On January 15, 2020

Reading students visit Hall Art Foundation

Reading Elementary School students learn new art skills.

Reading Elementary School Visual Arts teacher Lisa Kaija led grade 2 and 3 students, teacher Patty Collins and Principal John Hansen on a visit to the Hall Art Foundation on Dec. 13, a world class contemporary art collection located across Route 106 from the school. In a one-hour tour, the students observed and discussed the paintings of British super-realist painter Malcolm Morley and paintings and sculptures by American artist Richard Artschwager.

RES grades K-3 had previously explored sculptural installations at Sculpturefest in Woodstock on an October afternoon. The field trip resulted in a month or more of grade 2/3 students transforming their own two-dimensional drawings of imaginary creatures into three-dimensional sculptures in clay, papier mache and recycled materials. Individual students chose the medium most appropriate for their design solution. With several different sculptural processes happening simultaneously, Mrs. Kaija expected considerable self-direction.

With that scaffolding in place, after the Hall Art Foundation visit, grade 2/3 students honed in on three of Malcolm Morley’s two-dimensional paintings of historical model war plane kits. Kaija downloaded the images and printed them on 12” x 18” cardstock.

The students proceeded to divide into teams, carefully cut out the pieces of the airplanes and try to assemble them into three-dimensional models. They had to persevere through success and failure and also had to consult other images to determine how the pieces of the planes actually fit together.

The next facet of the ongoing learning experience involved a mathematical and artistic exploration of scale. The students were tasked with enlarging small images using a classical grid system, in the same manner Malclom Morley employed to complete his large-scale paintings.

Kaija provided four 4” x 6” cartoons from which to choose and taught the students how to use a ruler to draw a 24-square grid over the selected cartoon. She then provided an 8” x 12” piece of drawing paper with a larger 24-square grid on it. The students used one inch square “viewfinders” to isolate each square of the cartoon and transfer the drawing to the larger 2-inch squares.

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