In this immersive studio art class students create site-responsive sculptures, drawings, performances and installations that explore art in a global context. Using the rich history and culture of Central Europe as site and locale, the class will travel to contemporary art museums, cultural and historical sites in Prague and Berlin (1 week), then create responsive artworks on-site at ArtMill’s Center for Sustainability, in the Bohemian countryside, Czech Republic (2 weeks). Studio assignments, lectures, conceptual, fabrication practices and critique will be led by UCSC Professor Dee Hibbert-Jones; artist and writer Barbara Benish, Director of ArtMill, as well as visiting faculty and professional artists from Czech Republic and other internationally recognized art schools and universities, such as NYU in New York, and the Dresden and Berlin Academies. Students will create original artworks that explore the complex relationship between object-making, place-making, aesthetics and cultural identity in a global context through four themed projects. There will be a final exhibition on-site and open to the public.
Every summer since 2005, a 500-year-old former mill in rural south Bohemia has turned into a creative hotbed, attracting artists from all over the world to create works inspired by the genius loci and also to encourage children's creativity at an art-oriented summer youth camp." Prague Post
The joy of learning is one of the most essential components in the joy of living. Each human being is born not only needing to learn for their survival, but with a true aptitude and pleasure in the act of learning for their happiness.
Creativity, which we believe is innate in all children, is fostered at ArtMill in a broad sense: not only in traditional arts and music, but in learning how to experience and see the world around us in a creative way. The way we draw a flower blossom is directly related to how we pick an herb, smell it, and sprinkle it on our lunch. At all ages, contact with the natural world offers metaphors for expansion of the spirit, and compassion for one's fellow human being.
The eco-system around the lake is not only a living lesson in nature's structure, but a place to play and swim, watch the pattern of baby ducks gliding after their mothers, or collect reeds for weaving. Developing an appreciation for nature and her gifts is an integral part of the human experience that will foster in our youth an involvement in our planet's survival. We believe that if this awareness can be nurtured in children and youth at an early age, they have a chance of a much more fulfilling, creative, and responsible adulthood.
Bohemian Workshops, a 4 day immersion course this year with Suffolk University (Boston), focuses on creativity, exploring the diverse intersection of art, sustainability, and civil society. Based on the guild models of the Renaissance this unique educational opportunity is presented as an alternative to the conventional classroom or studio experience. Participants work closely with artist and social scientist mentors to develop critical perspectives about their chosen subject while gaining awareness of the contemporary culture of Czech Republic. All college level students may apply directly through ArtMill.
Students created individual and group projects, including a light installation in the mill, and an amazing written text performance with torches, documented in film, under the full moon out in the fields. It made our motto: "making something from nothing", all that more profound with these exceptionally talented young artists. Their energy was also evident in the 8 kilometer hike to castle Rabi one day, and the extraordinary amount of mushrooms collected (and eaten). By lucky nahoda, (chance), San Francisco sound artist Hugh Livingston Livingston Sound came by to perform, engaging the more musically inclined students and teachers, which ended in a magical afternoon of music in the barn, accompanied by the rain.
CSU at Long Beach
In June, 2007, Professor Khoi Vo, who leads a design and architecture study abroad program through California State University at Long Beach, brought his students to ArtMill as part of the program.
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International School of Prague
International School of Prague is the largest international school in the Czech Republic, teaching students from kindergarten to high school level. "Week Without Walls" is their yearly program to get students out of the classroom and stimulated in a natural or less structured environment.
Selected middle grade students came to ArtMill in the autumn of 2007 for art classes, movement, and to help milk our goat.