Friday, February 26, 2016

Mentoring Level Three

by Wendy Wagner
Level Three Student

Friday's in Level three are my favorite. I hate to pick one day over another, because I learn a lot in each, but the concept of Mentorship is a program component which excites me.

We rotate seven-week cycles, which consist of:
  • One rotation making a museum copy at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Two rotations of working on a personal still life alongside a teacher or fellow
  • One rotation copying a Nelson Shanks painting

Usually in the sixth week of each cycle, we all gather and walk from space to space to see how each student's piece is developing, discussing the challenges we have faced. This gives us one more week to make adjustments based on feedback received.
Today, you will shadow such a day.

8:30 a.m. I arrive at school on a 19-degree day to continue on my Nelson copy.
Instructor Robin Frey paints alongside us in the studio, working on her own piece. She dispenses advice as needed to move us along. Students Lynn Snyder and Linda Dennin are there as well.

12:15 p.m. We meet in Instructor Peter Kelsey's studio to see the progress of David Clark.
Then, we enter teacher Natalie Italiano's space to see the work of Tom Plassa. Next door is Paul Worley, who discusses his approach while working under Fellow Shira Friedman.
Students working on personal still life paintings
We then travel to the Mentorship room, where four original Nelson Shanks paintings hang. Lynn, Linda and I speak of our experiences copying the work of our school founder, an inspiration to all of us.
Students copying a Nelson Shanks original
After that, we visit our lecture space to see what Kathleen Moore and Angelique Benrahou were working on at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Student copies from the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Finally we enter the studio of Instructor Alisyn Blake, to see the development of student Michela Mansuino's painting.
Original student still life
By 2:00 pm, we head back to our easels to continue.
Another day in the life of a Level Three student.

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