Visiting Artist Fellowship at Portsmouth High School in partnership with Rio Grande University, Ohio.  September 2018.  

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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On the first day of my visiting artist workshop, I introduced my shadow tracing process with a game. We set up an old school projector as a strong light source. One student held a plant clipping between the light source and paper on the wall, and another student traced the silhouettes cast on the paper. Each round lasted 2 minutes, and I introduced new criteria as the collaborated painting developed.

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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On the second day, we went out into the courtyard and the students painted observational, silhouette studies of the plants. Halfway through the class, I asked the students to stop working on their individual paintings, partner with another student, and collaborate on a painting that unites their two separate works. It was exciting to see and hear the students evaluating their marks, negotiating, planning, and working together. I was fascinated to see that the students just so happened to pair with other who had similar mark-making styles.

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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Photograph by April Deacon

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
Invisible protector. Transparent image

Photograph by April Deacon

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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On the third day, the students creating larger collaborative paintings to unite their individual works.

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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On the fourth day, we painted in the campus sculpture garden and the skies were finally clear enough for us to trace some shadows.

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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On day five, we returned to the classroom and played some games to slow down the observational painting process and the results were amazing!

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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With the help of art students from Rio Grande University, I photocopied all the paintings and cut the photocopies into stencils. On the sixth, seventh and eighth days of the workshop, the students collaged the stencils onto windows in the main stairwell of the high school. After school on the eighth day, the art teacher, April Deacon and I sprayed frosted glass spray paint over the stencils.

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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Photograph by a Portsmouth High School student

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
Invisible protector. Transparent image

Photograph by a Portsmouth High School student

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
Invisible protector. Transparent image

Photograph by a Portsmouth High School student

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
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On the ninth day, we removed the stencils to reveal the collaborative murals. We brainstormed and voted and the students chose to name the murals, "Frosted Sugar Breeze" and "Frosted Flora."

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School spray paint on glass
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Frosted Sugar Breeze
2018
spray paint on glass

One two murals in the front stairwell of the high school.

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School spray paint on glass
Invisible protector. Transparent image
Frosted Sugar Breeze
2018
spray paint on glass

One two murals in the front stairwell of the high school.

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School spray paint on glass
Invisible protector. Transparent image
Frosted Flora
2018
spray paint on glass

One two murals in the front stairwell of the high school.

Katie M. Westmoreland Portsmouth High School
Invisible protector. Transparent image


Many thanks to the most amazing artist and teacher, April Deacon, who applies for and receives grant funding to enrich her students' lives and the Portsmouth community with art! The experience of leading this workshop was incredibly meaningful to me, but I was most impacted by April's vision and hard work. The next visiting artist is helping April and the students plant a garden and build a food bank for the students and their families.

Photograph by a Portsmouth High School student