August 3, 2010
They say that all good things must come to an end; and Artology was no exception. While the first session of camp went by as quickly as it came, the memories shared and the lessons learned during those 4 weeks would surely last a lifetime.
During their Artology experience, students learned about the local watershed – the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed – and the different parts of an ecosystem; exploring both the scientific as well as the artistic aspects of nature and the environment. Through the ‘Artology approach’ to studying the environment, for example, students would begin with water testing and observation in the morning; followed by painting and other art projects inspired by what they had observed earlier that day. By taking such an approach to environmental studies, students came to see how interconnected these two seemingly polar fields (art and science) really are in nature.
Aside from the projects and experiments they did on a daily basis, the students were also charged with the task of designing and constructing their own Rain Garden – a large-scale, multipurpose art installation that would serve to both beautify the community and better the environment by aiding in the water cycle process – in a local abandoned lot in Germantown. The students spent weeks working on their individual projects – each student making about 20 ‘plants’ – and planning and prepping the garden as a group. It was a lot of hard work for everyone involved, but it all paid off in the end: the students were rewarded with an incredibly successful debut exhibition, with dozens of family, friends, and even community members in attendance; all there to admire their work.
As big as the Rain Garden installation may have seemed, even more exciting things still lie ahead for the students: various pieces of the students will be placed on display for the general public at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from August to November, with a special debut picnic by the museum for Artology alum and their families on September 5th. Public exhibitions and service projects such as the the Rain Garden installation and the Art Museum exhibit are just two examples of the impact made on the world by Artology students. The impact made by these students is a lasting one – one that will endure well after Artology is over. These students who first came to Artology merely curious kids have now left true ‘Artologists’ – armed with the knowledge and skills necessary to help make a change in society and to make the world a better place. Artology may be over, but the lessons these kids have learned and the things they will have taken away from it will always stay with them.