August 4, 2015


Playing with your Art

Melanie Kehoss talks with summer art campers about what to look for in the art in the galleries at Arlington Arts Center
Melanie Kehoss talks with summer art campers about what to look for in the art in the galleries

It’s a summer of PLAY at AAC, in the galleries, on the grounds, and out and about! We’ve been bringin’ it to the people at Ballston’s Mega Farmers Market every First Thursday, and we’ve taken PLAY into the classroom for summer camps!

Last week, instructor Melanie Kehoss brought her campers into the main galleries to get them in the PLAY state of mind.

Summer art campers take notes and make sketches of what they observed in the galleries at Arlington Arts Center
Summer art campers take notes and make sketches of what they observed in the galleries

Her lesson introduced campers to art-making techniques they’d be using to create their projects, then she taught them how to experiment with the different methods of art-making they observed.

One of the projects focused on the work of Becca Kallem. Students spent time viewing Becca’s work in the South Meyer Gallery, taking notes on what they observed.

Later, back in the classroom, campers shared their observations, and Melanie led them in mark-making experiments with layers of paint.

Installation view of Becca Kallem's work in Arlington Arts Center's South Meyer Gallery
Installation view of Becca Kallem’s work in South Meyer Gallery

Finally, each student created art inspired by Becca’s work, which Melanie took and cut into pieces!

She got the campers to let creativity and chance takeover by cutting the paintings into squares, trading and rearranging them to form new works that depicted symbols inspired by the artwork they saw in the PLAY exhibition.

Watch the slideshow to see how the campers were inspired by Becca:


Did you ever think you’d need to learn vocabulary in art class? Well, it’s true! And it’s actually the foundation of most lessons, no matter what subject you’re studying. Here’s a sample of the vocab that the kids learned in Melanie’s camp:


Analogous colors: Any two or more colors that are next to each other on the color wheel and are closely related. For example, blue, blue-green, and green all have the color blue in common.

Mark-making (a compound term – let’s break it down): Mark: A visible trace or impression on a surface, such as a line, a dot, spot, stain, scratch, blemish, mar, bruise, crack, dent, boss, kerf, or pleat. A mark extended in time becomes a line. Everyone makes marks differently, just like handwriting, but it always starts with an impression on a surface.

Symbols: A form, image or subject representing a meaning other than the one with which it is usually associated

Non-objective: Artworks having no recognizable subject matter

Contrast: A large difference between two things; for example, hot and cold, green and red, light and shadow

Repetition: This term refers to a way of combining elements of art so that the same elements are used over and over again

Next week in Art Camp at AAC:

Camps are underway this week, and many have full waiting lists, but we still have some spots open in:

Ages 4 – 6

Deep Sea and Deep Space Discoveries: Aug 10 – 14, 1:30 – 4 PM

Ages 14 – 18

Photography Institute: Perspectives in Two Cities: Aug 10 – 21, 10 AM – 4 PM


March 30 - May 26, 2024

NO GRIDS NO MASTERS: a Post-Cartesian Experiment is an exploration and contestation of the grid and the structured set of worldviews that are embedded in it. Incorporating digital and traditional weaving, sculpture, found objects, and transformed cast materials, the installation reflects the artist’s intense engagement with material.

Artist Talk: Clarissa Pezone

Saturday / May 18 / 3pm-4pm

Pushing the possibilities of clay, Clarissa Pezone creates human and animal figures that are lifelike yet suffused with a sense of mystery. At this talk with the artist, she will discuss The Woods of No Name, her solo exhibition on view at the museum through May 26.

Federico Cuatlacuatl: Tiaxcas Intergalácticxs, Topileastronáuticxs

April 6 - May 26, 2024

In experimental film and multimedia installation, Federico Cuatlacuatl explores transborder indigenous Nahua identities. His work envisions indigenous futurity as a means of thinking about history, diasporic legacies, and cultural identities.