This ongoing project offers an introduction to studio practices and contemporary art to children ages six and up. In this setting, learning is driven by students’ own curiosity and interests. Projects often develop organically to encourage students to see, interpret, and manipulate visual information and ideas, with confidence. Guided exposure to the work of professionally renowned artists provides students deeper understanding of the core structures of art making and its role in generating meaning and culture. Hands-on material exploration includes mentoring in drawing, painting, sculpting, and movement. For students, this creative process motivates new awareness, authorship, and relation to their everyday lives. This methodology exercises mindfulness and active engagement to context, experiences, and perspectives that each student brings to their learning. In providing the space for students to shape and share their perspectives, this experience empowers them to become culture-makers. After weeks of mentored practice and production across different artistic media, students are guided in the role of maker, designer, and curator to exhibit their work to new audiences. As it goes for professional artists, the exhibition experience serves as a tool for students’ self-assessment, legitimizing their learning. It evokes new grounds for shared meaning.
Weekly laboratories are offered during after school hours at students’ private residencies. They are catered to the specific needs and interests of each group, comprised of two to four students. Multi-week engagements conclude with a student-run exhibition showcasing their work.
About Milla Oliveira
Milla Oliveira is an Oregon-based visual artist who explores the connections between language systems and their expressions through materials and the body. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Oliveira has learned and taught in various institutions that ranged from traditional local dance practices in the streets to university classrooms. She received her BFA degree from Oregon State University and has participated in artist residencies at Chemeketa Community College and at the Hawk Creek Gallery. While at school, Oliveira worked as a classroom instructor with the Eugene-based arts integration project, ArtCore. In addition, she acted as assistant director of education for non-profit Watershed Arts, teaching classes to adult audiences that stimulated public awareness of and connection to contemporary art works.