Artists Space

Threads of History

7th grade science students at M.S. 324 and I learned about recycling, sustainability, and environmental responsibility. Students’ imaginations were sparked by looking at the work of artists who used reclaimed materials—Willie Cole, Pepón Osorio, and Leo Sewell.

Our goal was to create a language-enriched environment taught primarily in Spanish with English translations. Students from the Caribbean, Central America, and South America explored the principles of design and developed related vocabulary in both languages. The students worked in groups to engage in computer research, drawings, and conversation. The collaborative nature of our class freed up their creativity and promoted a dynamic atmosphere of support and community.

Con el objetivo de crear un mundo sustentable, los estudiantes de séptimo grado de la señora Guerrero en la M.S. 324, junto conmigo, exploramos la importancia de reciclar desechos y su impacto en el medio ambiente. La imaginación de los estudiantes fue estimulada al mirar el trabajo de Willie Cole, Pepón Osorio y Leo Sewell — todos artistas cuyo trabajo esta vinculado con la idea del uso de materiales reutilizados.

  – Esperanza Cortes, Teaching Artist

A student sitting at a science room desk with a sink, drawing with a pencil on several sheets of paper. One sheet, foregrounded, has an outline of an airplane
Student prototyping design, 2018 [A student sitting at a science room desk with a sink, drawing with a pencil on several sheets of paper. One sheet, foregrounded, has an outline of an airplane]
Several students stand around a large science room desk. One holds a model of a Delta airplane, smiling for the camera. The rest are busy at work.
Collaborative team of students working on their design, 2018 [Several students stand around a large science room desk. One holds a model of a Delta airplane, smiling for the camera. The rest are busy at work.]
Two girls stand, cutting threads, while working on a handmade chandelier. The chandelier has a small number of flower petals, with a purple rose in the center
Collaborative team working on chandelier, 2018 [Two girls stand, cutting threads, while working on a handmade chandelier. The chandelier has a small number of flower petals, with a purple rose in the center]
A handmade chandelier, suspended in the air. It has two disks hanging apart, sewn together with silver thread. A number of beads adorn the lower disk and string hanging down below.
Chandelier, 2018 [A handmade chandelier, suspended in the air. It has two disks hanging apart, sewn together with silver thread. A number of beads adorn the lower disk and string hanging down below.]
Several students stand around a large desk working on mixed-media artworks. One reaches for something from another student towards the camera.
[Several students stand around a large desk working on mixed-media artworks. One reaches for something from another student towards the camera.]
Four people pose for a photo, leaning on a table with three drawings of butterflies splayed across the surface. A papier mache butterfly composed of saturated pink and gold paper and red, yellow, black and white cotton balls hangs above the people at the top right of the image.
Collaborative team designing butterfly, 2018 [Four people pose for a photo, leaning on a table with three drawings of butterflies splayed across the surface. A papier mache butterfly composed of saturated pink and gold paper and red, yellow, black and white cotton balls hangs above the people at the top right of the image.]
An exhibition view of various artworks. Several stylized portraits hang on the right; in the middle, a large didactic titled "REINVENTADO." On the left, several small photos of students in a classroom hang underneath a red-white-and blue airplane suspended from the ceiling
Reinventado, exhibition at Word Up Community Bookshop, 2018 [An exhibition view of various artworks. Several stylized portraits hang on the right; in the middle, a large didactic titled "REINVENTADO." On the left, several small photos of students in a classroom hang underneath a red-white-and blue airplane suspended from the ceiling]
Students stand outside of a storefront in New York - Word Up Community Bookshop. In the window are several signs with Black Lives Matter and "Eat Sleep Read Local" slogans
MS 324 students outside Word Up Community Bookshop, 2018 [Students stand outside of a storefront in New York - Word Up Community Bookshop. In the window are several signs with Black Lives Matter and "Eat Sleep Read Local" slogans]