A Celebration of All Things Cultural, Artistic, and Entertaining in Madison
Apr 19, 2011
Born to Create
When are you most creative? Or perhaps the more telling question is: when were you most creative?
When we were young, it came naturally. We’d draw, paint, sing, dance, perform and make up stories without realizing we wouldn’t always spend our days doing these things. It’s sad that as adults we don’t pursue creativity with the confidence, inclination and diversity that kids do.
Perhaps that’s why I always look forward to Young at Art, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s biannual exhibition of work by Madison Metropolitan School District students. Art teachers from the city’s public schools are allowed to submit up to three pieces to display.
The show is expansive, colorful, eclectic, thoughtful, playful, exuberant and countless other emotions that result when work from artists ranging from kindergarten to twelfth grade come together.
Colorful, abstract designs by elementary schoolers might grab your attention first. As you work your way through the first-floor gallery, Jamie Lom’s 100 Block of State Street [pictured above] may stop you. Using colored paper and oil pastel, the fifth grader cleverly captured the energy of the famed street.
Or perhaps you’ll be more intrigued by a corner of work by high school photographers. Diana Parker’s digital photograph, Surreal [shown at right], is certainly worth a look. A book seems to contain a turquoise ocean in addition to science text, while a goldfish swims in the sky above.
If this student knows Surrealism, another has learned Expressionism. Seventh grader Priya Heinen has taken on Edvard Munch’s The Scream, replacing the swirling red and blue background with somber shades of gray, turning the scene into environmental commentary.
If after perusing the works on display you still question the natural confidence of young artists, check out second-grader Hayleigh Reese’s mixed-media collage of a girl in a bright purple dress. The title? Fabulous Me.
Young at Art runs through May 15 at MMoCA. For more information, visit mmoca.org.
Photos courtesy of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.