Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Power of Art - Post 1

This past week I attended the Power of Art program at the Lab School of Washington in D.C. and put on by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
I HIGHLY recommend all of you reading this to apply next year. Around 30 applicants are selected each year. I have never felt more appreciated in my life for the work that I do than while I was there for 36 hours. 
And it was an incredibly enriching experience that I can directly apply to my career as an art educator.

I will post more about my experience but wanted to get started by sharing a great interactive lesson that was developed and led by one of the elementary art teachers and one of the theater arts teachers. 
It is based on the artwork of Elizabeth Murray and explores emotion and color. 
Elizabeth Murray, if you are not familiar with her work, creates bright sculptural paintings. 
There is an Art 21 segment about her well. 

As the students were given the option of doing 'elation' or 'frustration'.
We chose a large color paper that we thought showed that emotion.

Then we cut it into a large shape showing that emotion.

And added on oil pastel or crayon. (In the background is a video of the students who took part in the project at school.)

When we were finished we pinned them up on the board for that emotion. We had two big boards to work with one for each emotion. Then we stepped back and examined the composition and could make changes.


Following the art-making we did an an interactive activity. 
This was a
Fluid Sculpture Exercise from Playback Theater:

4-5 people take part for each demonstration
A title is given for the sculpture ahead of time (a suggestion from the audience)
then "let's watch". 
Starting with one participant they create a repetitive movement (that can also include a sound!) that demonstrates the title. 
The first person continues with their motion, while the second person starts their motion, and so on... until all five people are doing their motions and have created a fluid sculpture. 

I will be posting much more and many pictures of all of the amazing artwork the school displayed!


  1. I wanted to do this, but what is the out of pocket cost. That unfortunately is a hold up for me in a lot of things since my wife is staying home with the kids and I am the only income for a family of 4.

  2. Mr. E! You should apply next year! You would get so much out of it.
    They pay for everything- except transportation costs. Which there are funds available to apply for for that.
    Hotel, food, workshops, and an art supplies gift certificate are all part of the program if you are selected. Incredible!

  3. Rachel, I've never heard of this before. It looks like it was an amazing opportunity! Congrats to you!


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