Communicating is a key factor in both learning about art and expressing oneself artistically. Art is a communication tool, and when artists share their art, they are trying to express fragments of their personal conversation, or their emotions, to the world around them.
This week, the Senior Class of the Jaclyn M Welsh Arts High School in Pawtucket has a two-part exhibit opening in DAWN At The GRANT Gallery in which they voice their interactions with local senior citizens and give voice to the creative journey they have accomplished to-date.
As expressed by one of the students, “Over the past four years at JMW Arts High School, students have been given the opportunity to further their education in visual arts. Professional artist and master sculptor Chris Kane designed a curriculum in which his students are exposed to multiple medias, practices and strategies used by artists… Students’ final year with Mr. Kane is spent in a class called Portfolio/Public Art, in which their voice and image is exposed to the public. The students this year have been working hard to create works of multiple medias, such as painting murals, figure drawing and photography, to find their voice in the world of visual art.”
A major part of the exhibit at DATG Gallery, “Conversations In Metal” includes an intergenerational art project worked on and completed over the past year. “Conversations in Metal” is an exhibit of cast metal sculpture made by senior art majors from JMW Arts High School and senior citizen participants from the Leon Mathieu Senior Center. This art project was a partnership between the Pawtucket School Department, the Leon Mathieu Senior Center, Kane Sculpture Studio and Tunstall, a world leader in elder healthcare services. The high school art students and senior citizens worked with professional sculptor Chris Kane to create a series of complex forms in wax, which were then cast in aluminum.
The students and seniors began the project with a story exchange exercise that helped break the ice and led to deep conversations. Phrases from these conversations were cut into the wax bars that make up the sculptures. Legibility of the text is diminished by the many process steps involved in casting the complex knotted forms of the sculptures, leaving intriguing fragments of the conversations that began the process hidden among the drips, welds and tool marks that define the surface.
This year, at least 15 students will be giving voice to their art, expressing themselves in images and creative fragments to the world. The participating artists include Madeline Duffin, Timmy Ok, Aimme Martinez, Saxante Gonzalez, Jordon Omelas, Kevin Charron, Leenda Moitoso, Tiffany Warner, Katelin Tirrel, Patience Waring, Joshua Santos, Laila Cannon, Emma White, Erin Perkins and Brendan Baker.
Join them in conversation.
The combined exhibits are on display at 250 Main Street, Pawtucket. The show opening takes place on Tuesday, May 17 from 6 – 9pm and it runs through June 4. The best opportunity to visit the exhibit is on Thursdays from 11 am – 3pm.