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Process and Product: Studio Intensive

When examining the visual arts program at Perkiomen, faculty member Katharine Kreig uses the phrase, Process and Product. One learns quickly that you cannot have one without the other, and the stunning products that hang in the gallery, only appear there because of the research, experimentation, and process that comes before. 

Kreig is a contemporary artist who creates works of marine and rural landscape and narrative still life. She works primarily in oil paints, but she is also accomplished in the mediums of watercolor and charcoal. Her home studio is nearby in Montgomery County. Her experience and knowledge of the industry has brought a high level of professional preparation to Perkiomen’s visual art instruction.

This first installment of our two-part Process and Product series focuses on Perkiomen's after-school art activity, Studio Intensive.

 

Studio Intensive - After-School Art Activity

Students enrolled in Studio Intensive have choice in what projects they pursue, working on a range of projects from their AP art portfolios to their own ideas, but there is structure to the afternoon sessions. The first step is to work out the scope of the project on paper and then gather materials. If a student needs inspiration, Kreig has “The Menu,” a list of five to seven different projects and mediums from which to choose. 

“They test out their idea,” says Kreig, “and then they go forward with it, working more intuitively.”

And if a student makes a mistake?  It is an opportunity. 

“What did you learn?” Kreig asks them. “Then, let’s try it again.” 

Instituting group critiques into Studio Intensive has been very beneficial. Students learn that getting feedback is not a bad thing, it is just problem solving. 

“When we critique within a group,” says Kreig, “we have a responsibility to each other to help find solutions to problems, to help each other build the strongest art possible. It is a good way to incubate and develop your ideas, be creative, and find new ways at coming at something.”

Projects have included circular weaving, digital art, acrylic painting, and textile design.

Megan Blumenstock-Daub ’25 tried several mediums and eventually settled on working further with a hobby she already had – outfit sketching. Eventually, she turned to sewing and transformed her sketches into a real outfit.

“It was a really good experience,” says Blumenstock-Daub. “I liked working in pencil and paper. I worked with clay and learned new techniques. It was also the first time I had worked with a sewing machine. Now, I am comfortable transforming other clothes – things I get from a thrift store or things I just don’t like anymore and want to alter.”
 

This large drawing is the result a shadow mapping exercise. Students built a structure and placed it in the sun to explore and record the movement of the shadows using line and value. The result is a drawing with an architectural abstract statement.

 

The students also worked on collaborative projects to further their knowledge, participating in color experiments and shadow mapping. One specific experiment was Color as Location. Groups used light and color to see how light “informs” a subject and its environment according to color location on the color wheel. If one has a red object lit by green light, what does one see?

These experiments are helping train the students’ eyes to see differently. “It is an intake of information that then comes out through the hand,” says Kreig. “It takes practice.”

 

 

Arts at Perkiomen School

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