Guest Post: Danielle Marino. Carmel High School Art Teacher, Carmel, NY
One of the best things about bringing our seeds to winter farmer's markets is meeting new people and making connections. I met Danielle on a very slow day at a Westchester market. We were talking about the Art Packs and she mentioned that she teaches high school art. We decided it would be fun to give her students an assignment to go through our seed catalog and create art for the varieties. Here is Danielle's post and images of the artwork. Thanks to all of the students at Carmel High and Danielle! We hope you enjoy their artwork as much as we have.
On a cold winter morning at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club in Mt. Kisco, I met Ken while shopping the local farmer’s market. The thought of buying seeds meant that spring would soon be on its way. While looking through the different varieties of seed packets was exciting, what interested me most was the art packs. The idea of different art inspired by agriculture and created by local artist was refreshing to see. I mentioned to Ken that I was a local high school art teacher. He was very interested in showcasing student art based on the seeds he sells. I left the market with a few ideas rolling around in my head.
Fast forward a few months. I introduced the idea of creating artwork based on the different plants to my Studio in Art students. This class is often structured to meet specific standards, so there is less room for spontaneity from the students. This project was the first one in which each student was able to pick their choice of artistic medium. Students were able to use pastels, watercolors, collage, or colored pencils. They could interpret the project however they wanted to. Some students drew the actual botanical species. Others, however, took a more comical approach by using a play on words with the seed’s name. I enjoyed watching each student’s different take on this project. While some students dove right into the assignment, others seemed more hesitant to start. As a teacher, watching the brainstorming process is always rewarding.
The student’s reactions to this project were very positive. . One of the student’s commented, “I liked this project because it was interesting and I felt like a professional working for a real design company.” As a teacher, I enjoyed teaching this project. Each student was able to learn about a specific plant and the value of local seeds. As an artist myself, I also valued this project as it exposed each student to different artistic choices. I am hoping that this project will become a yearly tradition, while exposing my art students to local agriculture.
To see the gallery of all of the student's work, click on more...