children encircle the dome

Elementary Student Visit RMCAD

A group of 75 students from Renaissance Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School visited RMCAD to hear from faculty member Bruce Price and view his work.

Teacher Pamela Cogburn discovered Bruce Price through Works on Paper, 2007-2012, a 2013 exhibition shown in Denver Art Museum’s Spun: Adventures in Textiles exhibition. “My unit plans always start with an inspiration, an artist that exhibits important artistic lessons in his or her work and has a compelling story. Bruce’s work and story more than fulfilled this requirement,” said Cogburn.

Through the use of geometric shapes, Price’s art created an opportunity for a lesson that integrated math and art. Cogburn’s second grade students began their unit by learning about optical and geometric illusion. Students then examined Price’s works and developed questions and critical inquiry as they noticed the optical/geometric illusional qualities in Price’s work. Skill development followed as students learned to draw flat and round-planed 3D shapes. Then, by applying the creative process, Cogburn’s students created elaborate drawings using connected and overlapping 3D shapes to produce images containing repetition with constant variation. Students were able to connect easily with Price’s work because of its visual energy and playfulness.

In late October, Cogburn’s class visited RMCAD to see Price’s work in person and meet the artist. They began their visit at RMCAD’s iconic dome sculpture, a piece created by Price and RMCAD students. During their visit, the class also viewed Forces at Play, an exhibition by Bruce Price currently on view in the RMCAD Alumni Gallery; toured the Philip J. Steele Gallery; and met with Price in the Mary Harris Auditorium.

Students reflected on their visit by answering the question: What is something new I learned today about Bruce Price or his artwork?

Bruce Price is silly and smart at the same time.

I learned Bruce Price also loves science! Cool!! PS I love science!

I learned that Bruce Price wanted to be smart so he became an artist.

To the question “how will I apply something I learned, heard or saw to my own art inspired by Bruce Price”, students responded:

I was inspired by his use of pattern.

I should always use a variety of colors.

I learned that Bruce Price uses a lot of shapes so I want to do that in my own art works.

Bruce Price said he learns from his failure. Maybe I should try that technique.

I will persevere. I will keep trying. I won’t give up.

Cogburn hoped that her lessons about Price’s work and visit to RMCAD would inspire students to design successful futures and learn that exploration and play are vital, that learning and practicing the rules are essential, but that then one should listen to and follow their intuition and just do it.

Of the experience, Cogburn said, “Our fieldwork at RMCAD with Bruce Price was an incredible experience for Renaissance students and me that will be remembered both consciously and subconsciously. Bruce Price’s lessons will be integrated into how we live and work in our lives.”

Click here to find out more about Cogburn’s lessons.


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