Every art student knows that the very best art is created in the mind. Surreal artists like Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte tried to bring those subconscious images from the imagination to the canvas in a style known as Surrealism. In a surrealistic composition, nothing is as it first appears, but is instead a strange juxtaposition of conflicting images. The final artwork might be rendered very realistically, but it communicates just a little bit more. A tree might also become a pencil, or pages from a book. You might find hidden images such as a face, heart, or cross. The term “treehouse” takes on a new meaning, or a well-known Psalm may be re-imagined into a visual representation of its meaning.
The Studio Art Group, made up of 7th and 8th grade students, recently tackled the challenge of combining two images into a single unified surrealistic composition. In testing themselves against the masters, the artists-in-training learned that they have a personal vision that stacks up against the best, and they learned a good deal about how to render their vision so that others can share it.
“Projects such as this stretch our students to work at every level of cognition, from the lowest stages of knowledge and comprehension all the way up to analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. In this way, the fine arts help to develop the thinking skills which help students to perform at higher levels in their academic classes as well,” comments Intermediate art teacher, Lin Mayberry.