Lisa Summers, a teaching poet and artist, worked with two special day classes at San Marin High School through our Arts Unite Us program to create work representing “spirit animals.” In Brian Khoury’s class, students practiced observational drawing skills including gestural drawings, calligraphic imagery using handmade bamboo pens and inks, and learned to make patterns. After sewing lessons, students cut out spirit animals in felt, sewed and stuffed them, then displayed sketches, patterns, and sewn animals in the front office of the school.
Lisa explored the idea of a spirit animal with Steve Lamott’s class while they were reading Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. In the novel, the curandera Ultima arrives with her spirit animal, the owl. Students considered what their protective spirit animal might be through lessons that ranged from gestural drawing to pen and ink to a group portrait project. In the second half of the residency, students prepared sketches for a triptych that displayed their spirit animal and elements of their “interior world” including landscapes, colors, and symbols that hold meaning for each of them. Students prepared and mixed colors, used collage techniques, and learned to transfer elements of their original sketches to the panels.
Lisa says, “I learned so much from working with Brian and Steve’s students about process, and the relationship between creative exploration and identity development. Brian’s students especially loved sharing their work with teachers and other San Marin students.” Selected works will be on display at Youth In Arts during the July exhibition.
Through the California Department of Education’s Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant that the Marin County Office of Education received, Youth in Arts was in multiple Special Day Classes this spring.
Check out these photos from the “Rising Stars” 24th Annual Marin County High School Art Show opening party on March 8, 2015. Photos by Stacey Kamp.
Students and teachers were introduced to the art of Italian Street Painting on Friday. Madonnara Lisa Jones led the two-hour workshop meant to introduce Marin Catholic High School to this wonderful artform.
Lisa explained the history of Italian street painting, and the Youth in Arts Italian Street Painting Festival, and also talked about her own years of Street Painting throughout the country.
We then headed out to the street where we practiced using the tools of the trade and experimented with a variety of techniques. Read more…