We had an art workshop today. Contrary to all expectations the meeting with the students of the International School of Islamabad started early this morning. The theoretical issues of the day included art fundamentals and the story of modern painting. Among other things were discussed the notions of point, line, spot, color and texture. Students also tried to define the ideas of figure, background, motif, pattern, and composition.
While discussing some slides showing selected masterpieces, students showed a particular interest in pictures such as Rigaud's Portrait of Louis XIV and Max Ernst's collage She.
They detected Roman soldiers in David's Oath of the Horatii, the presence of two lions in Delacroix's Hunt, the sketchy nature of Monet's Impression, the imagination that fuels Lacombe's Seascape, and even a divided being in Matisse's Portrait of the Green Strip.
Although some students took Luis XIV for a woman and Mme. Matisse for a man, others pointed out the subtle similarity of pose between Rigaud's king and Ernst's hybrid.
After having considered the historical process through which artists became increasingly free in modern times, students learnt the meaning of the term collage. They were invited to look at a series of six collages by Mariano Akerman. Strategically chosen, the works in exhibition presented various technical aspects that one may take into account at the time of making a collage.
A last step took place as each student made a collage of his own, to participate in the I+E Competition.
The results were exhibited and evaluated by the students themselves. They will write their seven-sentences compositions in the coming days.
Akerman received a Certificate of Appreciation from the authorities of the International School in the Pakistani capital. He also received, via e-mail, the following lines by Mrs. Joan Lewin, Ed. M.,
"Mr. Mariano Akerman presented a workshop entitled “Exploring Pictures is Cool” to our students on Tuesday, March 15th, 2010.
The quality of the lecture, slide presentation, questions and answer sessions as well as the discussions that ensued were not only professional, they were enjoyable in a way that helped all of us extend our exploration of art to other areas of learning. Mr. Akerman knew exactly what slides to choose and the number to choose that would encourage ‘thinking and reflection’ without being heavy-handed.
He has a talent for relating to children that is easy-going, honest, open and respectful of their developmental needs, talents and personality. He was able to present his material in a variety of ways that met the intellectual and social-emotional concerns of the children.
The hands-on workshop; making a collage was well-organized, presented so that all of the children could participate and one in which allowed them a chance to explore materials in different ways. I thought Mr. Akerman’s choice of this particular activity corresponded ‘spot on’ with the slide show that he presented. His ability to connect one activity to the other and extend the level of knowledge to other areas of learning was phenomenal.
At the end of the 7 hours that Mariano Akerman spent with us, the children asked if he couldn’t/wouldn’t come back again. What better evaluation of success could there be!"