I spent the last 10 weeks teaching a wonderful teen workshop series at the Palo Alto Art Center. The program was titled Compose Yourself and gave students the opportunity to create a collection of visual and literary projects of their own design. They learned about methods in, dark room photography, papermaking, collage, drawing styles, encaustic, bookbinding, and much more.
I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of work. Each week was a different medium and that takes a lot of prep. The materials list was crazy, everything from photo developer to Sumi ink and shaving cream. The Palo Alto Art Center was amazing though and always had everything I needed.
I really enjoyed the age group, young teens 13-16 years old. I found that they were open minded, curious and still had a sense of wonder. They were a fun and silly bunch of kids and sometimes I think I learned just as much or more than they did in regards to process and myself.
On the last day we had an art party and exhibited all of their work gallery style. It was really rewarding to see everything they had produced and learned over the 10 weeks.
I also thought it would be fun to bring in a white fondant covered cake for them to decorate and art up. They really had fun with that and it was another way to express their creativity in a non-traditional way. Plus it was a delicious way to celebrate the end of the program.
At the end of the art party I had a simple and fun project for everyone, an accordion envelope book. It was great seeing how the parents got into it as much as or more than the teens.