Cardigan Mountain School A boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 9

Cardigan Student Art on Display

Cardigan Student Art on Display

Cardigan students are just a day away from their winter holiday break! But before they leave, we want to take a moment to acknowledge all the work they’ve been putting into their art projects this fall. Below you will find a selection of their assignments and their finished pieces, many of which are also on display in the Tsui Yee Art Gallery in Wallach.

Seventh Grade Illustrative Self-Portraits

This fall in Seventh Grade Visual Arts, students focused on developing technical drawing skills and establishing a foundation on which they can build their abstract thinking. The fundamental concept of the fall unit was the relationship of the eye, hand, and mind. By framing drawing as a mind-body skill––much like pitching a baseball or passing a soccer ball––students were introduced to art-making in a relatable, intuitive way. Students also discussed the idea of art-making as a means of communication, viewing artists with a variety of iconography and viewpoints, including JooHee Yoon, Victo Ngai, Horace Pippin, Elizabeth Catlett, Phillip Guston, Gary Panter, and many more. The Illustrative Self-Portrait assignment asked students to develop this “way of seeing,” but with the addition of a self-expressive creative twist. 

 A selection of Black and White self-portraits

Seventh Grade Imaginary Architecture

The seventh grade’s Imaginary Architecture assignment builds upon the concepts introduced in their portraiture assignment, contextualizing the idea of architecture or a landscape as something that can carry “personality.” Students were introduced to the basics of technical perspective drawing, and shown examples of imaginative environmental design across a variety of genres and styles. Students were also tasked with working in the standards of the professional illustration world––a rough sketch, polished sketch, and finished piece. This format both encourages the students to experiment and work within the confines of a linear process.

A selection of imaginary landscape

Eighth Grade Digital Self-Portraits 

This project allowed students to explore the medium of Google Drawing, using the design principles of line, shape, and value. This project was a stepping stone to their Identity Portraits. 

Digital self-portraits

Eighth Grade Identity Portraits 

This self-portrait drawing unit explored identity through an anti-racist and anti-bias perspective. Students learned the vocabulary and tools necessary to identify, critically analyze, prevent, call out, and stop injustices from occurring. Referencing the work of professional artists––including Frida Kahlo, Chuck Close, Kehinde Wiley, Angelica Dass, and Byron Kim–– students explored how identities are often multi-layered and complex. After completing their self-portraits, students articulated verbally and/or through writing how they represented the different layers of their identity. 

Hand-drawn self-portraits

Ninth Grade Album Covers 

For this grade nine introduction to photography and digital design course, students wrestled with the theme, “Question Your Lens.” Starting with the idea that “Art communicates powerful ideas and fosters an understanding of history, culture, and each other,” students explored the following enduring and essential questions:

  • How does art communicate?
  • What choices do artists make?

In the Album Cover Design project students created front and back album covers with song lists, thinking about design elements with a focus on framing, mood, and emphasis.

Album cover art

One last project that is worth mentioning, even though students have yet to complete it, is titled Activist Art. The eighth-grade students engaged in this project are focusing on affecting positive social change through the creative process. After learning about student activists who have used their voices––including Greta Thunberg (climate activist), Malala Yousafazi (women’s rights and education activist), Mari Copney (Little Miss Flint), and Asean Johnson (fought against school closures) ––students learned that art can initiate change and they can use their art to help bring awareness to important issues. Students at Cardigan are learning to live and lead in the global world of today, and through this project, they realize that they can make a difference in big and small ways. We’ll share their finished projects when they are complete!

For a look at additional student artwork, visit our gallery!

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Cardigan Chronicle, Spring 2021

Read the latest issue of the Cardigan Chronicle! Published twice each year, featuring articles, updates on academic programs, campus projects, photographs from events, and much more.