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The last class in the Journal+Sketchbook class at Columbia College Chicago took place ten days ago. Each of the 12 students was required to read three pages from their final written piece, and present and talk about a final visual piece. Patty and I have been teaching this class since 2005, and nearly all of the visual pieces were the best ever presented for final projects. I'm starting with this star book (above), by Katy, who had no art-making experience at all before this class. I demonstrated how to make smaller versions of these, but Katy took pieces of paper about 16 inches square, and made this superb star-book that unfolded to about three feet in length. Inside she had collaged all kinds of drawings and images relating to her final story.
Next, a student called Jamie did the following:
As he explained it, he called up images on the internet relating to water and sky, shone different coloured lights at the screen, then took photos of the laptop screen-image-plus-reflections. After collaging these together on a large piece of construction paper, he glued on bits of broken glass and dental floss. Again, a pretty imaginative use of materials for someone who isn't an art major.
Sophia (another fiction writing student who has no prior art experience) did this acrylic painting of a character from a fantasy story she was writing:
It was fairly large, and in free-flowing colours, all of which represented a big advance for her as she had previously done very small black and white drawings.
Finally, Teresa made this big collage:
She said that she was too broke to buy many art materials, so she took a piece of formica tabletop from her apartment, then wrapped coloured strings around it. Inside the vectors created by the string, she stuck all kinds of stuff - bits of paper, magazine images, drawings, tin foil, even tea bags. She brought it all together by drawing over the assemblage with coloured pastels. Teresa is the only one of the four I've shown here who had taken college-level art classes before. But altogether, the other work easily held its own with Teresa's, and I was astounded by, impressed with, and proud of this student work.
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