The Chrysler Classroom: A Partnership with Green Run Collegiate
In 2017, a partnership formed between the Chrysler Museum and Virginia Beach Public Schools’ Green Run Collegiate (GRC) with the intent to provide enriching experiences for the GRC students. Each year since, Green Run Collegiate students tour the galleries, research works on view, and use what they learn to create their own artworks. This robust collaboration supports and empowers GRC’s scholars and emerging leaders and invites them to share their creativity with the community.
“This is more than a partnership between two organizations; the Chrysler gives our school the means to provide unique opportunities where we broaden our scholars’ perspectives. It allows them to see their world through a different lens. This is a powerful, moving experience not to be taken for granted,” –Rianne Patricio, Green Run Collegiate’s Head of School.
As the students grappled with an unprecedented virtual learning experience during the 2020-2021 school year, the Chrysler and Green Run Collegiate adapted to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 era. Instead of visiting in person, students explored the Museum’s permanent collection with Chrysler From Home resources. Then they used old Chrysler magazines and promotional materials and employed a tape and transfer collage technique to produce original works of art. They depicted their own mental space and mentality over the past year while also learning how to research other artists and take inspiration from them to create original works. On May 27, the students shared their works with the Chrysler’s staff during a virtual presentation Min(e)d the Museum.
“Our partnership with the Chrysler Museum of Art has provided many opportunities for our art students to engage with art from all around the world, to learn about the work created before and alongside them, as well as to create artwork based on their personal experiences. It has been a valued resource throughout the artistic development of our students.”–Colin Ward, Green Run Collegiate’s Fine Art Department Chair.
In 2017, GRC students participated in Art and Mental Health, Through the Eyes of the Artist. The exhibition, presented in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), also featured artists from the Kempsville Center for Behavioral Health. The students used the platform to share their experiences with mental health and reflect on the lives of the artists who influenced the work. The students turned to several works from the Chrysler collection, including Adolphe-William Bouguereau’s Orestes Pursed by the Furies and Mark Rothko’s No. 5.
In response to Picturing Innovation, a 2017 exhibition that commemorated the 100th anniversary of NASA Langley Research Center, Green Run Collegiate digital photography students presented original artworks in Capturing Innovation: The Next 100 Years of NASA Langley through OUR Lens, installed in The Margaret Shepherd Ray Family & Student Gallery. The students toured Picturing Innovation and met with Seth Feman, PhD, the Chrysler’s Deputy Director for Art & Interpretation and Curator of Photography, to learn about the historical content and investigations that were employed in creating a comprehensive collection of photographic works. Then the photography students visited NASA Langley Research Center, examined current innovations and technologies that will take exploration and discovery into the next 100 years, and captured their experience with innovation and digital concepts in mind to explore NASA Langley’s next 100 years of innovation.
The following year, the Chrysler presented Vik Muniz: Photography and the Rebirth of Wonder and saw another opportunity to engage GRC visual art and digital photography students. One of the most innovative artists working today, Muniz uses food, trash, and other unconventional materials as well as photographic images that play with our process of perception. The students visited the Museum several times to study Muniz’s works and pulled inspiration from Waste Land, a documentary featuring Muniz, to create original works for What I Hold to be True, also mounted in The Margaret Shepherd Ray Family & Student Gallery. The students used personal trash and recyclable materials to communicate their ideas of value, sustainability, and preservation. This experience was enhanced for GRC students when they met with Muniz and enjoyed front row seats during Evening with the Artist: Vik Muniz, his sold-out appearance at the Museum.
“Because of the Chrysler Museum’s wide collection and rotating exhibitions, we are able to keep coming back to the Museum every year and provide different learning experiences for our students. The collaborative projects created between Green Run Collegiate and the Chrysler Museum of Art have resulted in artwork created by students that is able to be shown to the public, letting their voices be heard beyond the walls of the classroom,” Ward said.
Founded in 2013, Green Run Collegiate is a Virginia Beach Public Schools interdivision charter school that provides expanded access to International Baccalaureate education. Educators create interdisciplinary opportunities for students, both in and out of the classroom, to expand their horizons and challenge them. At the Chrysler, we’ve accepted the challenge of their mission to “provide a quality education through shared responsibility in a safe, supportive environment for all students to meet the challenges of a global society,” and the results have been astounding.
To learn more about Green Run Collegiate, visit: greenruncollegiate.vbschools.com
–Michael Berlucchi, Community and Government Relations Manager
Min(e)d the Museum
Aaliyah Sta Ana, The Tree
This artwork represents a place where I feel calm and happy. I admire looking at the scenery. Going to the park or outside listening to music, looking at nature helps relieve stress which the artwork demonstrates. The collage is inspired by Trees And Sky by William T. Richard through the composition of the art piece and Colossi in the manner of Sanford Robinson Gifford having a sunset-inspired background made with different colors. It demonstrates the time when I love being outside and that it plays a role as a comfortable place for me. However, through these difficult times, it’s become a place that I yearned to go to once again. Creating this art piece was both difficult and easy, specifically the process of making, but in the end, I was satisfied.
Brian Layne, Curiosity
When people look at my collage, I want to give them a sense of mystery and curiosity. I want them to be intrigued and have a sense of calmness when looking at it. That is why I chose these specific colors while also trying to create a palette that gives a sense of relaxation. The brighter colors were used to make the work stand out. My decisions were heavily influenced by the glass sculpture Aquaman Stinger by Nancy Callan. The artwork popped out to me and made me wonder what the meaning behind it was. I wanted to try to replicate that in my own work. It influenced me because the artwork uses bright colors to make it stand out. That is the reason why I used brighter colors in the middle to represent the Aquaman Stinger. I incorporated the shape of the artwork into my collage because I found it interesting and different.
Influences: Nancy Callan, Aquaman Stinger
Jocelyn Beltran, Condition of Contentment
My work touches on the mental place I have been for the past year. It’s always been a constant battle with trying to do better for myself, such as practicing self-care and doing things I like to do. It is also difficult to get out of a cycle of gloomy days or feeling bad that you can’t do much. Especially during the pandemic, I feel like many people can relate to feeling stuck and the constant need of doing something for themselves. I tried to represent this through the colorful top and dark and gloomy bottom. The textured bottom is supposed to give tension in the collage. Then, the dark vines are bringing the subject down from reaching the light that represents joy and happiness. I made the decision to add a lot of textures and different representations on the sides of the collage to make the collage more dynamic. The blue ring around the subject’s face is to bring emphasis on her face since there is a lot going of variety throughout the work. Some artworks that inspired me were Phil III by Chuck Close, Rainbow Trout by Leonard Koscianski, and I Hear My Father’s Cattle, There is Music in My Heart in My Music by Zondlile Zondo. Rainbow Trout is a pastel drawing with a forest scene. There’s water flowing over the moss with a red hawk. I wanted to use this as an influence for my project because I enjoy the colors. There’s purple water which is obviously not real, but it gives a vibrant, peaceful, magical feeling. The work by Zondlile Zondo has various subdued patches of a variety of colors with a white bull. There’s then a black musical note in the middle of its body. This supposed to represent joy that the artist felt when she was a young woman. Her father would bring cattle at the end of the day and the background color is supposed to represent rural tranquility and peacefulness. I used this as inspiration for my project by using the colorful background to represent a feeling. She represented peace with the colors and design and I wanted to do the same. Phil III is a portrait made with 24 shades of grey paper pulp poured into a number grid, set on top of a sheet of handmade black paper. This was an influence in my project because I like how they used different colors to create one image. I used this to create the bottom of my collage with the different shades of gray with black and red. All these works inspired me to use different techniques in my collage and give me new ideas.
Lanz Padilla, My World
My college is about myself, how I see the world, and my appreciation of women. I used symbolic objects such as the hearts, star, and smiley face to describe the mentality I have now. I used the four women and placed them in the middle to show my appreciation towards women and how they are just as important and noticeable in the world as men. In addition, I used the wings to represent that women are like angels to me, especially my mom who is always there for me and puts me in the right path like an angel. I acquired many different artwork from different artists and placed it uncoordinated and unorganized to communicate that the world is full of many different opportunities, different cultures, places, and people.
The two Chrysler museum artwork that influenced me the most are Autumn Landscape and Sicilian Girl in Blue Shawl. Autumn Landscape greatly influenced my collage because the artwork to me seemed like someone else’s world, and I wanted to create my own world. In addition, the use of colors in the artwork influenced me to create my own world of different colors that represent that my life is not just black and white but a colorful world that consists of many things such as happiness, beauty, love, and even sadness. Sicilian Girl in Blue Shawl influenced me when I first looked at it, I wanted to incorporate women into my project to show appreciation. I used both artworks as an influence on my college not in a sense of imagery, but of meaning. Furthermore, just like the previous artwork, I used different colors in this artwork to further create more meaning in my artwork.
Lena Naugle, Sweet
Mackenzie Blagg, Serpent
My collage, Serpent, explores how I take care of myself through difficult times with the support of people who matter to me. One of the decisions I made was to have “CRITIQUE” in large text with quotation marks and to place it below the images of the men. The purpose of including this was to add irony. The person who is being represented in the top half often has something negative to say about how I am or how I do things. Then they defend it by saying it’s out of love. When I used to confide in them and follow their advice, they betrayed me in the end. Consequently, their criticisms became meaningless to me because I learned their true intentions. Another decision I made was to put multiple blotches of text throughout the collage. The purpose of this was to show that despite what negative things will be said about me, it won’t matter because ultimately, they don’t know my true self like the people who care about me do. One example of symbolism in my collage is the blue bull in the bottom left corner. Bulls in astrology link to the agricultural calendar, signifying spring, a season of rebirth. It also follows the color palette I chose for the work. I associate light blue with healing, tranquility, and the mind. Through my healing, I come back stronger, and at the end of that cycle like the bull, I will be reborn into a better version of myself. Another piece of symbolism in the collage is how I made the framing characters for me and taking care of myself, driven by those who truly care for me, and coming back stronger.
The main Chrysler artwork that inspired me was Shepherd and His Flock by Charles-Émile Jacque. Other inspirations came from Hagar by Nancy Camden Witt and Cumaea by Manierre Dawson. I took inspiration from the composition and concepts from Shepherd and His Flock, I wanted to guide attention to the subject by surrounding it. Additionally, on the top of the painting, there’s a storm, and on the shepherd’s side, he has his dog and flock. Shepherds commonly represent guardians, as their primary responsibility is to ensure the safety and welfare of their flocks. The “shepherd” is the figure in the center, who represents me. The “storm” is a representation of a person in my life who actively tries to bring me down. Sheep can symbolize loyalty, devotion, and justice. My “flock” are the people who confide in me and encourage me to become greater. I additionally took inspiration from the color palette in Hagar and the style in Cumaea. I see light blue as being associated with healing, tranquility, and the mind. On the other hand, I associate dark blue with seriousness and melancholy. Brown is similar to what I associate light blue with; brown is reliability and comfort. Additionally, I associate black with power, independence, protection, and tyranny. Like Cumaea, I wanted there to be prominent features in the collage but have the different images flow in a unique matter. The style is boxy but still blends together smoothly. What initially drew me to these pieces were the styles and colors. I found them very pleasing to the eye. I wanted to learn more about them, and upon closer inspection, the pieces inspired me because of their imagery and symbolism.
My collage is about denouncing a person in my life who shows fake support for me, taking care of myself, driven by those who truly care for me, and coming back stronger.
Nic Samonte, Dark Figure
At first, I was trying to perceive the message of a tunnel that gradually gets darker. In some way, this represents my fear of the future and my expectation of a future full of misfortune. Many of the images closer to the figure (representing me) show and symbolize different things I am passionate about and also represent some decisions I’ve made to guide me through this “dark future.” Overall, the collage and mashup of different images represent a flow of colorful thoughts and ideas slowly fading into darkness and the unknown. A level of symbolism is present within each image.
The Chrysler Artwork that inspired me most throughout this process is Earth from Moon by Kota Ezawa. Specifically, my idea of having a dark and ominous vibe to the collage came from the empty space of this painting. I also decided to relate to it by having somewhat of a focus on the figure, as all the images are leading up to it. A method of this was surrounding the bright, colorful colors around the dark figure to contrast it and stand out. As a whole, this inspired me because it was aesthetically pleasing and contained many elements I wanted to “steal” from.
Influence: Kota Ezawa, Earth from Moon
Piper Lotan, Greater Participation
This piece can be interpreted in two different ways; ignoring all the life around you and focusing on the thing in front of you or looking at something through warped eyes. I decided to give the final piece a bit of a blotchy feeling, to physically show that my feelings were all over the place and to give that sense of a warped perspective. I had to change my original sketches because throughout making this my mental state actually improved a lot and some of my ideas just didn’t fit the piece any longer. The entirety of this piece is about the fact that even if something is bigger and brighter than someone, they can still not acknowledge anything going on around them.
I chose three pieces of artwork to mainly influence my collage; Hagar by Nancy Camden Witt, Color Lesson Vl by Idelle Weber, and Mr. Chrysler by Idelle Weber. From Hagar, I intended to steal the tone and more, but ended up using the mysterious subject because it helps fit into my mental health better. I took the purple flowers from Color Lesson Vl because one of the flowers’ main associations is tradition and since this is an older subject, I thought that was a nice touch. I also took the wooden beam and used it to frame the collage. I did this because the college was looking a little too green and needed some more color to spice it up. Lastly, I took the subject from Mr. Chrysler and turned him into a woman with formal clothing. I also took some of the red circle from Mr. Chrysler, saying that she lives in her own space in her head.
Priscilla Rimler, The Red Flower
Rose Tripp, Shampoo & Smoke
I want to communicate drastic change and excitement. This year was chaotic but helped me discover myself more. I chose things from the magazines that represented me and paired them with either yellow or red in order to represent different conflicting emotions. I wanted it to be hazy and blurry, but still, be able to see certain elements in the tape. Some images I used were cigarettes because my whole family smokes and it scares me. Another image is a person’s eyes looking at the world emotionless. This is supposed to represent the apathy that I struggled with as a side effect of clinical depression.
I based my piece on three works from the Chrysler Museum of Art. For the color palette, I used I was inspired by Aureate Verdical by George Morrison, the yellow and reds were a stark contrast to each other. Yellow is also my favorite color and represents happiness and stability to me. While red represents drastic change and fear. For the layout of the piece, I got inspiration from Zinc Yellow by Franz Kline, it abstractly represents the normal being broken by a burst of color and I thought that related closely with what I wanted because the normal that I had made during quarantine was breaking because of the new changes with the school system. For the style, I got inspiration from Paul Jenkins’s work Pawnee. It is by far my favorite work currently in the Chrysler Museum of Art. I wanted to include the incoherent splatter-like appearance that the work showed, where the viewer creates a story from the work. Much of my memory is blurry and I am not able to imagine things so to me this is how the world looks when I remember the past.