Hyperallergic LABS

Recycled pieces from the classroom, 2014

As a first year art teacher working in an elementary school, there is never a dull moment. Currently fifth and fourth graders are working on cut paper collages of organic and geometric shapes inspired by Henri Matisse. Kindergarteners and First Graders are working on Paper Sculptures demonstrating techniques such as: fringe, spirals, curling, cutting, and tearing. 

I find myself intrigued by their compositions, choice of color and shape. I am also surprisingly intrigued by the pieces that are neglected and tossed into the recycling bin. At the end of the day I am left with a yellow tin, recycling bin of what feels like gold, but in reality, is really just bright bold fadeless paper pieces cut in irregular and bizarre shapes. 

In taking these treasures from the classroom, I used them in my sketchbook to create collages combined with pen and ink drawings. It felt as if I was collaborating with my students by using their rejected pieces. In becoming an art teacher, my goal is to inform, inspire and demonstrate an appreciation for the many values of the arts. I have been happily surprised by how much I learn from my students reactions to assignments and creative thinking. One of my sketches created from a mixture of rejected paper relief samples and Matisse inspired shapes is featured on the Hyperallergic LABS tumblr blog, a forum representing topics of art and its discontents. You can view the feature here. 

To see more of my sketchbook collages take a look at my moleskin drawings tumblr.