged throughout the tour."