Inflatable Sci-Fi Utopian Society

Art Discipline: Visual Arts

Inflatable Sci-Fi Utopian Society was an amazing artist in residency at McMeen Elementary. The residency was with the amazing artist Nicole Banowitz who worked with the entire 5th grade class of 106 students, and two art teachers Emilee Claypool and Jennifer Crawford. Our 5th grade student population was asked a rich and thoughtful question “What is your vision for a better world?” This question started us on our creative process journey. Starting with students researching Utopias and Dystopia to understand what they envision for a better world. Then the entire classes brained stormed their ideas for a utopia and combined them into a big planning session that determined their collaborative groups for the final work of art. Nicole with her elegant and strong teaching skilled taught the students the steps in making an inflatable sculpture. Students experienced pattern making, constructing these parts together, working in large scale with mylar, collaboration and teamwork, and exhibition their artwork in a professional gallery space. Inflatable Sci-Fi Utopian Society was an amazing artist in residency at McMeen Elementary. The residency was with the amazing artist Nicole Banowitz who worked with the entire 5th grade class of 106 students, and two art teachers Emilee Claypool and Jennifer Crawford. Our 5th grade student population was asked a rich and thoughtful question “What is your vision for a better world?” This question started us on our creative process journey. Starting with students researching Utopias and Dystopia to understand what they envision for a better world. Then the entire classes brained stormed their ideas for a utopia and combined them into a big planning session that determined their collaborative groups for the final work of art. Nicole with her elegant and strong teaching skilled taught the students the steps in making an inflatable sculpture. Students experienced pattern making, constructing these parts together, working in large scale with mylar, collaboration and teamwork, and exhibition their artwork in a professional gallery space.

There were several highlights in this project. The first was how highly engaged the student were in creating a work of art that they envisioned. This project really gave the students ownership of what they wanted to make and their own artistic process and voice. Another highlight of this project was the artist statements, where you can really hear their envision and ideas for a utopia. Students were so thrilled to see their artwork in a professional setting and exhibited for the public to see and read their artist statements.

Last but not least, another big highlight of this project was working with artist Nicole Banowetz. Nicole is not only an artists, but a teacher. She knows classroom management, how to deliver the information to the students in a way for students to understand, and she is a joy to work with on any project.

 

Nicole Banowetz is a Denver sculptor who makes sewn inflatable sculptures and delicate assembled forms. Her artwork addresses vulnerability and struggle. She empowers objects through embellishment, building up protective layers, which with time become destructive. Her forms move freely between growth and decay blurring the distinction between decoration and disease.

 

 

Project Images