For almost two decades, Upper School's Michelangelo Project-Atelier students and, more recently, our IB Visual Arts students have had the unique opportunity to attend a Plein-Air Sketching & Painting Field Trip. Following a two-year hiatus due to COVID, art students returned to Shelby Farms this week to create landscape sketches or paintings, working outdoors in the fresh air for a day.
The Upper School artists have been preparing for the field trip all year by exploring observational drawing and painting in class and covering content and strategies specific to working in plein air, which translates to open air.
"The whole goal of plein-air sketching is to quickly document your scene and subject in natural light," Manzo shared. "With the changing light, artists had to work very quickly and make every stroke count!"
The Shelby Farms art experience correlated with Upper School's IB Art curriculum and challenged students to create one drawing or painting from direct observation of the scenery around them. Following the trip, the artwork was critiqued as part of an IB formative review, and the students were given a chance to make changes to complete their pieces for their summative.
"This field trip offers a very rich and rare learning experience to our artists to observe the changing quality and color of natural light over the course of one day," Upper School Visual Art teacher and sponsor of the field trip Kate Manzo expressed.
See more pics of their field trip on our Facebook page.