Jeweled Traditions and AAC’s Summer Camp: Art Trekkers
Summer art camp is a great way for kids to create new memories, and this summer your cherished traditions will be great inspiration for the art they’ll make in the Art Trekkers summer camp.
This week-long camp, designed for 7-10 year old students, begins Monday July 13, and the lessons are typically focused on the rich arts events that the DC metro area has to offer.
Each summer Art Trekkers learn about exhibitions on view in local galleries, museums, and art centers, including AAC, but this year instructor and artist Melanie Kehoss has added a new component to the camp. For the first time, campers will have the opportunity to contribute to the local arts scene by exhibiting their own work in collaboration with Melanie.
This summer during the first half of the camp students will explore current exhibitions in Washington DC. Campers will work on projects inspired by the Peacock Room and Filthy Lucre installation at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Shirin Neshat’s photographs at the Hirshhorn Museum, and Michael Gross’ paintings at the Katzen Arts Center.
After seeing examples, students will use the techniques and ideas employed by the artists of these exhibitions to create their own work.
The second half of the Art Trekker’s camp will focus on a collaboration with Melanie around her new project, Jeweled Traditions. Melanie is a talented and accomplished visual artist. She has taught and exhibited her artwork in various institutions throughout the country, including AAC. Her work consists of colorful paper silhouettes mounted inside of custom-built light boxes that depict cultural rituals and traditions.
When we asked Melanie how she chooses the imagery for her light boxes, she said, “I am attracted to popular practices that have unexpected or ironic origins, and to lesser-known rituals that have branched off from the mainstream. To draw these scenes, I combine imagination and memory with source material, such as found photographs, documentaries, and historical paintings.”
For this collaborative exhibition students will draw memories of rituals that they practice with their family, and will then play the parts to recreate those memories as tableaux. Melanie will demonstrate how to act out a scene from the past, and will photograph the campers as they act out their memories. Students will then trace the photographs of their tableaux as silhouettes. To complete the piece, Melanie will transfer the student’s drawings to black paper, cut them out, and mount them between colored Plexiglas sheets.
Our camper’s work will be featured in the Jeweled Traditions exhibition at the Westover Library during the summer of 2016, and in AAC’s atrium alongside the 2016 Spring SOLOS, April 16 – June 12, 2016. As the Plexiglas pieces are hung by the library’s windows, sunlight will animate the memories of the children as colored shadows that dance across the floors and bookshelves.
If you can’t wait to see the exhibition, Melanie’s work is featured in a cut paper art exhibit at the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts in Fridley, Minnesota from June 26th – July 18th. For those of you who won’t be traveling Minnesota in the next few weeks, you’ll also have a chance to check out her work at a solo show at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD, which will take place in late 2016.