Vaughn Visit!

Since 2012, the National Veterans Art Museum has been partners with local high school Jacqueline B. Vaughn Occupational High School, which provides a specialized education for high school students with cognitive, developmental and multiple disabilities. Today senior students from Laura Smith’s class visited NVAM to see The Joe Bonham Project: Drawing the Stories of America’s Wounded Veterans and The Things They Carried.

Maurice speaks to Vaughn Students

The Vaughn students had a special guest, Maurice Costello, Vietnam Veteran, U.S. Army, 196th Light Infantry Brigade 1967-68. Maurice shared his story with the students, answering their questions, before interacting with the objects in the Things They Carried. The students tried on the flak jacket and rucksack relating his experience to the objects: So you are wearing all of these things, feel heavy? What is the climate of Vietnam? Now imagine how it would feel like to be wearing all of this humid, soaking wet, with infinitely more gear, trying to be wary of hidden mines and attack?

Vaughn Students Trying on TTTC

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Then the Vaughn students were given a tour of The Joe Bonham Project, preparing for a the workshop to follow inspired by the exhibition. The students observed the different artistic styles and mediums used to portray the same veterans stories. We discussed different ways of observing and documenting in art from quick sketches in pencil to writing and digital drawings on Ipads. The workshop expanded on these ideas by introducing the students to bookbinding. The students using folding, cutting and sewing to create their own pamphlet stitches.

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This was the last time this group of students from Vaughn Occupational High School will be workshopping with NVAM before they graduate next week! Congratulations to these amazing seniors, it has been wonderful making art with you!

NVAM teens participate in Creative Community workshop with Maurice Costello

Last Saturday, veteran artist Maurice Costello led the workshop Unconventional Approaches to Painting where magazine pages were utilized as studies in tone and shading. By using only black, dark grey, light grey, and white acrylic paint, participants colored over portions of the magazine page that matched the tonal value. The results were fascinating! Below are images of the NVAM teen council showing off their work. It seemed like once the teens got the hang of the activity, they used the parameters of the assignment to focus on brushwork and demonstrated the experimentation that can occur when placed in an art making situation with boundaries.

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To find out more about Maurice Costello’s work, visit http://mauricestudios.com/artwork1.html

NVAM Teen Council create self-portraits based on work by Maurice Costello

On March 17, veteran artist Maurice Costello led the teens in an art making activity where they transformed a high contrast selfie into a larger self-portrait. The teens began by taking selfies with a black and white filter which was then enlarged and projected onto the wall of the NVAM Out Loud workspace. Using a technique similar to what Maurice Costello does with his self-portraits, the teens traced an outline of their faces and decided how they would represent themselves using color, shading, and overall design. The resulting self-portraits were a wonderful reflection of the diverse talents and perspectives each teen brings to his or her work.

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The teen council self-portraits will be on display during Maurice Costello’s Creative Community workshop on April 18th.