MILTON Students Create Sculptures and Paintings Inspired by Iconic Israeli Artists

Written by Jill Stepak on . Posted in Features

As part of MILTON’s yearlong celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday, students are learning about prominent Israeli art and artists, and creating paintings and sculptures inspired by these artists’ works, as well as experimenting with new and unique media, materials, and techniques.

Second graders explored the works of Sigalit Landau. Drawing inspiration from the topographical, historical, biblical, cultural, political, and environmental realms of the Dead Sea, Landau turns to the natural process of salt crystallization, exclusive to the Dead Sea, for her unique artistic technique, transforming the sculptures she submerges in its waters. MILTON’s second graders explored the use of salt in their own art by making an image with glue and then sprinkling salt on top. Once the salt was dry, they painted over it with watercolors, resulting in fantastical tie-dye effects.

Third graders learned about Moshe Safdie, an architect whose creations — including his most prominent work, Habitat 67 — are known for their dramatic curves, geometric patterns, and the use of open spaces. Inspired by his architecture, the students built their own three-dimensional houses, neighborhoods, and stadiums using paper sculpture techniques. This project dovetailed with the third-grade Hebrew curriculum, which focuses on homes and neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, fourth graders took inspiration from the sculptures of Robert Indiana, specifically his 1977 Hebrew recreation of his iconic sculpture, “AHAVA,” at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. During a unit on three-dimensional paper sculptures, fourth graders were challenged to create a paper sculpture of their names, using their imaginations to figure out how to translate the two-dimensional written word into three-dimensional sculptures. They were encouraged to use different folding and cutting techniques to get the letters to stand up on their own, and to strategically use glue rather than tape to “hide the secret” of how their artwork was made.

By Jill Stepak

 Jill Stepak is the art specialist at Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital. She lives in Washington, D.C.