Every Art Studio intern at The Carle designs a special one-day art activity for Museum guests with the guidance and assistance of the Studio Educators. Aiyi, one of our recent interns, hosted a special Studio activity exploring prints made with fruits and vegetables. Together, we sat down to write about how it went, from her point of view:
When I was asked to design a Special Sunday project, I first thought about how I do my own art. Sometimes it's hard to explain what my work is about, since what I'm doing is just playing with the color, shape, and the texture of materials. I wanted the Museum guests to have as much fun with materials as I do. You may have done veggie printing at home or school before, but for a Special Sunday we prepare for around 60 people to be able to participate. That means that the project design has a lot to do with how we set up the materials and space.
After talking with Diana and Meghan, I decided to assign a color to each type of veggie (we used tempera paint) and give each color/veggie combo its own table. Color mixing is fun, but if we placed the colors close together, the crossing of veggie stamps would mix all the colors to brown pretty quickly. The veggies we used for this project included broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, white mushrooms, and bell peppers. I cut all of the veggies in half and visitors printed with the flat side, producing a range of marks in the paint. People discovered many techniques for using these common materials. Some used the veggies to print, some to brush, and some mixed colors. Many liked the sound of the veggies dropping on the table.
Some created a landscape, one created an image of a flower in a vase, and others were abstract. I think the project attracted kids who don't love making art because it was just about playing with materials.
A few things we tried that were successful: providing paper in long strips and squares encouraged pattern making; pulling the chairs away encouraged movement; adding a tray of blue paint containing all the veggies offered a variation of shapes with just one color. If I have an opportunity to do this again, I would like to experiment with using natural material as paint, to make the experience closer to nature. I would also like to try bringing fruit into this project. So, now that farm share season is in full swing, take out the paint and get printing!