Art Teacher, Baldwin High School
Art Class Portfolio Critique
Partial Video Transcript
“Congratulations to the students in art teacher Meredith Healy-Kurz’s art class at Baldwin High School for winning the Art Teacher’s Prize in the 2017 January Art Dare, which was titled “My 2016”. Our staff here at Art Prof is really excited to see their class submission, because it was really clear to us looking at their pieces that every student really honed their own distinctive unique voice in their images.
We love that the students seem to really push themselves in terms of the themes that they were exploring and also that they used a lot of imagery that was very gutsy and really had a very strong visual impact. The Art Teacher’s Prize is such a great opportunity for students to get an outside opinion on their artwork from somebody who they’ve never worked with before and that’s so valuable because the thing about visual arts is it’s totally subjective.
There’s no one way to do something. There’s no correct or wrong way to do something. So in my opinion the more perspectives that you can get on your artwork, the more that’s going to really enrich your artistic development.
This ink drawing, which has been done directly on somebody’s arm, I think is a really startling image because the thing about muscles and tendons is that that’s an image that you really would only see in a scientific illustration or a medical poster or something like that.
It’s not an image that you expect to see on an actual person’s arm and so there’s something very unsettling about that, but that’s exactly what I love about this piece is that it’s a piece that I think really grabs your attention and sustains it for a long period of time.
My favorite part of this piece is this area up here towards the fingertips because that’s a section where the ink starts to dissolve into the skin of the finger. That’s so exciting because that’s a strange area where the two merged really seamlessly, so you have the ink dissolving into the actual skin and that’s so different than this part of the arm down here where there’s a very clear boundary.
This section has ink this section does not and I think in some ways this transition to me it’s a little bit blunt, and I love this section here because it’s not blunt. And so I’m wondering moving forward with this piece, if you want to develop upon this in the future, that maybe you could pick a couple of areas on the arm where the ink does disappear and where you let the actual skin come forward or just think about those transitions, how you get from the ink into the skin so that things are a little bit more seamless.
Another thing you could try is getting all different shades of reds and oranges and browns to really get more color variety in the muscle area, because that area I think because it is colored really leaps out at us, but the thing is when I look at the color it’s very limited. It seems like it’s only one pen and so if you’ve got a whole wide range of different pens I think you could make that area a little bit more volumetric.
This is a really risky piece though, I’m really excited by the innovation about using your own body as a surface. It’s not something that you anticipate and I think you did a great job with it. This acrylic painting is really emotionally expressive.
I think a lot of it is the different ranges of eyes that are in the middle. Some of the eyes seem very, angry some of them seem overwhelmed. You really get the mix of emotion within that area. I also like the fact that there’s so much happening in this composition. The fact that there are the two hands that are coming in on the left and right hand side, and then this almost gargantuan blob of stuff in the middle is also interesting because it’s a little bit ambiguous.
The eyes and the hands, I understand what those are, but the area in the middle I’m really curious about because I think it has a lot of possibility. First of all what I like about that big section in the middle is I think it’s obvious that whatever that is, it’s not a good thing.
It looks really intimidating, it’s a little bit scary looking. I like that a lot about that area. However what I would think about is maybe getting a little bit more specific about what types of physical qualities you want that area in the middle to have. For example I’m not sure if it’s meant to be a pulsating brain-like blob, is it meant to be more like smoke, I’m not quite sure. I think it’s a little bit unclear right now, so maybe that’s an area that you could be a little bit more specific about.