New Lebanon students inspired by art

Director of Education for the Brant Foundation Emily McElwreath describes Julian Schnabel’s plate paintings to the New Lebanon School students.

Director of Education for the Brant Foundation Emily McElwreath describes Julian Schnabel’s plate paintings to the New Lebanon School students.

Second grade students at New Lebanon paid a visit to the Brant Foundation on Feb. 28, where they toured an art exhibit featuring the work of artist Julian Schnabel.

Over 30 students and five teachers participated in the event, led by the Director of Education for the Brant Foundation Emily McElwreath and Associate Director Zoe Larson. This trip was made possible by the Brant Foundation, in conjunction with the PTA of New Lebanon School and the efforts of art teacher Ben Quesnel.

Julian Schnabel is an artist based in New York City whose work is featured in museums around the world. Schnabel’s plate paintings made with “found materials” such as broken plates, wood, and more were the main focus of the tour. Students concentrated on a large famous piece entitled The Sea, created in 1981 with Mexican pots, bondo on wood, and other found items.

Mr. Quesnel noted, in a press release, “During a discussion about ‘The Sea’ one student said, ‘It looks like there is an ocean coming right at me!’“

Throughout the tour, students were able to identify the many unusual materials that Schnabel used to create his art. Ms. McElwreath discussed Schnabel’s inspirations for his famous plate paintings, and  how these pieces of art can tell a story. At the end of the tour, students sketched ideas for their own plate paintings.

“In continuing our mission at the Brant Foundation of promoting education and appreciation of contemporary art and design, we look forward to building our relationship with New Lebanon School,” said Ms. McElwreath.

Back in school, Mr. Quesnel will supplement the experience by giving the students a chance to create their own artwork inspired by Julian Schnabel. Their artwork will be on display at New Lebanon School at 25 Mead Avenue during the month of April.

To learn more about the Julian Schnabel exhibit at the Brant Foundation, visit Brantfoundation.org

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