Each year thousands of students visit the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens during it’s week long VSA Festival. Not only do our student visitors enjoy the rare experience of being in a museum and touring our historic gardens, but as a part of their visit they also engage in several art making projects throughout the museum.
For many of these students the VSA Festival presents the only time in the year when they will have exposure to the arts and access to art materials. With that in mind the education staff of the Museum has striven to create several engaging and meaningful activities for students during their visit.
This year’s projects range from painting to sculpting to collage and clay hand-building. The theme that ties these projects together is their focus on the natural world and their reflection of the Museum’s art collection as well as its gardens.
In our painting project each student will use brushes, sponges and smaller tools to create a vibrant, abstract landscape made up of varying tones of green highlighted by the addition of orange and magenta representing blooming flowers.
The representation of the natural world continues in the collage project where each student will create an image of the sky using blue poster board and a variety of textured papers in various shades of blue, gray and white.
In the gardens our student visitors will sculpt flowers, insects, fish, plants, or birds with colored pieces of wire. They can manipulate the wire with their hands, or wooden dowels that will be provided, to create whatever their surroundings inspire them to build.
For our clay project this year students will use white clay to create flowers inspired by the Cummer Gardens. Students will use their hands to form to the flower center and petals. They can add details and texture to their flowers with carving tools.
Finally, students will create an accordion book and draw their own cover design with an image inspired by the permanent collection around them. They will then attach a paper frame around their cover artwork to complete their masterpiece. They can then add additional drawings and written words inside the book about their festival experience when they return to school.
In addition to creating projects that are of value to each student that visits us during VSA week, the education staff has also made sure to develop these projects so that they are adaptable for all ability levels. Whether any particular student is visually, language, or hearing impaired. Whether they possess emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disabilities, every student that comes through our doors will be able to participate in every project we offer.