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Students Create Sculptures and Paintings Inspired by Iconic Israeli Artists

January 9, 2018 by Jill Stepak (Faculty and Staff)

As part of our yearlong celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday, students are learning about prominent Israeli art and artists, and creating paintings and sculptures inspired by these artists’ works. MILTON students were not only introduced to the works of the iconic artists, but to unique media, materials, and techniques as well.

Second graders have been exploring the work of Sigalit Landau. Drawing inspiration from the topographical, historical, biblical, cultural, political and environmental realms of the Dead Sea, Landau turns to the natural process of salt crystallization, exclusive to the Dead Sea, for her unique artistic technique. Submerging objects and sculptures in its waters, Landau relies on the Dead Sea to breathe life into inanimate objects, which emerge from their submersion as if belonging to a different world. Inspired by Landau’s remarkable work, second graders explored the use of salt in their own art by using glue to create artwork, then sprinkling salt on top. Once the salt was dry, they used watercolors to paint the salt, resulting in fantastical watercolor effects, which appears somewhat like tie-dye!

Meanwhile, third graders learned about Moshe Safdie, an architect, urban designer, educator, theorist, and author. His creations – including his most prominent work, Habitat 67 – are known for their dramatic curves, geometric patterns, and the use of open spaces. His use of geometric shapes is especially perfect for students to recreate using paper. Following a lesson on paper sculpture techniques and using Safdie’s architecture as inspiration, third graders built their own houses, neighborhoods, and stadiums in brilliant color. They learned to support three-dimensional structures using tabs, folds, and other techniques. This project dovetails with the third grade Hebrew curriculum that focuses on home and neighborhood.

Fourth graders took inspiration and guidance from the sculptures of Robert Indiana, specifically his 1977 Hebrew recreation of his iconic LOVE sculpture, AHAVA, which he gifted to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Indiana’s sculptures translate the two-dimensional written word into precise and monumental three-dimensional art. During a unit on three-dimensional paper sculpture, fourth graders were challenged to create a paper sculpture of their names. Students really used their own imaginations to figure out how their letters could stand up on their own. They were encouraged to use different folding and cutting techniques, and to strategically use glue rather than tape to “hide the secret” of how their artwork was made.