Last week I was visiting friends in Chicago and decided to check out some of the city's public sculptures. I researched online where I could find sculptures by some of the world's most famous artists. I made a list, mapped out the addresses online and made plans to walk around the city Wednesday afternoon.
Originally, I was just going to take pictures to share in my classroom. I decided to instead pack my video camera and try to produce a virtual tour of the city.
Several years ago I went to college and earned a degree in broadcasting. Then I made the decision to follow my passion for art and become a teacher. I really enjoyed capturing these sculptures on video, and creating a new experience for my students.
First graders study sculpture in the spring, and we spend time talking about local sculptures in Oregon. Students look at pictures, visit a sculpture, and apply an artist's concept to create their own unique sculpture. We compare local sculptures with sculptures from around the world. I hope this video will tie in well with our sculpture unit.
Last Thursday, I enjoyed listening to ceramic artist Ayumi Horie discuss her work and personal philosophy. She shared several images of her pottery and studio, but what I found the most interesting was how well she had marketed herself over the years.
Horie was one of the first ceramic artists to sell work from a personal website. Even today, few artists sell their work directly to the buyer. She described how the creation and maintenance of the website takes almost as much effort as her pottery. The aesthetic of the website was very important to her. She includes a lot of information about her work, but also has creatively marketed herself using postcard imagery and viral videos.
She also talked about her involvement starting the Handmade for Japan charity. She collaborated with other artists to raise funds for the rebuilding of the Tohoku area of Japan effected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake.
I was fascinated by her talk because I have always wanted to use ceramics in the classroom as a fundraiser to serve a charitable cause. I want to involve students in creating art to serve a larger purpose than function and aesthetics. I've heard a lot about the Empty Bowls campaign, and would like to do something similar in my future classes.
I think the combination of how Horie has used postcards and videos to market herself, could be a great way to advertise for a school charity project. I also like the idea of having students think of creative ways to document their artwork using digital cameras or camcorders.
Personally, I was never confident with ceramic projects throughout grades K-12, but I think I would have been excited to compose a funny photograph or a clever video featuring my pottery. I want to give my future students an opportunity to explore different artistic processes to coincide with a pottery lesson.
Mr. DeWilde's Blog
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