Tiffany-Inspired Creativity Shines

By: Catie Anderson, curator of education

Visiting school groups, popular studio workshops, programs, and engaging, hands-on activities in Art Park are keeping the Woodson Art Museum bustling and staff and volunteers busy.

This winter, about 700 Wausau School District third-grade students are heading to the Woodson Art Museum – come rain, snow, sleet, or slush. Despite the gray skies and damp conditions, the warm, stained-glass glow of the Tiffany Studios lamps and, of course, the energy of 8- and 9-year-olds always perks me up.

During their October in-service day, elementary art specialists met with Woodson Art Museum educators to discuss Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light and consider educational objectives and ties to the third-grade curriculum. Docent-led experiences were scheduled for every elementary school, ensuring all third graders would have an opportunity to visit the Art Museum and share their impressions of the artwork on view.

The students came prepared – really prepared – thanks to their art teachers, who had students thinking about stained glass, patterns, design, and decorative arts in the weeks leading up to the visits. I always enjoy encounters with thoughtful students and effusive docents; happily, I’ve had many this winter.

In preparation for their visits, students created a variety of Tiffany glass-inspired art projects, which now line the walls and halls of Wausau elementary schools. I asked district art specialists to share images of the work their students produced; these results make me smile.

Franklin Elementary students created a display reminiscent of Tiffany Studios stained-glass showrooms.

 

Thomas Jefferson students cheered up their window views with clever stained-glass snowflake designs.

Lincoln Elementary artists used pastels to capture the effects of opalescent glass in their stained-glass window designs featuring lead-line tree motifs.

Tiffany lamps made from colorfully designed aluminum brighten the halls of Wausau Area Montessori Charter School.

Left: Hawthorn Hills third-grade students mixed soft paint colors to mimic glass and used black paper to represent lead lines. Right: The art room at Hawthorn features art vocabulary to prepare students for their visit to the Woodson Art Museum.

 

I had another opportunity to witness the creative responses of students to Tiffany Glass during the Wausau School District’s annual Art Cluster program on January 10. Multi-day art experiences allow fourth- and fifth-grade students interested in art to observe and experiment with new materials and techniques at the Museum, followed by two days of art making at the Boys and Girls Club.

At the Museum, students focused on the design motifs and vivid color palettes of Tiffany Studios stained-glass lamps and windows on view. They created stained-glass-inspired magnets and painted Plexiglas, each destined for its own frame, helping to prepare students for other Art Cluster projects – tissue-paper collages of dragonflies and flowers and mini-Tiffany Studios lamps crafted with recycled materials.

A “sampler exhibition” in the Museum’s lower level builds anticipation for the installation of all Art Cluster artworks at the Marathon County Public Library in March. A public reception kicks off this celebration of elementary-school artists on Saturday, March 4, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, at the downtown library.

Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light remains on view through Sunday, February 26, providing ample opportunity for me to enjoy more stained-glass-inspired art making by area students and visitors of all ages, who stop-in and try their hand at creative play and art making at the Woodson Art Museum.

 


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