Nathaniel Shelness of the Education Center (Nat on the blog) did a great job of keeping our readers up-to-date with the P-credit courses that went on for the past few weeks. While he was busy helping out in the classroom, blogging about the students’ works, and helping our recipients during Shopping, I had a chance to speak with one of the students who decided to take all three classes we offer: Creative Infusion, Paper, and Raw Fibers. Rochelle Kalish is an art teacher at Edward R. Murrow High School who was looking for courses that related to art and that would expand her creative repertoire. After coming into MFTA for 15 years, she decided to enroll in our classes, led by the talented Joy Suarez.
Despite her experience with MFTA, Rochelle still learned innovative ways to use the materials from the warehouse. One highlight for her was the creation of screens using materials from the warehouse. Students used frames and building supplies like mesh to fashion their own screens that were initially used for screen-printing.
Seeing the connection of projects, Rochelle later used these screens in a separate book-making project. Rochelle took skills from Creative Reuse and applied it to Paper, producing some spectacular results that go great in the studio, or in the classroom. She incorporated stenciling, stamping, and papermaking into this one project.
This year, Rochelle is teaching Cartooning, and she plans on using materials from MFTA to have her students make their own figures, create accordion-style books, then draw their figures in different motions in the to learn about the ideas of animation. It will also help them to understand the ideas of visual literacy, and how comics, cartoons, and animations can be used to express meaning the same way as linguistic literacy. Her students can then decide to what extent they would like to use visuals, written words, and oral expression in their work.
This style of exploration Rochelle will afford to her students mimics the style of Joy’s methodology in our classes and workshops. Our students are open to connect techniques and classes, and Joy stresses the connection between learning and teaching, realizing that students are able to teach themselves, other students, and even her. The classrooms at MFTA are learning experiences not just because of the instruction, but because of the creative environment they facilitate. Please check back at the blog or this page for our list of Fall workshops, which should be announced soon.