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It was art and it was intense. 5 week intensive at Mana Contemporary.

Updated: Feb 17, 2019

Canco Park Conservancy Art students at mana contemporary
CPC art students stand ready to critique their work.


Canco Park Conservancy brings a five week intensive class to Jersey City kids, hosted at Mana Contemporary and taught by Gabriel Pacheco.

The last two weeks were bittersweet watching the students master their craft while making new friendships. The kids no longer held onto parents at drop-off nor were they shy during the stand up critiques. As soon as the coats were off, the aprons were on! Now they resembled working artists or at least young art students eager to show and talk about the student work. The work continues to be impressive, but it's not as impressive as the emerging maturity of the students.

Art students at Mana Contemporary Jersey City
Art educator Gabriel Pacheco explains how light paints colors on white walls.

Week 4

The students visited the Dan Flavin exhibit on the first floor of Mana Contemporary. Flavin uses simple household lighting fixtures as the medium to create a blend of color and shapes on the gallery walls. The students spent time studying the work. They observed the use of color and shapes as well as the feeling the work evoked.

The students sat in the gallery with their drawing boards and began pencil on paper sketches of the work in the gallery. Words like perspective were used.

Week 5 Final Class

Students revisited the gallery to review Dan Flavin's work and further study the colors the lighting made as well as how the colors of light mixed creating new hues. The were guided to add color to their pencil drawings.The students learned watercolor techniques to create the color lighting effects.

At the end of class all work from the five weeks were hung on the studio walls. Students in front of their classmates and parents proudly shared their opinions both on their own and other students works. Many found a new voice and confidence to speak and express their ideas, impressions, opinions and feelings about the work. Everyone was sorry to see the session come to an end. Both the children and their guardians made new friends.

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