Students Piece Together Identity at AddiSUNDAY

Surrounded by scraps of cellophane and colored paper, Piper Winkler ’17, Alice Ahn ’16 and Sarah Schmaier ’16 glued yellow shapes onto dark blue sheets of paper. Each of them used materials such as markers and popsicle sticks to create abstract collages on the paper.

Winkler, Ahn and Schmaier’s collages were products of the activity, “Play with Collage and Abstraction” at addiSUNDAY, a once per term event held last Sunday afternoon at the Addison Gallery of American Art. The Addison Community Ambassadors, a group of students who meet weekly with the Addison’s education department to learn more about the museum and to brainstorm activities for Addison visitors, planned and hosted the event, which was inspired by “Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt,” one of the Addison’s current exhibits.

“Playing with art materials is a really good stress reliever and [Andover students] are all so scheduled and so busy with work from the moment you wake up until the moment you, sometimes, eventually go to bed. addiSUNDAY is an opportunity for you to destress and energize, but also the subgoal is to help students find new ways to connect with the museum, so all of the activities are designed in a way to help people find new ways to look at art and make connections with art while simultaneously laying on the floor making art,” said Jamie Kaplowitz, Manager of Curriculum Initiatives at the Addison.

Zoe Sylvester-Chin ’19, who attended addiSUNDAY, said “I was in history class at the Museum Learning Center and [Kaplowitz] made an announcement about [addiSUNDAY to us]. I had never really come to the Addison before and she talked about how we probably hadn’t laid on the floor and ‘touched’ paper for a long time so I thought why not try it out. I think [the collage activity] is fun, because nothing can really go wrong with abstract art and anything flies.”

“Postcard as Dialogue,” was another activity at addiSUNDAY in which students chose an old Phillips Academy postcard or designed their own on which they wrote a letter to be sent to themselves in six months. Camilla Guo ’17, an Addison Community Ambassador, said that the goal of this activity was to allow students to reflect on “past versus present,” as well to collaborate and discuss with friends and other artists.

“We wanted [‘Postcard as Dialogue’] to emulate the theme of correspondence because [the ‘Converging Lines’ exhibit] is about Eva Hesse and Sol Lewitt’s relationship and just the idea of interacting with people and having the quiet, creative space to actually make a postcard to share with others,” said Guo.
Art Exchange, an art club on campus, also organized an activity for addiSUNDAY in which students sketched about an aspect of their identity. Identity has been a large focus of the club in the past year. For example, last winter, Sabrina Lu ’17 created a watercolor self portrait that depicted elements of both Chinese culture and American culture. These pieces of art were displayed alongside the addiSUNDAY activity as inspiration.

Albert Yue ’17, a board member of Art Exchange, said, “We have prints of artwork that student artists have donated to us so we can showcase their artwork to the public and even sell them. Also, it is a good way to show people on campus that there are these opportunities on campus where they can come to a club and do art and try things because we do have workshops that allow you to try out mediums or techniques that you really don’t get to try out in one of the traditional art classes that we have on campus.”

Winkler, an Addison Community Ambassador, said, “addiSUNDAY is a great opportunity for students who aren’t aware of the wonderful resources that the Addison offers to come take a break before ultimate week, which is obviously very stressful, relax, get acquainted with their creativity–which is a really great opportunity for students who aren’t taking art classes at the time necessarily – or just want to get to know the Addison staff and Ambassadors.”