Frank Stella Inspires 6th Grade Mixed Media Art and Performance

CGPS’s arts integration programming is especially unique. Within the Middle School, art teacher Veronika Bromberg has helped develop cross-curricular teaching that is introducing students to new ways of appreciating art. 

Recently, the Middle School music, math and art departments challenged 6th grade students to interpret the work of Frank Stella. Stella, the American painter and sculptor, was known for using mixed media to develop abstract works. Channeling the artist, the CGPS 6th graders were asked to think abstractly themselves. “Learning about Frank Stella’s work is the perfect way to introduce abstraction and meaning in art to students, while showing the play of shapes, form and color in a 3D relief composition,” Ms. Bromberg explained. “It shows students that art can also offer an interdisciplinary approach — in this case, by integrating art with mathematical concepts.”

First, the students applied concepts from math including measuring, stencilling or free-hand styling their own geometric shapes. Next, they used mixed media such as cardboard, colored paper and colored wire to construct their shapes in 3D. Some students painted and manipulated their forms by bending them into other shapes. Building from black foam board, the students constructed their 3D artwork incorporating several elements they had studied, such as overlapping and weaving forms. 

Then, the students worked in music class to choreograph a performance of movements and sounds inspired by their Frank Stella creations. “Frank Stella would talk about how music inspired the work that he created. He said the melody, tempo and cadence in music moves you from within and that is the starting point for creating any work of art,” Ms. Bromberg explained.

Finally, students put on a class-wide performance in the Underground Theater, using sounds and movements to convey their artworks in unique and creative ways. 

To see more pictures from their performances, see Photos of the Week.