Achieve Language Academy 2019

As I wrap up the Artist in Residence project for Achieve Language Academy I am happy to reflect on the many successes small and large that I have seen over the last month.

Art making really put the fun in our fundamental skills building.

Making art is so fundamental to understanding how our world behaves. 
When we use materials and understand where they come from it gives us a window into understanding more about the physical world and how we can move in it.
As we build skills and practice our craft we begin to understand our own human physicality and the power of training our bodies to achieve visible goals.
We begin to more deeply understand the power of math and measurement in effectively and efficiently creating pleasing objects.

All of these observations reinforce the notion that we as individuals have the power to shape our world. It gives the Artist agency.

Our Big Idea for this project was to Belong and Grow!

First we worked on how we make our mark as artists.
Through guided drawing lessons, pattern making and art history we learned about the power of pattern. How pattern was used in the Underground Railroad to save lives. We explored commonalities in patterns of the Hmong in Laos and ancient Mayan art in Mexico. Two cultures separated by geography and time.

Once we knew our Big Idea and how to make our mark, we were curious how to say it.

Questions we were interested in...

What components make up our environment?
How do they work together?
What is my place in it?

Once our plan was set, we set to work. Each student had a part to the puzzle and executed with ambition and attention. As a teaching artist, I was really excited to see engaged students reap the reward of persistence.

Now that the parts are in the kiln, it is time for a little magic and a little heat and a mid-summer installation.

~ Malcom Potek