This past month students explored the microscopic world of diatoms. They translated their discoveries into kaleidoscopic arrays of color inspired by the works of British Artist Klaus Kemp. Using colored pencils, students learned about lines, shapes and the concept of radial symmetry found in nature and human-made designs. Students were awed by Kemp’s artistic techniques and finalized diatom arrays which sell for thousands of dollars, are in high demand and are no bigger than a fleck of dust.
Kicking off the new year, in January students will continue their scientific art discovery by examining various species of plankton and their physical forms. Though microscopic, phytoplankton and zooplankton display many distinct physical features. Many plankton can grow beyond microscopic size into ocean-dwelling creatures such as jellyfish and krill.
Students will gather inspiration from Rebecca Welti, a Pacific Northwest artist, past Sitka Resident and Artist at Sea resident. Students will work with their hands to sculpt air-dry clay into plankton figurines. This investigation into the world of three-dimensional art will explore the concept of contour form "in the round" as compared to flat contour lines in two dimensional work.