CSM Art Appreciation Project Brings Students Together One Piece at a Time

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What is it like to work as a group to create a mosaic, inch by detailed inch? This is one of the questions, students answered as they created a 6-foot-by-4-foot paper-on drywall mosaic as part of a group project in the College of Southern Maryland's fall 1030 Art Appreciation class taught by instructor Jan Ivie. “Nole me tangere,” a mural based on the paintings by artists Claude Lorrain and Titian, will be donated to St. William of York Catholic Church in Baltimore for use in its youth ministries program. “Nole me tangere” depicts the resurrected Christ appearing before the weeping Mary Magdalene in a garden. In the garden, Christ tells Mary, “Don't touch me” or “Nole me tangere” in Latin.

“The goal was to teach my students an appreciation of how the artists' workshops of the 13 – 15 centuries operated. The workshops were comprised of apprentices and craftsmen with varying skills who learned from a master artist. Each person in the workshop contributed to the finished work that had been commissioned by a patron,” said Ivie, who is working on her master of arts in the humanities at Hood College.

“It was a great team-building exercise because the whole class worked on it together,” said Kara Breck, a 25-year-old education major from Waldorf who worked on the project in the fall. “Everyone's ideas and insights were taken into consideration and while we worked individually on one section at a time, we rotated our chairs around the mural several times so everyone had the opportunity to work different sections of the mural. It was definitely a team effort,” said Breck, who noted that she wasn't a real “artsy” person before the class but has gained “a new appreciation for artists” as a result.

Students in this semester's art appreciation class are already working on an Annunciation scene and planning how they will depict the Archangel Gabriel appearing before the Virgin Mary. In addition to working on design issues, the class is gathering its tessarae which are small squares of marble, glass, tile, or in this case paper, that will be used to compose the mosaic. The class will need hundreds of colored squares in order to fill in the myriad of shades of color that make mosaics come to life.

For information call 301-934-7863 or 301-870-3008, Ext. 7863 for Charles County; 240-725-5499, Ext. 7863 for St. Mary's County or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7863 for Calvert County or visit http://www.csmd.edu.

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