Adventures in art

Masters of Illusion

Adventures in Art with Many Rivers

Over the course of two sessions, eighteen student artists ranging from grade three to five worked alongside teacher candidate Raven Lynn Zeh to explore the concept of illusion.  For their first class, November 7th, Mz. Zeh visited the students in their Many Rivers classroom at Hall Elementary School in Portland. Together, they discussed illusions as they occur in nature and in art.  The students were introduced to the process of paper marbling and taught an accessible technique using shaving cream and food coloring. Students used this class period to generate their own marbled paper, which they were informed they would be using to create paper sculptures the following week.  Their second class was held on location at SPACE gallery in downtown Portland on November 13th. The students visited Confabulations of Millennia at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Maine College of Art and discussed the illusionistic works of artists John Brauer, Douglas Goldberg, and Livia Marin.  After this discussion, students participated in a scavenger hunt to find other illusions in the gallery and were given the opportunity to share their findings. Students returned to SPACE with newfound inspiration and began work on their own illusionistic paper sculptures.  During work time, students were encouraged to move between stations and use a variety of techniques. The workshop closed with a reflective ball toss game in which students could share what they had learned about paper sculpting, space and form, problem-solving, and illusion.