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Mer-Cats, Volcanoes, and Teacups


Artists in Schools

Mer-Cats, Volcanoes, and Teacups

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

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Students took a page from Maria’s own artistic practice as they created air-dry clay pottery using hand-building techniques.

For inspiration, they looked to Picasso and his peer Giovanni De Simone, a Sicilian artisan known for his intense colors and cubist drawing style. 

They surveyed slab construction, coil building, and pinch pot techniques, and even got to knead their own clay using rolling pins. 

Students started out by creating basic clay forms like pinch pots and slab-built vessels, then experimented with different techniques to add textures and patterns to their form. Afterwards, they learned how to join clay pieces securely using water as a slip.

One student made a “Mer-Cat” – a cat who got lost at sea, ate seaweed, and grew a mermaid tail – while another student created a volcano and named it “Mount Kairi” after himself. One particularly thoughtful student created a teacup for his mother and even carved her initials into the bottom.

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.

Crown Heights, Brooklyn

End of Year Celebration at P396K Sid Miller Academy

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