Visual Arts Day Running Diary, Part 2

We traveled last week with these kids to St. Joseph, Missouri for Visual Arts Day at Missouri Western. If you missed it, here’s Part One.

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10:01–Art History Quiz–Good format. Fact or quote by the artist, followed by a self-portrait or photograph, followed by one of the artist’s works.  I may need to steal this idea for future art history tests.

10:03–I’m pretty sure my kids know the answers (looking at you specifically, Brooke), but I kind of want to start innocuously tweeting them. “My favorite artists, in no particular order . . . 1. Picasso 2. Henry Moore 3. Basquiat 4. Van Gogh”

10:04–I realize they probably aren’t checking Twitter anyway. So much for cheating.

10:37–My team feels pretty confident about their art history success. Unfortunately, so does another team that was able to identify a Courbet painting that I’ve never SEEN. And of course, they won’t announce the results until the end of the day.

10:44–I go back outside to check on the Goya mural. Progress looks pretty good, but more importantly, Nate has been talking to a girl. One of our goals for the day is to find him a girlfriend. This is a big development–Nate never talks to girls!

10:46–Alex comes out to report that she is no longer winning the throwing competition. But I won’t be surprised if she spends the rest of the day trying.

10:47–I’m still trying to get over the fact that Nate talked to a girl.

10:50–Nate, Kayla, and Ashley are still going strong on the mural. Everyone else has kind of spread out, hitting up some different workshops.  Brooke is creating a monoprint, and Shara is drawing some sort of dead bug they gave her as a subject. She doesn’t seem too excited.

11:03–Claire has discovered the joy of transferring Xeroxed images with acetone. She is swimming in photocopies trying to find what she wants to do. It looks to me like the proverbial drinking from a firehose, but hey . . . whatever works.

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11:38–The mural is finally done. It’s getting some rave reviews from passersby, and I definitely like how it has turned out. Kids are happy with it too.

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11:47–We finish up with most of our workshops–the exception would be Alex, STILL throwing on the wheel–and head over to lunch. High school kids are always excited to eat in a college cafeteria. Not sure that I’ll ever understand it, but I don’t do anything to dissuade them.

12:17–You would think, with the last 30 minutes elapsed in the diary, that maybe we had finished lunch? Oh no. We’re still in line because apparently no one told the cafeteria that an extra 1,000 people would be showing up today.

12:29–Cold food is delicious, by the way.

12:41–Time to get back for some workshops. Another run through everything, getting some photography and sculpture done. I was particularly fascinated by this process, because I haven’t seen it before. After laying washers and bolts on a piece of insulating styrofoam, you take a blowtorch to it. The washers absorb the heat, and the parts left uncovered melt away. And I’m sure the fumes from melting styrofoam are totally healthy.

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1:00–They are starting to hang up ribbons for the award winners, which is always exciting. They’re only giving out awards for the top 5 percent, so I’m not sure what to expect.

1:26–I show up for the teacher 3-throw competition–3 pounds of clay and 3 minutes to throw the biggest, widest vessel possible.

1:32–I fail miserably. On a good day, I would have done alright–I’m decent (for being a drawing teacher, at least) on the wheel. Today, however, was NOT a good day. In the least. I’d post a picture, but no one needs to see the travesty that was my pot.

COMING SOON–Part 3: Awards! Driving Home! Stealing Cookies!

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