photoplay : wendy ewald
For last week’s ArtCamp at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (entitled Meet the Masters) I introduced the kids to the work of Mondrian, Morandi, Miro, and finally, Wendy Ewald. I don’t think that in most “Meet the Masters” themed classes for kids, Wendy Ewald would be the first artist that would come to a teacher’s mind. But Ewald is on my list of Masters. Her work has been such an inspiration to me, plus, the idea of ending the week with photography, collaboration, and the clear message that it was now time for each child to really leave their mark on their work, seemed perfect.
While the kids were definitely engaged with the work of each of the other three artists throughout the week, when I showed them Ewald’s work, they reacted with such sensitivity… Her photographs (which are of course photographs of other children, with their own handwriting, no less), were especially compelling.
And even though a number of the kids ultimately chose to draw and paint (rather than write words) on their photographs, the lingering effect of having seen Ewald’s work was clear.
Here are the photographs I took of the kids holding an empty frame. The images were directed and edited by them:
And here are the works created by the kids:
In past workshops, HERE and HERE and HERE, I’ve photographed my kids so they could paint on their portraits. But I think that introducing Wendy Ewald’s work made everything a bit more exciting. Seeing the private, handwritten thoughts of another child on a photograph, they heard the voice of a real person. I know it affected their sense of what they themselves might be doing, when they surrounded their own faces with color and shape and line…