Inspired by the artist Cao Fei (b. 1978) and her “RMB City” project in which she created a virtual city in the online program Second Life, student artists designed avatars and the virtual worlds they inhabit our 4th grade students learned about the concept of an avatar as a virtual or graphic representation of an alter ego or character and created their own based on aspects of their identity but with added imaginative or exaggerated elements.
Under the guidance of teaching artist Rose Nestler and Learning Through the Arts interns Jaynie Gillman Crimmins and Ghislaine Sabiti students thought deeply about how those virtual worlds impacted their avatars and how their avatars impacted their virtual worlds, students created relief portraits of their avatar situated in their invented world constructed from monoprints, stamps, collagraphs and foam etching prints.
“Visual thinking brings out the inherent genius in students, whether they are looking closely at a work of art, drawing from observation, or building a sculpture. As a teaching artist, I enable students to envision limitless possibilities in art making; this process opens new channels for student, where they feel empowered to transport their artistic brilliance, imagination and problem-solving abilities into all aspects of their lives.” – Rose Neslter, Teaching Artist.