Monday, November 14, 2016

Looking at a NH Artist: Don Gorvett


I never know where I am going to find inspiration for my art lessons! A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing a craft fair in New Hampshire (by myself--Yay! MOM TIME!!) and I was chatting with lots of the artisans there. To one couple, I had mentioned that my 7th graders were learning about relief printmaking and they mentioned they had seen a feature on NH Chronicle about a woodcut artist named Don Gorvett. Of course, I HAD to check it out! Boy, am I glad I did! Don Gorvett, a woodcut artist with galleries in Portsmouth, NH and Ogunquit, ME, does these amazing seaside-themed reduction prints that my seventh graders were in awe of.

Another great video about Don's work is "Moonlight Drawbridge"

I showed this video AFTER my seventh graders had completed a linocut project, so they had a bit of experience from which to view this video and process Don's work. Of course, their pieces were 4" x 6" and done using flexible printing plates I had in my new classroom. In contrast, Don's work is done on large piece of plywood and he sometimes uses up to 8 colors to our humble 1 color. After I showed this video to the students, there was silence. And some of them had their mouths gaped open. Seventh grade! :-) Yipes! 

Anyway, fast forward to the weekend. My hubby and I went away on a 23-hour anniversary celebration and we drove up to the Portsmouth, NH area to see the sites, shop a bit and have dinner at one of my, ahem, OUR favorite restaurants. My husband suggested we go to Don's gallery, and who do you think was there? Don himself, working away. He graciously took time away from his work to talk to my husband and I about his work and gave me some tidbits about being an art teacher and how I can foster a climate of creativity and wonder in my students. I am so glad we stopped in to visit! I also was able to post a picture of Don and me on "The Instagram"--the account I have for my students' work and artsy happenings at our school! Having an Instagram account is new for me, but I am trying (10 followers-YAY!)!
Hanging with Don Gorvett in his Portsmouth, NH studio/gallery.
So, I would HIGHLY recommend looking at Don's work as well as taking the opportunity to show the work of local (to you) artists. This can be done by showing the students real work or artifacts, a video from the Interweb, or a video you made yourself, or having the person come to your school for an artist visit and demonstration. BTW: Cassie Stevens just began a new series on her blog called "field trip" where she takes her students on a virtual video field trip to meet artists. Her first installment features a musician and visual artist named Bebo. Check that out too!


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