Art classes in the Middle School are going strong this fall with tons of vibrant and creative artwork being produced. This week, sixth graders created their own comic book characters, seventh graders worked on shading and value, and eighth graders began mini-landscape illustrations.
“We are trying to do a lot of inquiry into what a student's identity is and how that can be expressed through the world of art,” first-year Middle School Art Teacher Ariella-Sophie Sternberg said. “Especially in Middle School, which is such an age of transition, students are figuring out who they are, their place in the world, and I'm relating to that transition, too, because I'm transitioning to being new to OES.”
Sternberg (no relation to Lower School Learning Specialist Ari Sternberg) tasked her students with making, binding, and using personal sketchbooks to practice skills they learn in class, develop ideas, and keep a fun record of all of their work in art classes.
“Sketchbooks are a structured way that students use to craft their own work,” Sternberg said. “Every student has made their own sketchbook, which as a book artist, is really exciting.”
On Thursday, sixth graders jumped into making their own mixed media comics. After looking for inspiration in comic books and graphic novels Sternberg provided, many students began hand-drawing their comics, while some used collaging and other media.
“They're thinking proactively about character design and now they're going to start making their own comics from scratch,” Sternberg said. “So there's that iterative process where we've got this idea of visual storytelling from so many different angles, and now they can really embed that into every aspect of what they do.”
Sternberg has developed an enjoyable, creative, and safe space for Middle Schoolers to share their artistic voices and the future is bright.
“One of the things I've really appreciated is giving students an opportunity to share their voice,” Sternberg said. “Art is this amazing gateway into what's been going on in their minds.”