WELCOME TO THE ART HOUSE
My Community Art Project is built up from portraits I painted of my students and their artworks, created during this school year. Teaching my students’ art classes online made me realize that we are in the process of building up a community on a dematerialized platform. There is no more architecture, reality of space, smell of supplies. The sterility of the distance in a new, abstract dimension makes “talking heads” even more dear to our socially deprived souls. Each window in collection of faces on zoom is really a brick in our new home construction--The Art House.
Together we are part of the school culture supporting self-growth through creativity and education. I decided to paint their portraits in blue watercolor because of the symbolic value of the color and the medium. Watercolor seems to be not permanent just like the time when we are at school together. The blue color carries a note of hope, melancholia, reflection in water, memories of snow in the north pole. The blue color reminds us that we are part of a fragile nature.
The blue portraits make the frame of the Art House and students’ artworks fill up the space with colorful noise, experiment, and movement. We are what we are doing. I am a teacher, they are students. I am a student and they are teachers. The products of our time together are visible, but not entirely. Maybe the future will also bring new, colorful outcomes?
The symmetrical composition and simplicity of the general shape is a symbol of safety, stability, and hospitality of a family house. The motion inside the composition is as dynamic as the art education process itself.
Beata Szyszkowska started her art education at the progressive Fine Arts High School in Lublin, Poland with five years filled with life drawing and painting, printing, sculpting, ceramic and design. She continued with graphic design for the next five years at the conservative Moscow Stroganov Academy in Russia. After graduation she worked in New York as a commercial graphic designer and illustrator, publishing her works in the Wall Street journal and GQ Magazine. Upon starting her family and the arrival of her three children, Szyszkowska concentrated her efforts on fine art painting, portraits commissions, and exhibitions. Today, bolstered by a Master of Art Education from Queens College, she is sharing her love of art by teaching at a Saint Mary’s high school in Manhasset, New York and continuing her painting career.
Art House, 2020.
Watercolor & collage, 8"x 14"
Details of Art House
All images courtesy of the artist.