Artists are everywhere


The Forest School

Art Update

artists are everywhere


Elementary Studio

In the elementary studio, we have been working on our drawing and illustration skills through the creation of comic strips. Week one of this session we discussed what makes an intriguing character in a story, and why certain characters/superheroes/villains might stand out in their minds.

The heroes were then challenged to create their own superhero with the following guidelines:

  • The superhero is easily recognizable (paying attention to size, shape, color)

  • The superhero needs to look different from the character it will dialogue with

  • The superhero needs a unique superpower

The heroes eagerly engaged in the project, and it was fascinating to watch their imaginations at work! One hero came up with 34 different variations of his superhero, and proudly showed off his detailed illustrations the following week. Another hero took an empathetic approach to her comics, and created a superhero that had the power to give cancer patients curly hair.  As a parent and an educator, these moments are what it’s all about. Be sure to ask your hero about their superhero!

Elementary heroes also created traditional crafts from around the world during this session, creating visuals for their immigration quest prototypes. This collaboration was a fun way for the heroes to see how strong visuals can enhance their work and presentations. The crafts also gave the heroes a chance to learn about art with a global perspective, glimpsing into the lives and stories of people from around the world.  Heroes became fabric designers, weavers, henna artists, musical instrument designers, and pysanka artisans for these projects.

Middle School Studio

Over the past month, middle school heroes have had the opportunity to explore, compose, and notice the details of the beautiful world around us through the medium of photography.  Two projects were given to engage heroes:

1)Photo-alphabet scavenger hunt: heroes found the letters in the alphabet in their surroundings, then chose letters to create a word composition that describes (or they would like to describe) the school

2)Shadow art: heroes ‘noticed’ the light and composed shadow portraits of themselves and their friends, as well as shape and line compositions

“FAMILY”, images by Noah


“COOL”, images by Liam


image by Landon

We also discussed the work of Jeremy Cowart, known as ‘the most socially influential photographer on the web’.  Cowart has worked as a graphic designer, fashion and humanitarian photographer, fine artist, and is currently designing a hotel. His work inspired heroes to think about the many ways artists can work professionally, and how diversifying their work opportunities can be advantageous.

Sometimes kids think, especially as they get older, that artists are limited to individuals who are skilled with a pencil or a brush. One of the ideas I am trying to help all the heroes understand, is that artists are everywhere, coming up with novel and innovative ways for others to see the world or communicate an idea….and that hopefully, through practice, they can find ways to commission their own inner artist as well.

Banner image via

Tyler Thigpen