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Looking Forward to Winter Camp at the Gibbes

With the holidays right around the corner and students on break for vacation, Winter Camp at the Gibbes will be starting soon! This week on the blog, teaching artist and museum educator Martha Criscuolo shares what students in the Teen Camp weeks can look forward to during their time in the classrooms here at the Museum.


What wondrous sculptures await visitors to the 3rd floor this year! A Dark Place of Dreams is filled with thought-provoking works that challenge the viewer into redefining what art means to them in the modern age. Standing in front of the performance video by American artist Kate Gilmore, the students all ask the same question…”Did she make that here?” They stare at the screen as it flashes images of the artist covered in yellow paint, hands full of two-by-fours to be stacked in a grid, then glance over to the piece beside it, comparing notes. They assess both, and then grapple for an understanding of both aspects of the piece. Interpreting video performance art is all part of the students’ visual experience in A Dark Place of Dreams.

For this winter’s holiday break camps, artists age 11-14 will be tackling the exhibit in playful lessons designed to stimulate creative thinking and look internally to solve art making problems. On Wednesday, January 2, lessons will feature the themes and stylistic explorations of the iconic sculptor Louise Nevelson. Color palettes will be limited, and students will discover the joy of working with les objets trouvé, transforming the mundane into the profound. Thursday’s classes will feature the work of Chakaia Booker, who creates vast, patterned walls of texture with discarded automobile tires. Students will consider the tires themselves, their origin, environmental impact, and sheer volume. Working with tires from the shuttered Viva Tire Recycling Plant in Moncks Corner, SC, they will play with pattern and composition in 2D form, and experience the process of using recycled rubber as an art material.

For our final day of classes, the young artists will focus on a mix of all three sculptors featured in A Dark Place of Dreams. Lauren Fensterstock’s paper flora and Kate Gilmore’s grid of pottery bowls will provide a jumping-off point for projects that place everyday objects at the heart of elaborate, whimisical, or unusual settings. Students will create an original aesthetic narrative for the object, breathing new life into an otherwise predictable image. Honoring the patterns created by the multitude of Gilmore’s wooden boards and Fensterstock’s paper leaves, we will explore the process of repeating a single element throughout the work, and the how following through with the task of production can affect the final outcome of the piece. As an interactive element, students will be asked to respond to a challenge put forth in a video interview of Gilmore from PBS, in which she asks students to undertake a piece of performance sculpture called “Walk On It.”

To learn more about Winter Camp at the Gibbes, visit out events page and join in the fun today!

-By Martha Criscuolo, guest blogger and museum educator

Top Image: Campers work on a project in the Gibbes classroom. 

Published December 20, 2018


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