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Creating Art at Yorktown Education
- September 22, 2015
- Posted by: Randall Reiners
- Category: Picking the Best School
On a Saturday in June, my family and I went to view the Inca: Conquests of Andes exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. Knowing that Yorktown would be headed to Peru in June of 2016, I wanted to explore the exhibition to see how the ancient Inca used design in their artwork. While observing the exhibition, I noticed that most of the featured art in the exhibit were textiles: tunics, hats, and ponchos that were highly colored, detailed, and patterned. The imagery in the textiles featured basic geometric patterns, idols, and elaborate repeated symbols. Other featured art consisted of jewelry, embossed metal goblets and tableware, and ceramic sculptures. The “bird gods,” the geometric symbols and patterns in the textiles, and the images from the embossed metals created the elements of inspiration for the “ancient world” features of the painting. Looking at today’s Peru, merchants and locals create, sell, and present textiles, dolls, and other merchandise with a very intense and bold color palette. With the bright and powerful color palette of contemporary Peru and the symbolism and pattern work of Peru’s past, my innovation in this painting became to merge the two worlds of Peru together. The acrylic paint itself in the piece pays homage to the masterful Incan stone architecture and monuments, the power of ancient idols in a culture (the bird gods), the geometric and embossed patterns used everywhere in Incan visual arts, and the intensity of Peru’s contemporary color palette, whereas checkered fabrics and spun yarn capture the emphasis and importance of Peru’s artistic textiles and where these fabrics originated from (alpaca wool).
In creating this painting as an artist and a teacher, I realized in the process that projects like this are what sets Yorktown Education apart from other schools: Art, teacher-created projects, a unified collaborative curriculum, and student interaction all come together to teach each student in more than just one way. This painting not only educates by featuring history and current culture of Peru’s current times and it’s past, but it also reminds students of what’s to come: an adventure they will never forget. I am so grateful and proud for the opportunity to create and feature this piece at Yorktown. My hope is that the students notice how I teach what I love, and I do what I love, and that they remember to always do what they love as well, and understand that their passions can change anything in a meaningful way.
Article written by Paige Lane, Fine Arts Teachers for the Lower and Upper School