Home School at the Brooks!

Home School at the Brooks is a program offered through the Education department where we set aside four days of the year for students that are home schooled to come to the museum and have a docent-led tour and participate in a studio activity.

For our last home school session of 2010, held in November, we focused on a collection of three special exhibitions that comprise our Picturing America tour: William Christenberry: Photographs, 1961-2005; Winslow Homer: From Poetry to Fiction; and Remembering a House Divided: Robert King’s Photographs of Civil War Re-Enactors. The tour primarily focused on American identity of the 19th century and gave students and parents a chance to see how art reflected the cultural, historic, artistic, social, and economic landscape of the time.

In the studio, students did a series of three relief prints, or a triptych, where they focused on progressive change over time. The relief printing process reinforced the artistic process used by Winslow Homer and the subject matter paralleled William Christenberry’s focus on how things, specifically buildings, changed over time. Want to learn how to create your own triptych? Keep reading to see the process we used in the studio!

First, students created a simple outline of a building on their printing plate (foam board) using a pencil.

Next, the students printed. They covered their printing plate in paint using a brayer, placed a piece of white paper over the printing plate, pressed the paper down, and then removed the piece of paper like a sticker.


For the second print, they added texture onto the same printing plate. Our texture materials included seashells, a stylus, and other tools. After they added texture, the students printed again.

Finally, the students added any final details they wanted to include on their printing plate. With a final print, the students completed their triptych.

Once the process was complete, students matted their three prints onto a long sheet of paper and signed it like a printmaker – with a title, the number in the series, and their artist signature.

Looking back at some of the images from this home school session, I remember how much fun we (the Education staff) had making this print, too. In fact, my colleague was so smitten with hers that she hung it in our office. It’s a simple reminder that we are students of art, too… and it’s so much fun!!

If you’re interested in learning more about Home School at the Brooks, click here. We hope you can join us next year!

Check out more about the Brooks Education programs here.

This post was authored by our very own Tour Coordinator Sharon Atteberry.

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