Constance is a visual artist who works in painting, drawing, sculpture and photography. Much of her art work considers the impact to communities caused by environmental issues.
Her current project focuses on the function of green spaces in the urban environment. Constance’s drawings and videos seeks to encourage viewers to have respect for all life. Constance is an organic gardener and loves to paint riverscapes in her kayak.
Constance has worked as a teaching artist with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for more than 20 years. She has conducted residencies with pre- school through high school, seniors, adjudicated teens and adults, and mentally disabled adults. She also works in community settings with diverse populations. (Images below: landscape paintings created by senior citizen artists at Blueprints Senior Center in Carmichaels, and Eric Carle-inspired collages created by kindergarteners at Pittsburgh Beechwood Prek - 5.)
Constance’s residencies often begin by considering a particular topic. Information about the topic is provided by Constance, teachers, and community professionals. For example, one residency about hawks and hummingbirds began with a presentation from the Audubon Society’s educator and live birds. Students also do original research which often involves writing and drawing. In some residencies there has been a series of short exercises in which information is experienced. For example, in the bird residency, children made paper masks to investigate beak structure to understand how the shape of the beak supports feeding. A final collaborative project is also a part of the residency. Often large murals were created in which each participant created an element which was incorporated into a larger image.
Residencies are a creative collaboration by teachers, students, community members and the artist. Constance begins her project by meeting with the school administrators and teachers to focus residency goals. Often her projects address STEAM topics and incorporate ELA. The art making is the reflection of learning. For example; a residency could be designed for an elementary school in which 3 core groups investigate bird species, habitat and migration. Each core will research their topic and students will document information within their hand made accordion-fold books. Later, the groups will come together to share information. Each student will create an image of a bird on a cut out plexi glass silhouette of a bird in flight. A wall of the school will be prepared with a painting of the night sky and the dozens of bird elements will be installed on the sky in a dynamic pattern which addresses migration. A display of the hand-made books will occur in the school library.
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