Friday, August 30, 2013

Pop Art That Pops Off The Page

In this issue of Sound Off, we cover an art medium we haven't covered before, Pop Art, which uses aspects of mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects and puts the focus on them in abstract form.

We spoke to Carolyn Brown, one of Camden Hills Regional High School's art and photography teachers about her students' Pop Art assignment.

"This was our Photo Class and I was showing them how to use Photoshop tools. I covered color theory, and different color combinations and how that was utilized in Pop Art. So. they worked from a photo they shot digitally and had to go in and use some of the selection tools and change the colors," she said. "In a real life application, if they were creating a web catalogue and wanted to sell 20 t-shirts colors for example, there's no need to shoot it 20 times. You'd go into Photoshop and re-color each one, which is how they do it for catalogue shoots."

Artist: Kaitlyn York

Note: this photo was not originally shot, but used from another source.

Artist: Marshall Spear

Artist: Peter Vannorsdoll

Artist: Alice Flint  

Artist: Sarah Haselton 

Q & A with Carolyn Brown

Editor: Are you just blown away sometimes about what your students' interpretation of the assignment is?

Carolyn Brown: Yes, some of them have really good imaginations if you just prod them a little a bit. They were so happy with this assignment, because they could interpret it the way they wanted. Of course, they had to learn the basics first, but then they're able to take those skills and apply it to their own ideas, producing something far more sophisticated than they could have done at the start of class.

Editor: Do you think you give these kids almost a college level education in your art classes at CHRHS? 

Carolyn: I think some of them really do take advantage of what we offer here and I think we are extremely lucky because a lot of the kids are really bright and pick things up quickly and run with it if you give them enough freedom to run with it. The thing I find we're fighting against is that a lot of them are used to doing work for the grade. But as long as I'm giving them the skill building at the early part of the class, they'll get more out of it. A lot of these kids do have the dedication and do have great imaginations to do something beyond the basic check list, as long as you make it clear to them that that's what you're looking for. They're not necessarily all going to be artists, but that creative thinking piece is going to carry them through any subject. Personal ownership of a subject and creative thinking makes it more interesting to the student.

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