Collage, Collaboration and Creativity: Students Unwind Through New Addison Program

Armed with stencils, colored pencils, scissors and glue, Hannah Hagemeyer ’15 ripped photos and words out of magazines to create a collage as part of the “A Phillips Academy Alphabet” activity at the Student Drop-in Day at the Addison Gallery of American Art.

“I wanted to have a break from school and studying and just relax a bit and be creative,” said Hagemeyer.

Hagemeyer was one of several students who attended the first ever Student Drop-in Day last Sunday, which was hosted by the Addison Community Ambassadors, a group of students who meet weekly to learn about the Addison and plan events to bring community members to the gallery.

“[The Ambassadors] were thinking about introducing new ways of seeing to the rest of the students here on campus and helping them to find new ways to explore the museum ,” said Jamie Kaplowitz, Education Associate and Museum Learning Specialist at the Addison.

Family Day, a program for younger children that the Ambassadors hosted last year, inspired the Student Drop-in Day.

“Last year, as [the Ambassadors] were making examples for the activities, they were talking about what a stress reliever [craft making is] when thinking about art, and they wanted the rest of the Andover students to have that experience,” said Kaplowitz.

“A Phillips Academy Alphabet,” was inspired by Wendy Ewald’s “An Alphabet Project,” a collection of photos now on display in the Addison’s Museum Learning Center. Students were instructed to create collages for the first letter of their name as if their name accompanied that letter in an alphabet book. The activity encouraged students to explore which colors, images and textures best describe their personalities.

In addition to “A Phillips Academy Alphabet,” students could participate in other activities, including “Found Fragmented Poetry,” “Identity Selfies” and “Collaborative Sketchbook.”

Inspired by the “Lorna Simpson” exhibition, the “Found Fragmented Poetry” activity encouraged visitors to question how words and ideas can come together in unexpected ways by rearranging large pieces of paper with words on them to create short poems.

The “Identity Selfies” activity was held in the exhibit “Exterior Spaces, Interior Places.” Visitors were told to take a photo with a piece of art that they would place themselves in and then tag the picture using #addiSUNDAY.

“Collaborative Sketchbook” took place in the “Dwight Tryon and American Tonalism” exhibit and allowed visitors to begin a sketchbook drawing that the next visitor could continue.

“I think that, even with the Addison on campus, a lot of people are too busy to come and appreciate what it has to offer…. [The Ambassadors] wanted to host this event for Andover students so they can come and relax, but also think about the art in different ways,” said Claire Park ’16, an Addison Community Ambassador.