Studio Art Beach Build
The Studio Art Class at St. Michael’s Country Day School brought their creative efforts to Easton’s Beach for their annual Beach Build. Middle School students were tasked with creating a large-scale group piece, using the sand and surrounding earth elements as their canvas. The artists relied on simple gardening tools and gathered materials at hand; including shells, rocks, seaweed, sea glass, and lobster claws to bring their creation to life (all utilized without disturbing the dunes and natural landscape).
The project is inspired by their studies of Andrew Goldsworthy, a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist who produces land art in natural and urban settings. Students in grades 5 through 8, along with teachers Leslie Keohane and Robert Kalaidjian, worked on the installation.
Goldsworthy creates site specific installation working with natural material. Students watched Rivers and Tides a Documentary · Portrait of Andy Goldsworthy, an artist whose specialty is ephemeral sculptures made from elements of nature.
Students then brainstormed ideas for the Easton's Beach installation, and sketched out their designs. This years design was created by 8th grader Genevieve M. Next, students took the elements of the design and created collages, using natural materials from the yard outside the classroom. The focus was on texture. pattern and scale, using leaves, grass, stones and berries as art material.
Students were grouped into teams of 3 and each team was given an element to create as they saw fit. Some teams used elements previously explored in their materials collage. Others improvised with the material found on the beach. All teams had to adapt to the weather conditions (windy), the material available, and each other.
Back in the studio, students reviewed the day with photographs, drawings of their sculptures, and a written reflect of the day.