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Noormah's Reflections: November

12/18/23

Artists in Schools

Noormah's Reflections: November

CMA Resident Artist Noormah Jamal on her November projects at Children's Workshop School.

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This month, I introduced students to new mediums and techniques such as oil pastels, watercolor, gesture drawing, and pointillism, just to name a few. I moved onto my third lesson on 2D works, where we designed postage stamps and self portraits based on Picasso's cubist works.



I was pleasantly surprised the whole month long. Students exceeded my expectations in every assignment. Oil pastels are a favorite medium to many – the blendability of pastels kept students very engaged. 



The wet-on-wet watercolor and pointillism assignments simply blew me away. I was worried that students would feel overwhelmed, but they did so well. Some students did over-work the paper, but most were able to control the water-to-paint ratio and puddling on paper. I was so impressed watching them pool the paint and drag the puddle down with impeccable control. 




My favorite moments are when students are surprised by their own talent. The watercolor lesson was a whole class of joy. I had two younger students from another class sitting in, both of whom are very gifted artists. When I praised their work and showed the class their paintings as an example, the student remarked ‘And I’m not even in fifth grade, can you believe it?!’”



During the pointillism class, students not only painted fruits, but also situated them in a bowl or painted the background. I loved that they paid attention to the small details that make their works look “complete” or composed. The biggest change I’ve noticed so far is that students make sure I understand their “process,” or mode of making, and keep me in the loop on their progress.



Noormah’s work at Children’s Workshop School is supported by the Emergency Arts Education Fund, which provides free arts education to NYC school communities whose art programs have been decimated by recent budget cuts.


Children’s Museum of the Arts’ three Residents Artists are currently implementing ambitious arts curriculum at each of our partner sites throughout New York City: Hudson Guild in Chelsea, Sid Miller Academy in Crown Heights, and Children’s Workshop School in the East Village. Come spring, our residents will showcase their students' work through exhibitions and installations across the city. Learn how you can support the work of our residents here.

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