The art program at Ironwood Maine continues to stimulate, inspire, and challenge our students. We recently finished a mask making project.
The students created plaster casts of their own faces. There was a ‘giver,’ the person who applies the plaster cloth, and the ‘receiver,’ the person getting the mask. It was interesting to watch that interaction. What may start out as uncertainty, one person touching another’s face, usually transcends into a focused act of ‘getting it right:’ applying the cloth in a manner most beneficial to the likeness of the face. There were, however, a very few who insisted they were averse to that, so they got a generic mask, which they made personal through their design.
The idea was for all students to really think about what they wanted to put on their masks; how they want to portray themselves. Some students ended-up being quite personal, while others were more general, but all had a degree of real thoughtfulness.
Our current project is inspired by the artist Louise Nevelson. Her family immigrated from Russia and lived in Rockland, ME. She was a pioneer of ‘Assemblage’ art; found objects, mostly wood, put together in interesting ways. She became famous for these assembled sculptures, some very large, ending-up in public spaces, such as: parks and churches. She used only three colors to paint her pieces, all one solid color: white, black and gold.
Thanks to my husband, who is a woodworker, I am able to get scraps of wood and the students are having a terrific time exploring ways to put these ‘scraps’ together to make interesting sculptural pieces. They are gluing, sanding, and sawing to get shapes and effects to their liking.
Happy New Year. May the next year bring hope and healing.