This fall, 85 enthusiastic students representing five regional high schools gathered at The University of Texas at Arlington for its Art and Art History Department’s fifth annual ‘Find Your Space’ event. The students arrived by the busload, from all over the area, and convened in The Gallery at UTA for a quick tour of the artwork on display there, before breaking out into interest groups and meeting the faculty who would lead their specialized workshops. Dispersing throughout the art studios, maker spaces and computer labs of both the Fine Arts Building and the Studio Art Center, the students began their hands-on adventures in contemporary art making.
In September, high school visual arts coordinators from around the metroplex were asked to bring their most passionate, art-loving students to take part in a morning of specially created art and design workshops. The workshops, facilitated by UTA art department faculty, covered a wide range of techniques intended to engage students’ imagination and to welcome them to “find their space” within the university’s art community. Sessions including Digital Painting, Printmaking, Mixed Media Project: Drawing and Painting, Experimental Typography and Lettering, Product Photography, Cyanotype Self Portraits, Fine Art Digital Printing, Digital Comic Book Art, and Design for Robots: Making Vinyl Stickers with a CNC plotter were offered, along with interactive sound and video experimentation workshops such as The Loop and Chainsaw Choir and the K-pop Green Screen music video workshop. In addition, the sculpture and glass areas collaborated to present an exciting demonstration of glassblowing and experimental metal foundry work in a session titled Fire, Molten Metal, Molten Glass – Oh My!
After an intense morning of creative learning and practice, the students met in the Studio Art Center courtyard for a pizza lunch. Attendees took advantage of the opportunity to relax and compare notes on their experiences before heading back to their respective schools.
Robert Hower, chair of the Art and Art History Department, summed up the day’s activities by stating: “Find Your Space is an excellent opportunity to introduce high school students to the wide array of possibilities open to them within the University of Texas at Arlington’s Department of Art and Art History. We hope the students were inspired by our outstanding faculty and resources, and will consider joining us here when they begin their college careers.” Hower shared, “in the meantime, we enjoyed having them on campus and look forward to welcoming a new group at next year’s event.”