Waterfield displays student artwork

Art Materials and Techniques for the Classroom Teacher students have created collages, that are now being displayed in Waterfield library. || Taylor McStoots/Contributing photographer

Art Materials and Techniques for the Classroom Teacher students have created collages, that are now being displayed in Waterfield library. || Taylor McStoots/Contributing photographer

Waterfield Library provides students with a place to study, buy food and read books, but now they can see art by their fellow students as well.

Murray State’s class of art materials and techniques for the classroom teacher, completed an assignment called the “Collage/Voice Thread Project.” Students created collages using the principles of design and their individual creativity. The collages are made from newspaper and magazine clippings, construction paper and colored tissue paper.

In the exhibit, students can scan a QR code on the collage and hear the artist talk about how they arranged their work of art based on the principles of design. Students can also comment on the art using their voice or text by scanning the bar code on the corner of the artwork with their phone.

Shannon Duffy, lecturer of art education, thought of the idea for the class. She said she thought it was a great way to have her students learn something in the classroom and teach it outside of the classroom.

“I thought it was great because with the voice thread you can post comments and create a collaboration with people that are not even in your class,” Duffy said. “So it’s a really good way for assessment and getting feedback on your work.”

Students were hesitant about beginning the project at first, but began to really enjoy it and have told their other professors about it. Duffy wanted her students to use the rules of principles of design to organize the parts and pieces of their collage.

“I want to make sure that these folks in my class are basically teaching the principles, they’re talking about their work in a way that is almost like they are making the art come to life,” Duffy said.

Heather Wilhelmi, junior from Louisville, Ky., worked on her collage for six hours. She said she enjoyed working on the assignment and learned how to be creative and follow rules.

“This project really helped us to develop our skills on the basic principles of design so that we could teach those basic principles in our classrooms,” Wilhelmi said. “We had very strong restraints on what we could and couldn’t use in the project so it helped us focus down on what we were supposed to be doing.”

There are 28 pieces displayed in Waterfield Library along the wall and they can be seen through the large glass window. Many students in the class, including Wilhelmi, have not studied art, but put in a lot of time and effort to create the collages. She hopes students will look at the project in the library.

“It’s showing that anybody can do art because none of us in this class are art students, but we all made an effort and created these pieces that are really basic,” Wilhelmi said. “But they show our personalities in a way that’s also using the basic principles of design so I think that it would help (students) realize that anyone can do it.”

Duffy said the voice thread is a relatively new idea and not many people know about it yet. It can be used for blogs, classrooms and PowerPoint presentations. She said she would like to see voice thread used more in the future.

“I could see voice thread being used as virtual gallery space where you could have a class document all of their work throughout the semester and post it on the voice thread.”

Duffy will present her concept with the voice thread and QR code Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Kentucky Art Education Conference at Eastern Kentucky University.

­ Said Duffy: “The concept I had for the voice thread project is just one component of what you can create using voice thread. I want to share my idea so other teachers could find ways to use it in their own way. It is a fantastic way to use iPads, too.”

Story by Dominique Duarte, Staff writer.