Posts Tagged ‘Camden Hills Regional High School’

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Young Artist’s in Quarantine

June 30, 2020

Student’s share their stories

This is part of a series highlighting the stories of young artists in quarantine. The period of free time that many people are experiencing has led to a sense of freedom in creating– when not held back by the standards expected by society and in much of art education (or needing to prove talent/fill resumes) it’s incredible what can be done. Alone in your room with just a paintbrush or guitar has led many students to find a new independence in art when they have the ability to create just for themselves. We’re hoping that by telling these stories, a change will occur in the way we approach arts education, to focus on the growth of the individual, even after quarantine comes to an end. Thank you Robyn Walker-Spencer, 2020 graduate, Camden Hills Regional High School, for launching this series of young artists in quarantine.

Kate Kemper just graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School. Below is her pandemic story.

I have always been an artist, I think. I have a grandparent on each side of my family who were extremely gifted in the arts, and my parents always say the “artist gene” skipped a generation. Over my life, I’ve expanded my mediums. I work in many forms of fine art; I am a painter, singer, poet, ceramist, and beginning mural artist.

What really sparked my love of art and helped me develop good foundations was my education at Ashwood Waldorf School. As a part of the core curriculum, I painted wet-on-wet in painting class and made a crayon drawing for every academic lesson over eight years.

In my senior year of high school, I took an advanced art portfolio class which pushed my artistic abilities even further. I learned about putting meaning into art and the different ways to make a statement about the world through the lens of creation. I now feel empowered to express my voice through a piece and do art much more frequently.

Separate, 2020, 14” x 17,” Mixed Media

There are a few common ways to make a statement about the world. Protesting, voting, speaking out, and art. You cannot have a successful social movement without art to move people. It can unite by interpreting a message into a visual format that makes it easier to understand. The repetition of an idea through many artworks grows a movement and can make real change in the mind of the audience.

But ultimately, art is what you want it to be. For me, among many others, it is a reaction.

I paint absent-minded abstractions when I need to relax, I express my frustrations when I’m angry, and I admire beauty when I’m joyful. I use it as a tool, a way to process emotion. This has come in especially handy during recent months. Amidst a global pandemic, one can expect many emotions. I went through a whirlwind of life events simultaneously, good and bad, so it is no surprise that I made a lot of art. The most defining piece of this era was one called “separate.” It was a paper cut representation of the idea of social distancing. It will join the large body of work that I am sure will arise worldwide in reaction to this pandemic.

Fruit Salad part 1, 2020, 24”x 24,” acrylic on canvas

Two Shrooms, 2020, 8” x 5,” ink pen on paper

Flank Study, 2019, India ink on paper

Blind, 2019, 6”x 12,” pen and paper

Sea Tea, 2019, 6” x 6” x 4,” ceramic and ceramic glaze

Skull and Books, 2019, 18” x 24,” conté on paper

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More Virtual Shows and Performances

June 18, 2020

Art, Music, K-Higher Education

CARRIE RICKER SCHOOL

Thanks to Art teacher Jen Williams for sharing her schools Virtual Art Show from Carrie Ricker School (RSU4) in Litchfield. It’s an 11 minute video on youtube showcasing the grades 3-5 student artwork – that is amazing. Two of the music tracks were created in music class with teacher Wade Johnston. View below.

AUBURN SCHOOLS VIRTUAL ART EXHIBITS

A great big thanks to Art teacher and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader Lynda Leonas for providing links to two wonderful Virtual Student Shows from where she teaches in Auburn!

RAYMOND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Music teacher Patricia Gordan shared her COVID story on the blog recently. The Raymond Elementary School chorus has been working since January on five songs for the spring concert. Since being away from school she has been working on one of the songs virtually: “Send Down the Rain” by Joyce Eilers. The song has been put together beautifully! SEND DOWN THE RAIN

Davia Hersey

HAMPDEN ACADEMY VIRTUAL ART GALLERY

A section of the gallery features Paper Bag Portraits with this information: Let’s face it this quarantine has presented us with an opportunity to be creative. While looking for regular household items to use for art making, I found that a brown paper bag is a great size/ shape for a portrait study. It also has the effect of working on a piece of toned brown paper which is a nice place to start for a portrait. An exhibit with a plethora of ideas with thanks to Art teacher and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader Melanie Crowe!

 

CAMDEN HILLS REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

Guiding Light” – Text and Music by Matt LaBerge. Camden Hills Regional High School Chamber Singers and Alumni Virtual Choir. Director Music teacher Kim Murphy.

OAK HILL MIDDLE SCHOOL ART GALLERY

7th and 8th grade student artwork from Oak Hill Middle School is part of a virtual art show located at THIS LINK. Thank you to art teacher Gail Rodrigue-duBois for providing this opportunity.

USM JURIED STUDENT EXHIBIT

This special on-line exhibition was open to all USM students submitting work in any media. The juried show introduces students to a professional exhibition where they learn to prepare art for a professional setting, obtain feedback from art professionals, and have their work exposed to a wide range of viewers. Due to Coronavirus, the focus this year was on students learning how to photograph their art at home as well as uploading files – good skills to acquire for many future art opportunIties. GORHAM AND PORTLAND EXHIBIT

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE

Thesis exhibits by Senior Seminar students Delaney Fone, Marissa Joly, Regan H. Mars, and Demel Ruff are now showcased online until August 15, 2020. The engagement of the public through the art, and the public presentation of students’ work are core components to the successful completion of the Art 401 Senior Seminar course, a senior capstone requirement course for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art students, and a professional practice elective option for those obtaining their Bachelor of Arts studio degrees. SHOWCASE.

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Young Artists in Quarantine

June 9, 2020

Student’s share their stories

This is part of a series highlighting the stories of young artists in quarantine. The period of free time that many people are experiencing has led to a sense of freedom in creating– when not held back by the standards expected by society and in much of art education (or needing to prove talent/fill resumes) it’s incredible what can be done. Alone in your room with just a paintbrush or guitar has led many students to find a new independence in art when they have the ability to create just for themselves. We’re hoping that by telling these stories, a change will occur in the way we approach arts education, to focus on the growth of the individual, even after quarantine comes to an end.

This post is written by Robyn Walker-Spencer, 2020 graduate, Camden Hills Regional High School who had the seed for this blog post series.

At 18 months, my family would play “name that tune” with me as I was strapped into my high chair, gleefully crying out the names of song after song, with an impressive base of musical knowledge for my age. I was by no means a prodigy at any point in my life, but as I grew up I felt my love for music grow with me. I took part in piano lessons, then band and chorus in middle school, and eventually musical theater, guitar, and chamber singers once in high school.

I never planned on studying music or becoming a professional in any aspect of the arts (I will be majoring in biology at Bowdoin in the fall), but it didn’t matter. Music and performing was something I always did for myself. As a child, I made up songs to sing as I played in the yard, and now I will play guitar for hours after a long day to blow off steam or relax. I love to express myself on stage, become an evil nanny or a god-fearing nun, and singing in Chamber Singers at my high school has always been cathartic.

I started lessons at Midcoast Music Academy in Rockland, Maine, in the spring of 2018. I was able to discover the importance of music to my own mental health, but perhaps more significantly I began to develop somewhat of my own musical pedagogy. Much of my previous music education had been extremely structured: practice for this rectial, prepare for this audition, complete a piece following specific guidelines. I practiced because I was told to practice (most of the time) but I didn’t enjoy it– it was seemingly necessary to get better, but I spent many a piano lesson wondering if it was even worth it. Starting high school added in another layer. Not only was our creative time structured, but many students kept participating for the sole reason of padding their resumes. At MCMA, I initially found it difficult to get away from the mindset of what I fondly considered mandatory misery– I wasn’t used to practice being something that I felt motivated and excited to do. So what changed? For the first time I wasn’t being ​told​ to do anything– each lesson was simply exploring what interested ​me,​ what ​I ​wanted to learn and improve at. And if my attention shifted, it was fine! We just moved in a new direction. I was practicing frequently because I wanted to, and because I was excited about what I was learning.

I think that this period of quarantine has provided that same sort of change for a lot of young artists my age. For the first time in a long time, we have all the time in the world and just ourselves to keep our minds busy. Groups like ​Quarantine Karaoke​ on Facebook show people coming together to make music from all over the world– people who normally never perform but are now creating for the sake of creating. I’ve seen friends pick up new instruments and play for themselves for the first time. I’ve personally stretched far out of my comfort zone, teaching myself recording techniques on my laptop and even writing a song for the first time. The period of free time has pulled aside the curtain and has really just exposed people’s raw selves: we are able to create art just for the sake of creating. We are practicing because we are excited about it. And we are taking risks that we never would otherwise.

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Poetry Out Loud Finalists

March 5, 2018

Yahoooo for high school students and poetry

State Final, Free and Open to Public, at Waterville Opera House March 14

AUGUSTA, ME–The art of performance and spoken word is alive and well in Maine high schools, as 39 individual students competed in two Poetry Out Loud Regional Finals last month.  The Maine Arts Commission, which administers the poetry competition at the state level, is pleased to announce the top 10 finalists who will compete in state finals at the Waterville Opera House on March 14 at 3:00 p.m.

Congratulations to the following finalists:

Northern Maine Regional Champions: The northern regional poetry recitation contest final was hosted by Hampden Academy.

  • Lydia Caron, Grade 12, Bangor High School
  • Katherine Kemper, Grade 12, Camden Hills Regional High School
  • Lauren Dodge, Grade 12, Lee Academy
  • Hannah Lavenson, Grade 12, Messalonskee High School
  • Lauren Farmer, Grade 10, Rangeley Lakes Regional Schools

Southern Maine Regional Champions: The southern regional final was hosted by Westbrook Middle School.

  • Allan Monga, Grade 11, Deering High School
  • Abbie vanLuling, Grade 12, Gorham High School
  • Richard Hilscher , Grade 12, North Yarmouth Academy
  • Emma Lombardo, Grade 11, Westbrook High School
  • Wyatt Bates, Grade 11, Yarmouth High School

After three rounds of competition, one state finalist will be named the overall winner and advance to the national competition, where s/he will compete for a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, as well as a $20,000 scholarship.

The Maine Poetry Out Loud state finals are March 14 at the Waterville Opera House. The doors will open at 2:30 p.m. for a 3 p.m. performance start. The event is free and open to the public, who are encouraged to attend. It will also be broadcast and streamed live throughout Maine in collaboration with Boothbay Region Television on the BRTV station and through Facebook Live.

For more information about the state and national finals, please visit Maine Arts Commission: Poetry Out Loud 2017 or contact Argy Nestor, Maine Arts Commission Director of Arts Education at argy.nestor@maine.gov or 207-287-2713.

 

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Camden Hills Regional High School

November 8, 2016

Raising Our Voices in Camden Hills Regional High Schools’ Sister Act

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Program cover Rafi Baeza

Raise Your Voice! becomes the central theme of the current musical production at Camden Hills Regional High School’s production of Sister Act. Based upon the hit 1992 Touchstone Pictures’ movie, and with original music by Alan Menken, this upbeat musical is sure to have audience members tapping their toes. When Deloris Van Cartier (Rebekah Schade) takes refuge in a convent after having witnessed a murder at the hands of her boyfriend Curtis (Nick Watts), she discovers that she has a gift that is even greater than her star-struck dreams of being on the stage – sharing the power of music. As the nuns discover the joy of raising their voices and “shaking their booties” they, including Deloris, also begin to discover a new strength and resolve inside of themselves.

Photo Marti Stone

Musical theater, with its costumes, lights, dancing, and amazing sets is a spectacle for the whole community to enjoy. Yet parents of impressionable young children are cautioned that the directors have rated this show PG 13 for violence and suggestive language. Some children may simply enjoy the chance to see live theater; and parents may find that the story line is a springboard for important conversations. In Sister Act, musical theater becomes instructive as well as entertaining. The subject of domestic abuse becomes an undercurrent in an otherwise light and humorous story. The writers have presented this serious topic in a comedic manner by distracting the listener with zany “thug” characters. However, as we look closer at the material, we find that the theme of “raising one’s voice” is the lesson embedded in the story line. Within the plot, tension mounts in the finale of the show as Curtis discovers where Deloris is hiding and makes plans to “keep her silent” for good. In solidarity, the sisters of the convent (including the rigid character of Mother Superior (Molly Mann)) raise their voices and make a vow to protect Deloris.   In addition, Deloris finds her own voice, and takes a powerful stand against Curtis – with the strength of her sisters, she is able to “raise her voice” and stand up to the bully. The theme of justice prevails, as we find out what happens to Curtis and his thugs in the final number.

Photo Marti Stone

On Broadway, Sister Act was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. With Lyrics by Glenn Slater, Book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, and Additional Book Material by Douglas Carter Beane, Sister Act is being presented by CHRHS in special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). www.MTIshows.com

The CHRHS production of Sister Act will play November 4, 5, 11, 12 at 7:00 PM and November 6 at 2:00 PM.   Advance ticket sales are $12 for Reserved (front section) seats and $10/$6 for General Admission. At-the-door prices increase to $15/$12/$8. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at stromtickets.com or reserved by calling 236-7800 ext 282. Email stromtickets@gmail.com for ticket orders and more information.

 

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Eggcellence Arts Educators

October 16, 2015

A day of celebrating Eggcelence in the Arts

The Biennial Statewide Arts Education conference held at Point Lookout Conference Center on Friday October 9 included celebrating arts educators for their outstanding contributions! One teacher from each of the four disciplines; dance, music, theatre, and visual arts were recognized. The celebration included being surrounded by the Celebration Team who showered the individuals with confetti, silly hats, boas, noise makers and lots of egg shaking from the conference participants. The following visual and performing arts educators were recognized.

Theatre – Bonny Eagle High School Rick Osann

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Visual Arts – Dr. Levesque Elementary, Wisdom Middle/High School Visual Arts Theresa Cerceo presented by her student Dorothy Rossignol

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Dance – Lake Region High School Carmel Collins

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Music – Camden Hills Regional High School Choral Director Kimberly Murphy

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Congratulations to all the teachers who represent all arts educators!

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MAEA Fall Conference Keynote

October 1, 2015

Sharing her presentation –  Carolyn Brown

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 3.12.59 PMCarolyn teaches Visual Arts at Camden Hills Regional High School and is the Maine Art Educator of the Year for 2016. The award is presented by the Maine Art Education Association. Below is the presentation she gave at the fall conference at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

Ripple Effects

I made about a hundred versions of this presentation. Should I use the latest research on the relationship between the arts and cognitive development? Should I give a play-by-play history of my long teaching career, the ups, the downs, the crying in the storage closets? Or tell you how important it is for each of you to be strong advocates for arts education, so we can prevent losing ground in the face of budget cuts and pressure to conform to standards? Should I explain, with a diagram and the latest educational lingo, how to write a compelling…. assessment rubric? Instead, I decided to just let this write itself.

I’m going to start with a poem. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years hunched over my desk writing for hours on end, and making little paintings and drawings. Finally, in high school, I had my first real art class, and my teacher, Bruce Elfast, changed everything. He held the orange for me, as the character in the poem does.

Ego
By Denise Duhamel

I just didn’t get it—
even with the teacher holding an orange (the earth) in one hand
and a lemon (the moon) in the other,
her favorite student (the sun) standing behind her with a flashlight.
I just couldn’t grasp it—
this whole citrus universe, these bumpy planets revolving so slowly
no one could even see themselves moving.
I used to think if I could only concentrate hard enough
I could be the one person to feel what no one else could,
sense a small tug from the ground, a sky shift, the earth changing gears.
Even though I was only one mini-speck on a speck,
even though I was merely a pinprick in one goosebump on the orange,
I was sure then I was the most specially perceptive, perceptively sensitive.
I was sure then my mother was the only mother to snap,
“The world doesn’t revolve around you!”
The earth was fragile and mostly water,
just the way the orange was mostly water if you peeled it,
just the way I was mostly water if you peeled me.
Looking back on that third grade science demonstration,
I can understand why some people gave up on fame or religion or cures—
especially people who have an understanding
of the excruciating crawl of the world,
who have a well-developed sense of spatial reasoning
and the tininess that it is to be one of us.
But not me—even now I wouldn’t mind being god, the force
who spins the planets the way I spin a globe, a basketball, a yoyo.
I wouldn’t mind being that teacher who chooses the fruit,
or that favorite kid who gives the moon its glow.
———-
When I started teaching, in 1984, I was the “first ever” art teacher in the whole district of Lisbon and Lisbon Falls. No art room. No sinks in the classrooms. I unfolded tables at 6 a.m. in the mornings when I taught in the cafeteria, and folded them back up before gym class. I carried buckets of water to the classrooms for cleaning paintbrushes.  In one of the five buildings I taught in, this was up two flights of stairs. I was about a thousand years younger then.

Fortunately, I had something- some people- who made it possible to continue.  The first grader who asked for “mascara” to put on the eyelashes of his mask. (I handed him a black marker.) The fifth grader who said he wanted to be an artist because he now knew it was okay for a boy to like drawing.
I also had a teacher mentor. She was a classroom teacher-turned G/T teacher, who was assigned to be my mentor in a pilot program that year. Because of her, I stayed in teaching.

Because of some of you acting as mentors, others have stayed in teaching. Because of you, some of your students found their voices by learning about art, and using their minds and hearts to make things that matter. Those are little ripples you make in the world. The edges of those ripples are too distant for you to see, because the effects are endless.

Looking back through my teaching career, at Mt. Ararat School in Topsham, at an International School in Tokyo, in the new schools in Poland, Maine, and Rockport, a few things come to mind. One is that teaching, really teaching, is exhausting. With the younger grades, there are questions to answer, runny noses to wipe, displays to organize, sinks to scrub, not to mention lessons to plan, assessments to write, and so on.

With older students, there are still questions to answer, of course, and big questions to ask of them; sometimes I think that half of the task of teaching high school students is to get them to take risks like kindergarteners do every day.

Any of this is a big task. The most important job in the universe is teaching. To be able to do this, you have to have something deep, and sensitive, and joyful, and knowledgeable, and persistent, and brave, and amazing inside of you. I am convinced that to be a good art teacher, you have to be humble, as well as somewhat confident, but humble enough to be open to new learning. You have to be quiet, as well as “breathing from the diaphragm” when you speak to your class. You have to be able to listen with sensitivity, as well as talk. You have to keep changing, and growing.

If you teach the same lesson, the same way, to every class, year after year, you might have successes: the carefully but imperfectly shaded portrait of Jimi Hendrix, Rest in Peace; the painting of a lighthouse a thousand miles away, from some 1990’s calendar, that Grandma can put on her fridge; but you won’t have any surprises. To be an excellent teacher, you have to take risks. Put yourself in the position of your students: try something new. Hold onto the bungee cord, hold tight, but jump, look at the magnificent rushing river underneath your dangling feet, and look back up at your colleagues at the top of the bridge- whoo hoo!

One of the weirdest and most exciting teaching experiences I ever had was at Mt. Ararat. One of my classes was a 3D Design class. I was really into installation art at the time, and we had a huge entryway to the school that I found all sorts of ways to mess up. One year, I invited the sculptor Michael Shaughnessy to work with the class. We brainstormed together ourselves, and then with the students, to come up with some ideas for installation sculptures based around themes of the students’ choice. The largest and most exciting piece was conceived by all of us collaboratively. The students decided to use the theme of the interactive process of teaching and learning. We gathered all the extra desks and chairs from a storage room, and arranged them in a giant spiral in the main lobby, about 20 feet across. We lined the top of each desk with potting soil, and planted seeds in the dirt. We suspended lights from the ceiling to represent the light of knowledge, and teaching. Slowly, over a couple of weeks, the seeds sprouted and grew lush green grass. The remarkable thing about this was that this weird sculpture, in the main lobby of the school, was not damaged or vandalized. This was before security cameras were routinely installed in hallways. In fact, at the end of the two weeks, students wanted to keep it there. They loved how it changed every day, how they understood the metaphors we tried to communicate, and that they grew to find more meaning in it, from their own experiences. It was a sad day when we had to dismantle it.

That project was one of the most memorable and exciting because it was a risk. We had to plan extensively, we had to negotiate with the principal, communicate with the Fire Marshal; we had to be willing to accept that for some students and parents, this might just be too bizarre and conceptual to accept. Because the students were integral to every part of the process, however, it was valid for them. It was their project. That was crucial, and I think it’s important to remember that, as we work at creating lessons tailored to meet specific district and state standards. It has to be their projects, their ideas, their learning.

We are among the luckiest art teachers in the world, I think, in that we have so many amazing opportunities in Maine. We have a beautiful natural world to observe. Immersing oneself in nature is a critical aspect of being a sensitive human steward of the world. Nature teaches by example, if you take time to be still and watch, and listen.

We also have a strong tradition of the arts, and arts organizations. When we gather here at Haystack, we have the energy of many hands, many minds, many voices coming together. Some of us find we grow much more in the single weekend here at Haystack than we can in a month on our own at home. The challenge is to hold onto that energy, keep it vibrating, keep it rippling, keep it flowing when we return to our classrooms, and ordinary lives next week. How do we take this sacred creative time, in this sacred special place, and transport it back to share with our students, and our colleagues, while keeping it fresh and whole for ourselves?

The next bunch of slides are some of my own artwork- done during the past few years- I have been  fortunate to take workshops and classes at Haystack, Waterfall Arts, and Maine College of Art, and have been influenced by my time working in Tokyo)

Studies demonstrate that practice in the arts stimulates cognitive growth- the prolonged concentration needed for in-depth problem solving and creating with our hands actually makes new neural connections in our brains. It is this paying attention, in the real world, in real time, that is crucial to our jobs as teachers, as creative artists, and as caretakers of our planet.

I will close with a short poem by Wendell Berry, titled

The Vacation                        http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/245686
By Wendell Berry

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.
—————————
I ask you all to go out, back into the night, back into your studios here at Haystack, and be in it. Absorb the positive ripples sent out in your workshop. And back in your real lives, back in your classrooms, spread the ripple, and be in it. Hold the orange, the world, in your hand, and be in it.

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Camden Hills Regional High School

December 12, 2014

Winter Choral Concert

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Potter Visits Camden Schools

February 21, 2014

The following article is reproduced from the Courier Publications’ Village Soup on February 10,   Editor Dagney C. Ernest.

DSCN0420ROCKPORT — Potter/artist Tim Christensen is working with Carolyn Brown’s Advanced Drawing and Painting class and the after school Art Club of Camden Hills Regional High School.

Christensen is a professional potter who currently works with the sgraffito technique on porcelain. He creates thrown and handbuilt forms and uses the ancient technique of sgraffito for surface design. This technique entails coating the clay with black clay slip or underglaze, and scratching through to reveal white clay underneath.

Christensen has demonstrated his working technique and discussed his sources of inspiration. He uses the medium of clay to tell stories about the natural world and our relationship with nature. He explained that he typically starts a piece with the beginning of an idea in mind, and draws intuitively with a freehand technique directly on the clay. During the process of drawing on the clay, the full “story” of a particular piece develops. The idea from one piece may lead into another, until the entire story emerges in a series of clay forms.

Students began their projects working with sgraffito on flat, leather-hard tiles, drawing into the underglaze with a variety of tools. Christensen is meeting with students several times and will develop the project further with handbuilt and manipulated slab forms with sgraffito.

This artist residency is sponsored by Youth Arts and the CHRHS Art Club with advisor Brown. For more information about the artists, visit timchristensenpottery.net.

student tile

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Camden Hills Regional High School

November 6, 2013

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