Friday, September 7, 2007

Week One Notes - September 4-7, 2007

Week One at the Art Centre started on the Tuesday after Labour Day Monday. I got the impression that I was in the land of Rip Van Winkle at times as many of the faculty appeared as if emerging from a twenty year sleep, unsure as to where schedules and time tables were, where the three groups of adult students were to be meeting their homeroom teachers, etc. I'm in Group 2 and my new teacher kept going in an out of the room and at times trying the phone in order to help with the chaos and confusion. Needless to say it was a short day and we were dismissed and told to come back on Thursday as our timetable gave us Wednesday off. The building looked as if it hadn't been cleaned since last spring - due to cutbacks we heard. It will be a great opportunity to wear all of those grubby clothes that seem too comfortable and too good to throw out.

On Thursday things seemed a bit better organized. Homeroom time was not that helpful as our teacher could not speak over the public announcements on the loudspeaker that went on through the entire short period. On to our first class of the day and a teacher who clearly had done some preparation. While the projector for the computer gave some problems (that hadn't been prepped) and the power point was deadly - lots of text and no visuals - not the best for Art History I'd say, the class activity was an excellent ice breaker. There were three groups who named themselves and each came up with a mission statement for a gallery. We chose 4 images we'd want for our gallery and 4 we would reject - these selected from a huge collection of art postcards form the major museums around the world. Each group presented what they'd developed.

At the all school meeting I learned that no changes could be made to timetables unless one found someone in another class willing to switch classes. So I accepted my fate and my group and relaxed about that condition though it meant missing a meeting at the university twice a month with a great group of friends and colleagues. Happily my winter term has a different afternoon class so I'll get to return there. And the afternoon class was sculpting with a very engaging teacher and his assistant. We were involved in discussion right away and soon had assignments to look forward to. Each of us is exploring an "ism" and I drew "primitivism" the first presentation in two weeks time. The sculptors in my group are wonderful artists like Gauguin, Matisse, Brancusi and Picasso. Later we will be creating personalized brass medals based on the style of the "ism" we have researched. I began my research in the evening, looking at the Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery for information on sculptors of the primitivism movement. I ordered four books from the library on the topic.

Today, Friday, we had figure drawing class. The first part of the class was devoted to learning about our new teacher and she in turn learned about us as we partnered up to introduce each other. In the last half of the class, we set up easels and each got 20 minutes to draw our partner. It was a very satisfying end to the first week. Next Monday, we'll have our first printmaking class and next Tuesday our first painting class (we start with drawing). And so I am launched in my new venture. For the weekend, I'll take off my student hat and put on my professor hat as I do the final marking for the summer course at OISE and put the final touches on the two new courses that start there on Monday.

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