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Lesson Plans

notan experience

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Tom Johnsen (koordt)
Sat, 13 Nov 1999 07:29:46 -0700

Here's one:

I curate a local art gallery in the lobby of our small theatre in Ukiah,
and decided to hang a number of notan works produced by my art students.

I gave them a small square of black paper and a 9 x 12 piece of white
sulphite and scissors and glue. I gave a rudimentary demonstration and
talk and let them go. Each one made one. I made sure they signed their
name on it--so that I would know who it was who made it. I tried to get
them to make the signature on the back so that I wouldn't have too many
problems in matting. I have about 60 black metal frames in three
different sizes, have a mat cutter in my garage--so all work that needs
framing gets it.

cut to the chase: when framing the works, each picture suddenly had a
top and a bottom which bore no relation to the signature of the student
who had presumably signed it "on the bottom" and further, because I knew
the students, showed some particularly strong aspect of themselves. I
immediately titled them: "the hunter", "the guardian", etc.

I'm planning to bring the show (which closes in a week) to school to
show the young artists and the rest of the school. It is funny how a mat
and a frame and glass make art work stand up to be seen.

Has anyone else had such experiences, how art reveals so much without
intending to!

Tom in Potter

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