Discoveries in Sculpture
Morning session: slideshow for all classes (45 min.)
“Discoveries in sculpture” is a slide presentation introducing the world as a visual playground. Students are challenged to examine slides of found-object sculpture and to discern the objects from which they were created, from simple sculptures using various cans and boxes to more “difficult” pieces found around the house: kitchen utensils, chair legs, tables, staplers, TV parts – all conceived with originality and alive with an inner organic force which gives them excitement and vitality.
With humor and skill, concepts relating to the creative process are presented in simple terms: discipline (don’t settle for first images), exploration (inside, outside, upside-down), the economy of nature(less is more; making the most from the least), observation, play. Students learn to understand and appreciate how symbols are used in a wide variety of cultural images.
Individuals are never forced to accept the artist’s imagery but are stimulated to develop and place great value on their own. Every attempt is made to encourage as many children as possible to participate. Frequently, teachers are surprised at the animated response of students who are rarely expressive in the classroom.
Afternoon session: interactive for individual classes (20 min. each)
An in-depth interactive between the artist and individual students takes place in a museum-like setting of approximately 20 sculptures.
Time permitting, a hands-on experience with an array of found objects serves as a basis for a future teacher-guided project. Consultation with the art teacher provides a range of sculptural projects to enhance both their own and the students’ skills at thinking creatively.
Aims of the Program
My personal odyssey led me to understand the world as an internal series of events—a recreation from data supplied by the senses and processed the by our image-making faculty. The structure of the physical world we create, the “story” we tell ourselves about it, remains, relatively intact, to lend continuity and confirmation to our lives. This is learned behavior; we are born without a concept of “Self” or “thing”.
When given permission to re-conceptualize the physical world out of their own inner resources, children’s natural inventiveness allows them to play with it as open-ended experience. For adults, conditioned with a body of fixed conceptions, the challenge lies in recapturing awareness of endless possibilities.
Throughout their lives, individuals ground themselves in the interplay of ideas and imagination powerfully imprinted during childhood. Evidence has established the importance of imaginative play in early childhood. Intellectual potential and the ability to resolve ongoing life issues are dependent on it.
Using an interdisciplinary approach, the Discoveries in Sculpture (DIS) program incorporates cognitive processes and activities practiced by both science and art: observation, analysis, exploration, and play (scientists do play with ideas) to guide youngsters and adults in a dialogue of constant newness with the things of the world.
While there is no gauging in advance what the student or teacher will gain through the Discoveries in Sculpture (DIS) program, its ultimate purpose is clear: to recover the magic, the mythopoetic sense of aliveness emanating from things in the world. Daring the process to occur reconnects us to the object in an intimacy long forgotten since childhood. It plants a seed that reaches fruition in a feeling for the earth and everything upon it, as an intensively alive experience—spiritual nourishment that modern civilization has denied us all.