March 20, 2009

RAM brings glass artist to Racine students

The Racine Art Museum will introduce glass artist Therman Statom to Racine students, beginning March 30. Statom will conduct a week-long series of workshops with second and fourth graders at Stephen Bull Fine Arts Elementary, and kindergarten through fifth grade at Janes Elementary. He will also work with the YMCA's Young Leaders Academy and students from Walden III Middle and High School at Wustum Museum. In these workshops, students will create artworks under Statom's direction for the upcoming exhibition Back to School with Therman Statom at Wustum from June 6 through July 26.

"Incorporating the exhibition with the workshops serves as a motivational force, both for the students and the artist. Having works exhibited adds a sense of responsibility to the students, which enhances their own personal experiences and involvement with the arts," Therman said. "The students will act as coordinators of their own conceptual ideas while I will act as a guiding facilitator."

In the artist's sessions, the students will engage in a series of drawing and movement exercises emphasizing basic principles and elements of art techniques. Some of those drawings may be used later in the exhibition installation. The students will work with glass pieces that will become part of a collaborative assemblage of mixed media to create the Wustum exhibition, Back to School with Therman Statom. Students may also be invited to observe and assist in the installation of Statom's second show in RAM's Windows on Fifth Gallery, Therman Statom: Outside the Box, that opens Aug. 1.

Statom's interest in studio glass began as a student in the 1970s at the Rhode Island School of Design. Throughout his career, Statom has challenged his audience to look at glass in new ways. He is a pioneer in the use of glass as a material for sculpture and room-size installation art. His works can be found in major museum collections across the U.S.

RAM members will be able to meet the artist at a member-only art preview sale on Thursday, April 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. RAM has commissioned Statom to create a work specifically for auction at RAM's Awesome Art Sale. Statom will be back in Racine on Sunday, July 26, for the closing reception of Back to School at the Wustum Museum. Families, students, and museum visitors are invited to a meet and talk with Statom about the exhibition. Hands-on art activities are planned and light refreshments will be served. Admission and parking are free at Wustum, at 2519 Northwestern Ave.

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