Recently the Art Studio’s Fall Intern, Rochelle Malter, a sophomore at Mount Holyoke College, designed a Special Sunday art activity for Museum guests. Below is her report on her experience.
When Diana asked me to design a Special Sunday project for the Art Studio, I was more than a little bit nervous. I love working in the Art Studio as an intern, but I’m a Religion major who doesn’t work on a lot of visual art in her free time. Diana encouraged me to take inspiration from an artform that I find myself drawn to as viewer. I immediately thought of comics and graphic novels! I really appreciate how cartoonists combine a written story with visual elements to create engrossing narratives. So, I decided to design a project based on comics. It was important to me that the project be engaging but not overly complex. I recalled a project I had helped with as an intern at The de Young Museum in San Francisco, which had involved creating multiple scenes on one folded piece of paper and a moveable character. It would be a comic quest!
Guests were invited to fold a blank piece of white paper into different sections to create different scenes for their comic quest. Two sections produces space for two scenes, three sections for three scenes. Drawing a line along the folded creases allows for a more distinct separation of the scenes. Then, guests created different scenes using drawing pencils, black colored pencils, black litho crayons, and black sharpies.
Guests created a variety of scenes: forests, cities, oceans, and outer space were all popular settings. Some guests chose to create one large scene instead of multiple smaller scenes.
Finally, guests were able to design and cut out a moveable character. The character could be based on themselves, someone they knew, a made up person, or an object. Once the character was created and cut out, it could be moved across the different scenes as if it was traveling to different places.
Originally, I envisioned the project in black and white like a traditional comic. However, one guest decided to add some color to the circus she had created and I found that I really liked the way the red and yellow she used stood out and and brightened her project. The following Sunday, when I offered the activity to guests again, I added red, orange, green, and blue colored pencils to drawing tools baskets on the tables.
It was really exciting to see how involved the guests were in the project as well as how they were able to draw inspiration from the basic idea to create many different scenes and characters. Visiting college students created detailed characters, while younger guests worked independently or with an adult on their scenes. Complex or in color, comic quests were lots of fun!