Mavericks Take on Art Challenges

If you’re missing your regularly scheduled art classes, don’t worry. There’s still hope for creativity at home. Many Montrose students have found the joy of creating art without time constraints or classroom hubbub. “It serves as my comfort activity during this whole pandemic,” said Kat Devaney ‘21. Ava Russo ‘23 said: “I love still being artistic at home because it’s a fun and creative outlet while we’re all stuck inside.” If you’re looking for your own creative outlet, try out the Mavericks Make Art challenges. Head over to My Montrose > Resources > Mavericks Connect, and scroll down to the Mavericks Make Art section. Share the ideas with friends and family, so they can also make the projects! 

Middle & Upper School Art Teacher Mrs. Marge, who orchestrates the Mavericks Make Art challenges, says her goals for any who choose to delve into the projects are “that they see that creating art is a way to process what is going on around them, that they use this time to pause, to slow down, and allow the art process to take shape.”

In order to facilitate a creative “time to pause,” Mrs. Marge compiled challenges based on a range of accessible mediums. For instance, if you take on Art Challenge #1 – Photos: Lighting and Shadow, you’ll take three outside pictures at different times of day. You, like the famous “Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies” painter Claude Monet, will see what changing levels of light and angles of sunshine do to the same image. Or, if you attempt Art Challenge #7 – Book Spine Poetry, you’ll line up several books to form a message from their titles; for example: When You Reach Me (by Rebecca Stead) Go Set a Watchman (by Harper Lee) To the Lighthouse (by Virginia Woolf). The challenges require no particular level of expertise so that any home-bound human can complete them.

Some students invented their own art projects. “I find coloring in adult coloring books to be really soothing, and I also love to bullet journal,” said Carrie Miklus ‘24. Amelia White ‘25 explores quilling, in which you roll, shape, and glue strips of paper to form designs. She loves quilling because it has “so many possibilities.” Sarah Ling ‘20 has “started mixing pens and water-colors,” and Meredith Ehrenzeller ‘24 enjoys that she “can draw one day and do photography the next.” Milly Gutierrez ‘23 found the best part of doing art at home: “I was able to have my preferred music or YouTube video playing in the background while I worked.”

Mrs. Marge has been doing her own art projects as well. She said: “The art has come in the form of building structures and mini-gardens with nature while playing outside with my son, picking up branches from the willow trees in my yard then making wreaths and flower arrangements with them, photographing every type of new bloom I see springing up as I go on walks in the afternoon, making sketches and watercolors of them when I am slowing down in the evening. Photographing the ordinary things around me in a way that makes them extraordinary.”

Sometimes, though, it’s hard to actually get started, no matter how much free time we theoretically have. To those seeking a starting point, Mrs. Marge said, “A good place to start would be any of the Mavericks Make Art challenges.” And to those who want to connect with an art expert while they try out art projects — “If students have individual questions or want feedback about a specific project, email me. I love to respond to a student who wants to venture into new territory with their art and help them develop that.  I have a treasure trove of resources when it comes to art.” So don’t hesitate to email Mrs. Marge with your creations and questions!

Anna Sheehan ’21, Faith Editor