Kid Art Online" />
The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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Kid Art Online

PLAYING WITH PAINT Above, Kindergarten students mamke a masterpiece together. Below, Lower School art teacher Christina aids the creation of her students’ projects. Photo provided by Charlotte Hoskins

Kindergarten art students receive opportunity to learn from successful New York City artist

Learning about an author or artist in a classroom broadens one’s knowledge about their work; actual interaction with the artist provides a more extensive understanding of the work they produce. Hockaday Studio Art I students, primer students and kindergarteners recently experienced these benefits when meeting and talking with accomplished artist Nicola Lopez via Skype.

Lopez, an artist from Santa Fe, N.M. currently living in New York City, spoke to kindergartners about her work. Her printmaking, drawings and installation art have been exhibited at prestigious museums such as the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museums in New York City. Lower School art teacher Christina Brandt met Lopez at Anderson Art Ranch in Snowmass, Colo. over the summer.

“She was teaching a printing class and I was taking a painting class,” Brandt said. “I loved how she took the print from a painting on the wall and turned it into sculpture.”

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Brandt loved the idea so much she made it into a project for her students.

“They did an art exhibit in Purnell Gallery that focused on different women artists in every different style of art,” Brandt said about her students, “and for printmaking we studied and practiced the styles of Nicola Lopez.”

The kindergarteners modeled some of their artwork after Lopez’s methods.

“We noticed how a lot of her prints dealt with change and so we based projects after changes in their life—one girl did a mouth with all of her teeth missing,” Brandt said.

Brandt was then able to contact Lopez through her website and asked if she’d be willing to speak with the kindergartners. Lopez accepted the offer, and the date was set.

“I think that talking about art is a great thing,” Lopez said. “Hockaday was generous to include me in this conversation, so I was happy to accept.”

In early October, the kindergarten and primer classes huddled around a computer to talk to the woman who had inspired their art.

The girls had learned about Nicola Lopez before the Skype session and were able to ask questions, got a quick tour of her art studio and even got the chance to ask questions.

Kindergartener Caroline asked Lopez how she began making art and how her sculptures stick together. Lopez responded that she started making art in her childhood art classes, just like the girls; in order to attach her sculpture, she sometimes has a team of artists help her.

One of Lopez’s classmates, Chloe, asked “when did you know how to be an artist?”

Lopez told Chloe that her love of art inspired her to be an artist.

“One of Lopez’s pieces includes many oranges tubes,” Brandt said, “and one of the kindergarteners couldn’t wait to tell her how much she loved her orange gummy worm piece.”

Although some questions were silly, they demonstrated the necessary imagination and zeal needed to be an artist.  This opportunity provided the girls with the fun of seeing a studio of an artist and the knowledge of her expertise in the field of art.

“Our conversation was a way to talk about how creativity and curiosity can be a daily part of life,” Lopez said, “whether it is through a professional pursuit or individual passion.”

Brandt and Upper School art teacher Juliette McCullough agreed that the Skype session inspired their students with creativity and individualism.

Isabella, another kindergartener who spoke with Lopez, said, “I thought the coolest thing was how she made her drawings half from imagination and half from real life things she was looking at.”

Their communication with Lopez taught the girls a valuable lesson about women in the arts.

“Everyone can do art, even if they are a boy or a girl,” Isabella said. “Well, they at least have to be able to be good drawers.”

Lopez admitted that the Hockaday students were not the only lucky ones of that day.

“I’m inspired by seeing people doing anything with great sincerity and dedication,” Lopez said. “Children especially need this inspiration, so I was reminded of a sense of responsibility to do the best I can.”

Brandt feels certain that her students will not forget about Lopez anytime soon.

“She was a woman and she was alive,” Brandt said. “People tend to think that a known artist has to be dead so it was neat that Lopez was so recent and relevant.”

– Sydney

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