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I haven’t posted in a while, I have been suffering from adjunct burnout. But I am glad to be back and feeling re-invigorated.

I have a great 3D design class this semester and a few weeks ago we had a wonderful opportunity to work with a visiting artist, Mark Gagnon. The chance to work with Mark arose as part of a fabulous and colourful exhibit, The Warhol Effect, at the Weeks Gallery on the campus where I work.

To prepare for his classroom visit we viewed part of the excellent documentary series made by Grayson Perry and Channel 4, All In The Best Possible Taste, as a precursor to a discussion about the identifiers of the students “tribe”. Because Warhol’s work addresses issues of pop culture the students opted to choose icons of contemporary pop culture to use in the project.

I don’t want to give away all of Mark’s secrets, but the process uses cheap, easy to access materials and the students really enjoyed the project. Today was our critique, not all of the projects pictured are completely finished, but I hope you will agree that the students have captured something of the spirit of the time.

pop culture images from my 3D design class

pop culture images from my 3D design class

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a paper “wave” I made from old rejection letters as an example

My 3D design class has been grappling all semester with materials, I have tried to change how I mark this class to encourage more play and experimentation, and I have to say that it seems to have worked. I see my students in the studio outside of class, and they are happily making a mess and learning. Of course this gets pretty expensive, so I have inserted a unit on using everyday materials. The inspirational lecture featured some of my favourite artists, using nothing but cups, string, paper, thread, office supplies, and I am excited to see how their fully developed projects pan out next week. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at some of their ideas so far

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