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Observational Drawing: What’s Outside Your Window?

2/27/24

Artists in Schools

Observational Drawing: What’s Outside Your Window?

Dispatches from CMA Resident Artist Maria D. Rapicavoli's after school class at Hudson Guild.

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What do you see or hear from your window? Students used that simple question as a prompt as they continued their capstone research process with an activity that served as a practical application of the observational drawing skills they learned during the fall semester. 



With the help of a worksheet, students identified 10 things they observe or hear from their window. 



For the next step, students translated their observations into art by creating paintings based on the elements they listed. 



Kairi, while drawing a grid and painting all the things he sees from his window, took a creative turn by introducing a large black stain to his composition. He articulated how the void represents the profound existential questions in his mind.


For him, art provides a liberating space where he can freely explore these uncertainties, play with his imagination, and have fun.



In contrast, Elian shared his desire to get rid of all the unanswered questions that Kairi talked about. He made a grid of both real and imaginary objects.



Together with the trees and buildings that he sees from his window, Elian drew a light blue building that recurrently appears in his dreams — a sanctuary where he does nothing but peacefully contemplate until he wakes up.



Both students not only depicted the physical reality that they observe from their windows, but also explored the symbolic dimensions of their inner world. 



Maria's work at Hudson Guild 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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