Students at the Mispillion Art League (MAL) in downtown Milford have been traveling the globe this summer as they participate in an ongoing program called Around The World. Led by MAL artists Cathy Walls, Erica Rae and Vicki Hudson, students will learn about five unique cultures, famous native artists and their influence on the larger art community.
The five-week class that will continue each Tuesday and Wednesday through July 30, begins each session as students are asked to draw the flag of the country they are visiting in their passport booklet. Beginning in the United States, students will have the opportunity to look at other countries including Mexico, Switzerland, Nigeria and Japan. While visiting those countries, children will have a chance to review famous works of art by one artist from the day’s host country and create art themselves.
“This class allows kids to get outside of their own culture, they are not traveling themselves to these countries so this gives them exposure to many different influences that they can use in their everyday lives,” said Hudson, one teacher of the Around The World summer course. “Some of them may not be exposed to them otherwise.”
On Wednesday July 16, tour guide Vicki Hudson led students on a trip to Switzerland to study Paul Klee and learn about his use of warm and cool colors. A painter born in Munchenbuchsee, Switzerland, Klee began creating much of his art in black and white until he was introduced to the world of color by his colleague Wassily Kandinsky. Klee is famous for his colorful paintings including Red Ballon, Katze und Vogel and Siblings. A unique form of art, Klee’s pieces are influenced by movements in art such as expressionism, cubism and surrealism.
Displaying each photo on an overhead screen for the students to experience, Hudson showed the children how Klee uses warm and cool colors to create paintings where parts of the whole either stand out or blend in to the background. Students learned about the warm colors in the color wheel including reds, oranges and yellows and cool colors in the color wheel including blues, greens and purples. Creating their own works of art, students traced their hands and drew either lines or circles across the page. They were then asked to use warm and cool colors in a way to create contrast between two parts of the painting. Reminding the young artists that Klee’s masterpieces were creative and unique, Hudson encouraged the students to be expressive and original.
“Art can be anything you want it to be,” commented Hudson. “If you enjoy it and it makes you happy, it is the right kind of art.”
Starting the Around The World program during the week of forth of July, the journey started in the state of Georgia with artist Jasper Johns as students painted American flags using newspaper. Next they were off to Mexico to learn about retalbo folk art, painting on metal as they learned about the surrealist painter Frida Kahlo. Last week, the travelers traveled to Switzerland where artist Paul Klee taught them about warm and cool colors. During the last two weeks of the class the young artists will visit Nigeria to learn from artist and tribal chief Jimoh Buraimoh and Japan where they will learn about the famous wood block printer Hokusai and do relief printing. All young artists are invited to participate on the last two weeks of the class and can do so by calling the Mispillion Art League at 302-430-7646.
“With limited resources and time during school, students do not have time to experience all of the different items they do here,” commented Hudson. “Coming here they can experience different mediums as a true artist.”