I am honored to currently spend my time with the amazing young people at The Chicago High School for the Arts.

Below is a selection of student work from projects developed for the first-year visual artists in my Drawing By Design course.

Project: Make Remake
Essential Understanding: Artists and Designers play with form, material, and ideas. 

After analyzing the work and approaches of artists who work with non-objective imagery, we embodied two approaches to formal experimentation: intuitive mark-making and conceptual drawing. Students disassembled their two drawings to “remake” together, exploring composition and formal play. 

(earlier versions of this project worked with a grid)

Project: The Illustrated Figure
Essential Understanding: Artists and Designers tell stories, balancing representational and abstract imagery.

To practice narrative development and working with representational imagery, students interpreted a poem and made a cut paper illustration response – considering the interplay of figure and ground (positive and negative shape) to utilize the whole page and using source material to design imagery that is both specific and semi-abstract.

Project: “I am a DJ” Album Cover Design
Essential Understanding:

  • Problem-solving with limits can yield unexpected results.
  • Anything can be used (with responsibility) as source material for art.
  • I have the power and imagination to create a whole world with limited elements.

As a DJ mixes samples to work together into one cohesive song, we combine and visually manipulate borrowed (appropriated) elements to mix together (recontextualize) into a composition that reveals our understanding of spatial depth, emphasis, and visual unity. Students chose a song to inspire and guide stylistic choices and color palette.

Project Goals:

  • To practice source material collection, appropriation of imagery from the world around us
  • To generate many ideas for composition design (layout) with limited elements
  • To lead the viewer’s eye by creating emphasis or focal point
  • To experiment with methods of manipulating spatial illusion
  • To develop a color palette applying color meanings and color relationships
I love the variety of results!

A few of my favorites: