Tuesday, October 09, 2007
  Shifting Terrain Workshop with Dawn Gavin

On the morning of October 9th, teams of Arlington County high school students stepped off the bus and into the Ellipse Arts Center to participate in Shifting Terrain, an educational workshop lead by YOU ARE HERE exhibiting artist Dawn Gavin. In her lecture Dawn explained, “maps are static representations of shifting information”, as seen through the eyes of the mapmaker.

She communicated that
maps, like real landscapes, can evolve. They change whenever countries form new borders, erosion wears down coastlines or volcanoes create new islands. Dawn showed the students that in art, maps don't have to lead from point A to point B. They can traverse the mind or make a statement about cultural identity.

After a tour of the gallery and Dawn’s insightful lecture, the students had a chance to develop their own freeform collages. Using vintage maps and old atlas books, they formed countries which reflected their unique imaginations. The end results were amazing! The students included 3-D elements, text, animals and even their nametags into the works.

At multiple phases during the collaging process, Dawn took still images of the students' work. Then she demonstrated how to compile these images to create a time based outcome called stop-time animation. Stop-time animation is created by physically manipulating materials (paper, clay or objects) and photographing them one frame at a time. The resulting sequence generates the illusion of movement. The film Wallace and Gromit is an example.

Ellipse Arts Center would like to thank the students and teachers from the following participating schools: Yorktown, HB-Woodlawn, Wakefield and Washington Lee.

Check back later to view the students’ animation!
Ellipse Arts Center is a 3,000 square foot visual arts facility managed by Arlington Cultural Affairs, Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resourses. Our mission is to provide a diverse schedule of high quality programs in the visual arts, providing opportunities for visual artists, as well as developing an engaged and appreciative audience.

Location: Arlington, VA
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