Art Studio Intern Project: Paper Adventure Maps
In the Spring semester of 2016 the Art Studio hosted two interns: Aibhlin Hannigan and Shannon Dover from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s class of 2017. Together, they designed and hosted a special activity on a Saturday afternoon during the run of the Art Studio’s Every Day Art Project: Materials in Motion. Aibhlin and Shannon would like to share their project and development process, so they will take it from here!:
We started brainstorming for our special project by talking about the books we liked to read as kids. After reminiscing about all the books we remember, we realized how many of them are stories of adventures and journeys. We considered the journey stories told in Oh The Places You’ll Go!, Are You My Mother?, and Harold and the Purple Crayon. With stories like Alice in Wonderland and Jack and the Beanstalk in mind, we set about designing a project where guests could use both their imaginative and problem solving skills to create an adventure - on paper. Inspired also by board games, the idea of getting from one place to another reminded us a lot of Candyland.
Next we began to think about materials that would lend themselves to our concept and ruled out offering a wide variety of materials that could distract our guests from the process of creating an imaginary adventure with paper. We agreed that the materials we chose should lend themselves to working in 3D. At this point, it was clear that we wanted to offer a way for our guests to create an adventure map to go with their just-created found materials sculpture.
Because our project idea worked well with the Everyday Art Project, it made sense to offer a small selection of basic materials. We ended up choosing white paper cut to different sizes and shapes, and crayons for the primary materials. With paper and crayons, guests could imagine a knight’s quest, trip to see a new place or something completely new with no representation in mind. Glue and scissors were provided for construction, along with white 19” X 13” drawing paper as a base or background surface.
While wanted the project to be open-ended, we also wanted have ready a few questions that could spark ideas and help our guests imagine a journey for their sculptures of things that go. We displayed signs at each work table with questions for pondering:
Where will you go?
How will you get there?
Who will go on the adventure with you?
Although it wasn’t a busy day in the Art Studio, guests who tried this project imagined unique adventures and found many different ways to manipulate paper. From 3D trees and bridges, to drawing with crayons, each person came up with ways to make the project their own. Some guests even combined their sculpture and map. We enjoyed seeing where people would go, how they would get there, and who would with them.