16 April 2009

This week, teaching: Art School Confidential

I actually didn't have to go to Ružomberok this week, because it would have meant going for just one day, and the crew there told me to not bother.  So I didn't.  But just because I didn't go to work didn't mean I didn't teach a bit this week.  I went with a friend to her teaching gig at the School of Applied Arts in Košice. 

Ohhh was it cool.

First off, the kids were super cool because they're of an artistic temperament and as a result different from the Slovak kids I'm normally with.  They were somewhat louder, more opinionated, doodling constantly all over everything and all trying very hard to dress and look different from everyone else.  Supercute.  The school is in an old army building, and it's a mix of standard, rather plain and looking like every other classroom classrooms, and then these studio rooms that are well-appointed but also rather old-school and lived in.  The students study within 6 disciplines: photography, graphic design, 3D design, sculpture, ceramics, and conservation and restoration.  Yes, that's right.  A high schooler can study conservation and restoration = supercool. 

What we did was ask them to introduce themselves and explain what they study and what they do.  The first group took us on a tour of the school and showed us the various studios where they work.  The conservation and restoration crew 3rd and 4th years were working on restoring the icon screen from the Rusyn village of Poráč -- actually, here are pics from the church of what they were working on.  They had oil on canvas (4 large icons) + oil on tin (4 Evangelists) + the Royal Doors.  They also learn to copy works and so there were some really quite excellent copies.  The photography kids showed us the studio and also the darkroom.  We couldn't see the ceramics studio because it's off campus, but we did get to watch a life drawing class.  

It was really cool to talk with these kids, and also to see what they do and how they're trained.  The atmosphere at the school was so incredibly chill and relaxed, it was unbelievable.  Definitely a cool experience.  I'll be going back there in about 2 weeks, and will certainly have more to say.

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