Wednesday, August 15, 2018

AP High School Art Exhibit 2017-18


Teacher statement for the exhibit: 

The Alexandria-Rome-Barcelona Trifecta  

One of the most significant art events occurred this year at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina; the Agenda group exhibition. In recent memory, it’s one of largest and most comprehensive showing of budding and established contemporary Egyptian artists featuring several hundred works. I was in awe of the caliber of the artwork. My students needed to see evidence of Egypt’s small but thriving art scene. They were as dumbfounded as I was at the sheer amount of excellent works concentrated in one setting. There was a sense of pride among my Egyptian students, it was their own people's and not European or American artwork hanging on the walls. That begs the question; Why aren’t Egyptian artists celebrated more often and in greater abundance?   

As our planned AP Art trip to Madrid became cost prohibitive, Rome was suitable alternative. The Rome vibe was more museum oriented and historical site heavy. We dodged troves of tourists getting to where we needed to be-a couple of us were even swallowed up by the crowds. Rome in three full days barely scratched the surface of catching the greatest hits. With copious amounts of pizza swimming around in our tummies, destroyed feet, and ten of us camping out in an apartment in local neighborhood, we immersed ourselves in all Rome had to offer.

From an Art teacher perspective, this year’s senior trip to Barcelona was a bonus. While Barcelona wasn’t specifically an art trip, it could be argued Barcelona is an aesthetic experience steeped in cuisine, music, architecture, art, and like the rest of Spain beauty lurks everywhere. Six of my AP Art students were on that trip and they surprised me by going to see conceptual and performance art at MACBA, live music in an underground venue, and turning me on to the After the End of the World exhibit at the CCCB. I couldn’t have more proud of them.

The collection of work set before you is: The Alexandria-Rome-Barcelona trifecta. My AP Art student’s real-world experiences inspire and shape their ideas. They see the impact and the difference they are capable of making through catching exhibitions such as: After the End of the World. Students are the decisions makers of tomorrow and in a world of uncertainty we need all the intelligent and thoughtful minds possible. As this event is the end of the line for my seniors, waiting in the wings are my emerging high school artists. I’m optimistic.   

c/s
Mr. Bob 

Below is a selection of student artwork and excerpts from their artist statements. Special thanks to the Spanish Consulate in Alexandria for hosting the exhibit and to U.S. Consul General, Nancy Corbett for speaking at the event.  


Artist: Sofia V. 
Excerpt from artist statement: 
Have you ever thought about the process behind the food that is in front of you? The majority of us would probably answer with a no. When thinking about it honestly, most of us would find it difficult to slaughter or abuse an animal. And yet, the thought of others doing it for us makes us feel less guilty and responsible for the inhumane activity. My intention for these photographs is to adjust the mindset of the viewers to recognize the countless similarities between animals and humans. Understanding that animals can fully express emotions of joy and pain just like us. For that reason, I incorporated photographs of people portraying a distressing expression and their relationship with each other.








Artist: Rana E.
Excerpt from artist statement: 
Starting this concentration, I knew I wanted to work with photographs, but I did not know what to do. At first, I decided on editing photographs by changing aspects such as: brightness, contrast, etc. I soon realized the bland and muted results. I began layering images and that sparked an interest in me. I made the images more complex by removing certain parts of images and pasting them on to others which led me to creating my first concentration piece.





Artist: Abanoub N.







Artist: Gloria H.
Excerpt from artist statement: 
One time, when I was coming back from Cairo to Alexandria, I was looking at the streetlights in the car. I thought “I want to be a streetlight”. But then I saw it flickering, and dying. So I looked up to the sky, and thought, “I want to be the moon- constant as always, disappearing, but knowing that it will come back again, reflecting a light, shining the night, comforting minds, admired and loved.”







Artist: Sarah 
Excerpt from artist statement:
While completing AP Studio Art: Drawing, I came to realize that I have a passion for placing objects in unexpected places rather than trying to draw from life. I believe that, with the polarity of the components being the most striking aspect, a picture is more bound to attract the attention of a passer-by. Learning about the Gestalt Principles in my engineering class has also inspired me to alter my design process for the better. The Gestalt Principles support the theory that a person sees an object as a “unified whole” before perceiving its individual parts. These principles are associated with similarity, proximity, closure, connectedness, and continuity. To summarize, a person essentially tries to make sense of an object by identifying a general idea of it. Imagine passing by a painting of a field of flowers in your grandmother’s house. It has always been there, you have passed it hundreds of times, but that is all it is: a field of flowers. Perhaps the painter thought it was aesthetically pleasing, and it very well may be. However, all it will achieve is being an ornamental addition to a certain theme of a room. 







Artist: Noura Z.
Excerpt from artist statement:
The vibrancy of the colors present in my pieces is meant not only to depict the pleasure of these experiences but also to bring them in connection with aging and the effect it may have on their legitimacy. As children, we take pride in our fantasies and relish what we experience of the world around us. This, however, begins to change as we transition into adulthood and shy away from any ¨absurdity. ¨ Taha Hussein perfectly illustrates the value of such fantasies for a child in his autobiography as he portrays his imagination as almost his sole relief from his life as a blind and greatly neglected child. This inspired me to further consolidate such a connection through placing an emphasis on youthful and aging human figures. To amplify the contrast between the figures and the remainder of the composition, I began to move towards higher definition through the use of graphite and ballpoint. The chaotic backgrounds juxtaposed with the psychedelic explosions of color creates a confusion in the setting necessary to overwhelm the viewer and, in doing so, to reflect the general mood of the narrative in which a fascinated yet confused subject is met with profound revelations.






Artist: Nancy G.
Excerpt from artist statement:
Life of any living high-schooler would be difficult in any sense. No matter what role you are in your school or class, everyone goes through similar problems. I believed that my problems are portrayed within my artwork for people to view and deeply relate to. Maybe they might not admit it aloud, but I’m sure at some level they see the point behind these drawings. 







Artist: Hana A.
Excerpt from artist statement:
Birds are known to be the perfect symbol for the concept of freedom and perspective. Birds are always able to fly high freely and go wherever they want according to their own comfort. Nowadays people are not motivated to be true to themselves and pave their own unique path. Rather than being unique, people are going out of their ways to become mainstream or follow the trends and crowd. We are chained to the absurd social barriers and expectations that disable us from our own unique person. Being a person of different goals and dreams is very ironic because the norm in my social class is following the crowd. Society is not the only thing that chains people down. An example is holding onto toxic relationships. This results in being unable to explore true identity, other perspectives and moving to a new place and starting fresh. 







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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Puppets Middle school

During the past five years I've been including a digital photography and a video making unit starting with grade 7 students. Since they are digital natives we discuss and practice how photography, film, and video apply to the visual arts by doing fairly simple assignments that revolve around composition.

Last year's grade 7 class did a little above average on their photography unit and had some success with their video making projects. I thought it would be interesting to combine a textile project (making puppets ), with creating a storyboard, and doing a video puppet show.

The project had two main learning objectives: the puppet making and video making/editing skills (which includes: transitions, sounds, lighting, composition (framing), to name a few. They were allowed to use a green screen or create their own backgrounds.

In total, the week project lasted almost three weeks. The weakest aspects of the videos were the story lines-they were a bit long and drawn out. There was also a lack of dynamics that would have given the characters energy. Many of the voices were monotone and unexcited sounding. By far the best parts were the puppets and backgrounds. I would do this project again in the future, but maybe insist more on the dramatic aspect of the project.

Below are the puppets sans videos.