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Noormah's Reflections: September & October


Artists in Schools

Noormah's Reflections: September & October

CMA Resident Artist Noormah Jamal on her first two months at Children's Workshop School.

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The first two months of the school year consisted of an introduction to drawing – observational drawing with shapes, drawing outdoors, drawing textured objects and 1-point perspective. We discussed line quality and pressure, while working with various numbered h-hb pencils and charcoal (subtractive drawing). With tone and gradient on our minds, we then moved to color. We started with the color wheel and primary-secondary colors, followed by tints, shades, hue, and warm and cool color tones.

I loved how visuals from previous assignments keep making an appearance in my students’ work. Many students incorporated 1-point perspective while creating new works. 

All kids are artists. But around the fifth grade, some tend to believe that they are not. I learned that there is an ‘assignment' for every child. For instance, some students found observational drawing intimidating, but had the complete opposite reaction to charcoal. Once they realized it was an approachable medium akin to ‘child’s play,’ their curiosity and experimentation was on full display.

When I first started teaching, I was afraid of the silence. In my first class, only 3-4 students asked questions. Now, most of my class asks questions – what we are doing next week, wanting to revisit assignments, noticing old drawing errors, learning and focusing on perspective, line quality, and composition. All of it is a joy.

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.

Crown Heights, Brooklyn

End of Year Celebration at P396K Sid Miller Academy

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