Going out with a bang…and a song…and a poem…

Fresh Eyes has come to a close with remarkable work from FreshArts students. Each discipline brought forward unique interpretations of John Clement’s artwork stemming from a collaborative learning experience in the gallery.

Blogger’s note: Below are the descriptions written by FreshArts teachers about the experience and the work. – LT


LT Shen JC Dance FA - 10

“Students in this rotation of FreshArts Dance had the incredible opportunity to visit the exhibit “Fresh Eyes” by John Clement in the Shen Gallery on Monday, October 6th.  Along with the FreshArts Theater class and led by Liz Titone, the students were asked to look at the sculptures from multiple angles, viewpoints, and perspectives, truly awakening their “fresh eyes.” In another exercise, the ninth graders were asked to look at specific sculptures and complete the sentences, “I see…..”, I think……” and “I feel…….”  Their associations ranged from “blood”, “rage”, “earth”, “plants”, “confusion”, “love” to “mac and cheese”, and everything in between. – Mandy Stallings


Dance – [Students] talked about the emotion that sculptures convey and how that relates to dance. The students then headed to the dance studio, and with Clement’s idea of “curvi-linear” composition, they spent the next eight classes creating their own original dance pieces inspired by their favorite Clement sculptures from around the world. As the students danced, projections of Clement’s signature pieces swirled behind them, creating a thoughtful and poignant dance performance on 10/20. – Ms. Stallings (continued from the description above)

See the full Picasa album here.

Theater – Using words jotted down during the gallery session, students arranged the terms into different formations around the stage. Words were then separated into different categories:  descriptors, themes, and objects. The class was split into three groups, and each group received a small pile of words. They then created a story that came to life for them, based on those words. Stories were polished and theatrical elements (tableau, songs, unison movement, etc) added in preparation for presentation. – Jen Nails

KR FreshArts JC

Visual Arts – The VA section of FreshArts, “2-dimensionalized” the sculpture through line drawings. The drawings were made by using three pencils at a time, starting the arm moving and then seeing where the process took you. – Ken Rush

Music – The music experience was explore and learn the basic chord progressions while creating melodic and rhythmic patterns, then students needed to connect all the parts together according to musical form, the final piece is a form of a ballad, like a story starting with the beginning, the development, and the ending recap.

After we visited John Clement’s work, students came up with few descriptive words, such as dense, open, shadow, circular motions but irregular, opposite, crazy, cold, colorful, different characters in a story, season of Summer, love, and smooth but edges.

Students discussed how they combined and inspired to make music by these descriptive words that they came up after their experiences with the sculptures.  – Esther Liu Harris


The swirls and curls of these mysterious things
Looked to me like wedding rings.
These curves swirled around me like a gurgling stream,
It seemed to be a very common theme.
As the tubes fused together to create whatever they wanted to be,
It all merged, it was plain to see.
I saw towering waves and ramen noodles from the cup,
There was spiraling greenery and flames spurting up.
It became apparent to me how amazing it was
That this simplicity could have so much creativity.
– Ben Crane


Public Speaking – The experience in the gallery directly informed the pieces the students worked on during the remainder of the rotation. The writing they did there – often in the form of just words or phrases jotted down – are now being used as the springboard for a variety of public presentations. Students have crafted poems, sonnets, acrostics, narrative pieces, and reviews for presentation. – Mimi Stauber

Digital Media – Students created movies inspired by six word short stories that are informed by the artwork of John Clement. Gallery discussions allowed students to explore positive and negative space, sound, color, rhythm,  and  composition.  Zach Lobel and Leo Gallagher’s film on John Clement served as inspiration to the filmmakers as they discussed the importance of B-roll in the documentary style and connections to narrative film, noting the importance of shot selection and editing to tell a story. – Michael Miller

See the films here.


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