September 04, 2007

SIUC to host Saturday Young Artists Program

by Andrea Hahn


CARBONDALE, Ill. — When a student has passion for art, more happens than just the construction of something to display. The mind opens in a new way to experiences accessible only through appreciation by creation. This fall, young people from the greater Carbondale area can find this out for themselves in the Saturday Young Artists Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The program, in its ninth year, brings art education majors in the SIUC School of Art and Design and elementary through high school students together to explore and create. This year, the program features for the first time a separate course for high school students.

Far Away Art Saturdays is for students from kindergarten to eighth grade. Sally Gradle, assistant professor of art education and head of undergraduate studies, said a cooperative effort with the University Museum education program will bring the students to the museum for part of the workshop to study the Morton May Collection of Papua New Guinea art. Students will learn why the people of Papua New Guinea made art they way they did and what it meant to them. Then the students head back to the studio in Allyn Hall to apply what they learned to art projects of their own. Some projects may include designing a ceremonial mask or shield, or creating paint from natural materials.

Gradle said the program can accommodate about 25 students, separated into groups by age. Lesson plans are flexible, she said, and can be extended for more advanced groups or prioritized for younger or more inexperienced learners.

The program runs Saturdays from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. from Sept. 8 to Oct. 13. Students meet in Allyn 102. Art education majors escort the groups to and from the museum. Cost is $40 for one student, $70 for two in a family.

Some community scholarships are available for those with financial need. To be considered for a scholarship, send a letter of recommendation from an art teacher or other appropriate reference to the Saturday Workshop Program, address given below.

Saturday Morning Out, a two-day program only for high school students, takes place Oct. 20 and Oct. 27. Both days involve the Works Progress Administration holiday greeting card exhibit at University Museum. This collection includes examples from Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco and other WPA-era artists. Students use what they learn in the museum in the creation of their own art.

Gradle said the first session helps the students learn how to "find their voice in a culture dominated by adults" and to use artistic expression as a voice. Students will study stylistic devices and learn to apply them to their own art to express their own ideas. The second session, Gradle said, focuses on "the impact of socio-cultural and political systems" on the lives of the students in the program. Students bring images of themselves along with text and image ideas for a collage. Images for students to use are also available from program materials.

These sessions are in Allyn 102 and all high school students are welcome. Gradle emphasized that expertise in art or participation in current art classes is not required – only a desire to learn about art and understand art. Parental permission is a requirement. Space is limited to the first 20 students who apply.

Send applications and other materials to: Sally Gradle, Saturday Workshop Program, School of Art and Design, Mail Code 4301, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 1100 S. Normal Ave., Carbondale IL 62901. Call 618/453-7765 for more information.