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Getting artrageous! In Augusta, Georgia.

Child artists participating in the "Be Artrageous After School" program in Georgia, USA, learned from professional artists about the use of color, form, storytelling through art and more, while creating their own original pieces. At the end of the program they got really outrageous, and took over the Morris Museum of Art for one special night to take a private tour, exhibit their artwork, and celebrate!

"Be Artrageous After School" brought art classes to students at the Shiloh Comprehensive Community Center in order to make the community's art museum their own. The Center provides academic and recreational classes for students living in low-income housing in Augusta.

Professors and students from the Fine Arts Department of Augusta State University worked with art teachers from the Morris Museum of Art, donating their time to teach workshops at the Center.

Copies of artwork from the Morris Museum of Art inspired the teachers, who designed creative hands-on art activities on various themes, such as individuality or community identity. During the six-week program, each workshop was held once a week for two hours. Students aged 6-12 made self-portraits, ceramic face jugs, a collaborative photo-quilt and a film.

Ceramics professor Jeremy Vaughan showed the students a copy of artist Melinda Moore Lampkin's collage work, titled "Feelin' Blue".

They examined the picture and talked about the different kinds of emotions they felt when viewing the collage, such as love, jealousy, and sadness. They then sculpted ceramic faces of their own design onto jugs, shaping the faces to express emotions of happiness, sadness, and fear.

Professor Jennifer Onofrio discussed the photograph "Cold Melons" by artist Jack Leigh. Leigh's photographs often reflect his own records of the people and lifestyles that make up the American South. Professor Onofrio encouraged the students to take their own interpretive photographs of themselves, which they then put together to make a collaborative photo quilt. In making the quilt, every one got the feeling that because each of them is an individual, they can contribute their own uniqueness to the group. (1) The program concluded with a special after-hours private tour and reception at the Morris Museum of Art. For many students and their families, this was their first visit to the Morris Museum. Musicians performed during the reception, while the child artists shared their work with each other, their families, and their instructors.

(1) An activity such as this one fosters social development in children. As children learn to cooperate in group projects, they gain a sense of individual contribution to a group product and develop a "we" feeling with those whom they are working. They also learn how to work well with others. See Dr. Violet Robinson, "Art Really Teaches," Child Development Through Art, Ruth Velasquez, ed. (Los Angeles, CA: California Kindergarten Association, 1997).

"Be Artrageous After School" was co-organized by Victoria Durrer, Morris Museum of Art, and Kristin Casaletto, Augusta State University. The program was sponsored by a generous grant from Augusta State University. For more information contact Victoria Durrer at gdmadurrer@yahoo.com
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Title Annotation:Georgia, USA; Morris Museum of Art
Author:Durrer, Victoria
Publication:ChildArt
Geographic Code:1U5GA
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Words:503
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