Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Pandemic Residencies: A Most Unusual Year Complete!

Despite the pandemic I was able to finish three new residencies and finished up one from 2020. All were completed with students who were both in person and virtual. Very challenging to do! Somehow I made it work, along with much help from all the teachers who had to learn on the fly, think creatively, and were willing to be very flexible! Many thanks to all the teachers I worked with at Jackson Liberty High School in Jackson NJ, James Monroe Elementary in Edison, Broad St School in Bridgeton and Creative Co Laboratory Charter in Elmer NJ. Together we achieved great things. I am very grateful that I was able to work with such a fine group of teachers who felt passionate about giving their students an arts experience that resulted in lasting beauty that also demonstrates grit, resilience, and flexibility despite all the obstacles. Thanks also to AIE, Young Audiences of NJ, and Creativity Co Laboratory for all the support through difficult times. 
Pythagoras Tree and geometric flowers James Monroe Elementary
Students grouting at Jackson Liberty HS
Installing sculpture
Installing mosaic pole
Completed sculpture in courtyard

Monday, May 3, 2021

Residency at Creativity CoLaboratory


Due to the ongoing pandemic scheduling changes, I had the opportunity to teach in the school I had the pleasure to help start, The Creativity CoLaboratory at Appel Farm. This charter school is dedicated to arts integration and arts based learning. It is located on the campus at Appel Farm in Elmer NJ, a great place for a school and a wonderful place to work. Over the years, I have taught art classes and workshops as well as created a public sculpture with my creative partner Kathy Casper.  So happy I finally had a chance to teach in the Charter School. Students were in person half of the time then the residency switched to remote after the Thanksgiving holiday, when Covid cases started to rise in Salem County. The mini mosaics were my first attempt at a remote mosaics. We also worked on bookmaking, printmaking and cardboard sculpture. Thankfully we were able to come back together to grout the mini mosaics, which will be hung as a sign for the school sometime in the near future.


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Pandemic Residencies Year Two. A Most Unusual Year.


This past year I have been a resident artist in 3 NJ schools. It was a most unusual year. All of my residencies started out virtually and then transitioned to onsite with a few students who came back into their school building for in person classes. I returned to Broad St School in Bridgeton to complete a garden installation that was started last year. New work, a sculpture installation was begun at Jackson Liberty High School in Jackson and a mosaic that was done mostly virtual at James Monroe Elementary in Edison NJ. Here a a few photos of work in progress at Broad St School

 Our fearless leader Dr Pai at Broad St School

Teachers Mr and Mrs Rivera work as a team

Completed tiles for garden poles

Ms Olive Doss a community helper

So great to be able to work together again as a team 


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Pandemic Residency Rossi School Part Two

Part two of my Rossi School arts integration project started in January with second graders. We spent several weeks coming up with a theme and working on drawings. Rossi Part One, had the theme of "leaving behind". Each fifth grade student created a tile leaf with a positive message for younger students. Part Two needed to connect to Part One, but be an independent mural as well. We came up with the theme of "Growing". Rossi Elementary has students from grades kindergarten through fifth grade.Students in second grade brainstormed all things that grow. We created lists of things that grow and created drawings from the list. As Covid 19 started to spread, I realized school would soon be closed down. I wanted to make sure I had ideas, drawings and materials to work with from home so I could continue the project. I had students draw full scale images from our preliminary plan and stamp out small clay tiles. I took all the drawings and tiles to my home studio and cut tiles from the drawings. I stayed in contact by making short videos that were shared by the teachers. I was able to get student input on glaze colors by creating coloring pages of the tile that students colored in and submitted back to me. When spring arrived and the virus subsided a bit, teachers came back to the school building for a day of socially distanced clay flower making. All the flowers that teachers created are part of the "teachers meadow" in the mosaic. Once all the tiles were fired, my daughter Madeleine and I installed the mosaic in the mostly empty school building. When students are finally back in the building, they will be greeted by a beautiful new mosaic.  Working on this project truly bought me joy in a dark time. For this opportunity I am grateful. Thank you to Appel Farm Music and Arts for all the support,  to the teachers that participated, and to my daughter Madeleine for all her help.

Completed mosaic 

completed mosaic

In process

coloring page from the tile

coloring page

unglazed clay tiles

unglazed tile

unglazed tiles

collaged diagram from student drawings

drawn diagram coloring page with vocabulary words

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Rossi School Vineland Phase 1

Phase 1 of the Arts Integration Mosaic at Rossi school is mostly complete. There still remains a small amount of grouting to be finished. This is now titled Phase 1 since I was generously given the opportunity to continue onto the wall on the other side of the cafeteria doors. I am working with 2nd grade students on Phase 2. This was a huge undertaking! Many hours and many hands. I am thankful for the help of my daughter Madeleine and to art teacher Dayna Ensminger for help with gluing, grouting, and cleaning. Also many thanks to science and social studies teacher Lori West for allowing me to take over her classroom every Friday! Thanks as well to participating teachers Teresa Jones and Joelle Nash for putting up with a clay mess in their classrooms as well. This arts integration project was funded by Appel Farm Arts and Music. Thank you all so much! I think this is the biggest project I have done so far.

Mostly grouted

Before grouting

Friday, November 8, 2019

Rossi School Arts Integration Mosaic

This school year I have the pleasure to be in residence at Rossi School in Vineland NJ. I am working with science, social studies, and language arts teachers in an arts integration residency that will result in a large mosaic mural. The theme is “What will you leave behind.”? The central image of the mosaic will be a large tree with leaves that contain messages from last years graduating class along with this years graduating class. Students in language arts created word clouds with positive messages. In science, we created tiles that reflect the surrounding landscape/ecosystem. Social studies students learned about the history of the art form. Its a big wall. Here is what we have so far.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Completed "I Carry" mosaic and video at Broad St School Bridgeton NJ

Please click on the link to see a beautiful video of the glass mosaic process at Broad St. School. Many thanks to Mr Boner for creating this document of the process.