Tribute to Linemen exemplifies Platform Art’s commitment to offering student artists opportunities to work in the public realm. Angel, Maddie, and Gabriella recently reiterated how unique and incredible their experience was; even Ms. Mortimer shared that her life had been changed. Gabriella is graduating from LHS this month, and Maddie and Angel are attending college courses after graduating last year. Their involvement with Platform Art contributed to both their educational and personal growth during this season of change.
Workshops and artistic development are a vital part of Platform Art’s student engagement, and Becky and Ms. Mortimer worked closely with the girls at each stage of the process – refining ideas, designs, and models. As they worked on their piece, they learned the elements of design and new techniques, both in and out of the classroom. They received an education in public art – not just its history, but the struggle of adapting designs to different settings, contexts, and publics. They gained hands-on experience. Finally, they learned about potential career paths, which provided educational professionalization and fostered their personal growth.
From their work in the studio, the girls started to see themselves as artists. Visiting the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design solidified this view and provided exposure to studios, equipment, current student and faculty work, and more. In Angel’s words, “I’d never visited any art colleges before, so it was like ‘I could actually do this, I could go to school and do art.’”
The three budding artists learned to refine their ideas and incorporate constructive critique, as well as learned how to accomplish their goals together. Working through creative differences, they fostered and maintained a close relationship. (These young women still check in on each other frequently.) They resolved conflicts, bonded over airport greetings, and saw their ideas made into molten metal – an unforgettable experience for them all. When they first walked into the studio and saw their work, Ms. Mortimer said, “I looked at my girls, and they were all crying.”