May Artist – St Andrew Nativity School

Who am I?

St. Andrew Nativity School, Oregon’s only tuition-free private middle school, partnered with local portrait artist Joanne Radmilovich Kollman for a portrait project titled “Who Am I?” Kollman was awarded a Regional Arts & Culture Council Arts-In-Schools project grant. This allowed 26 8th grade students to work directly with Kollman to create individual self-portraits as well as a collaborative work of art on repurposed panels.

From January through March, students participated in an art-integrated curriculum. Kollman sat in on presentations by students on issues such as wage/gender discrimination, domestic violence, animal abuse, and human trafficking. Students examined world religions and related their own moral and ethical compasses to those of peoples around the globe. Teacher Lizzie Petticrew worked with Kollman to make the arts integration meaningful. She selectively planned the curriculum so that students could tie their research to hands-on art making.

Kollman teamed up with artist and muralist Chris Haberman to incorporate symbols and text into the collaborative panel piece. Kollman led the individualized 18” x 24” self-portrait oil painting instruction and touched upon use o proportions (math), limited palette and value, as well as the hands-on experience of painting with a traditional medium. With limited time and space, the students had to be selective in their choices to make the art pieces personal. Studio-safe oil paints were donated by Gamblin, a local manufacturer.

St. Andrew Nativity School serves 80 middle school students from a variety of cultural backgrounds. The school has a seasonal art enrichment program, but like many schools, no regular art curriculum. Kollman worked with students in mini art lessons and invited former Disney animator Yer Za Vue to speak to the school and then demonstrate animation drawing to Nativity 8th graders. The award from the Regional Arts & Culture Council offered students a rich art exploration and the opportunity to present final works to their surrounding community.

For additional information on individual pieces and the students, ask the Front Desk for the St. Andrew Nativity School notebook, in which each artist provides a description of their self-portrait, the techniques they utilized, and the purpose of their piece.

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