I began teaching at Green Street in the After School Art and Science class in January 2010. My classes have explored renewable resources and local animal habitats, and created portraits, pop-up art, and masks. I tend to move around with subject matter and materials to keep each project fresh and interesting, and am inspired by close-to-home topics and input by our young artists. My goal is for the students to not only learn a new creative technique, but also to be exposed to a variety of sources for creativity. We’ve made sculptures based on Connecticut animals, pop-up cards inspired by castles found all around the world, oil pastel drawings of boats traveling by air instead of fuel, and many other inspired pieces.
During Summer Academy we concentrated on a selection of cultures. Every culture we targeted began with a brief background of the location, lifestyle, and beliefs of the people. We then discussed why art could be an important part of their lives and what it represented for them. Each project we created was based on this historical study.
We journeyed from Egyptian hieroglyphs, to the Celtic Book of Kells, to a Caribbean mosaic, and ended with a Native American recycled totem pole. Our spin on the totem pole was for each artist to select an animal of interest and sketch out the shape and look of the creature. We had an enormous selection of recycled materials to sift through, from plastic containers and bottle tops, to tin cans and cardboard boxes (all made possible by community donations). With these materials the results were fantastic- eagles, seals, pigs, moose, and even a dragon! To finish off each animal’s look, the students added paint, felt, feathers, and other types of embellishments. Each class clustered their final creation together to signify their modern-day totem poles.
Not only did we have fun, but each student also experienced putting their creativity to the test as they sketched, constructed, and finalized a mixed media recycled sculpture.
More about Lindsay
My primary mediums are painting and printmaking. I look for inspiration everywhere, but nature, loved ones, and emotional expression are a few of my overriding themes. Within these themes I alternate between a loose, painterly quality, to a tighter, more detailed style. I layer colors, lines, and concepts until it feels as though there is a story illustrated on the canvas or paper. The story is there as a still-frame, whether it be in abstract, surreal, expressionistic, or realistic form.
Submitted by Lindsay Behrens, Teaching Artist
Your child can take a class with Lindsay and many other dynamic teaching artists in the Summer Arts and Science Academy this year. Call 860-685-7871 to receive your registration packet in the mail or click here for more information.