Cynthia Wayman has been teaching children of all ages at her Lambert’s Cove studio for more than 30 years. This weekend, she and her students, in grades second through nine, hosted a show in Vineyard Haven, across from the Black Dog Tavern.
This time around, art history and appreciation were the core of the assignments her pupils explored. Lee Faraca, a seventh grader at the West Tisbury School, recently completed a six-panel piece that showed off ideas through an array of faces using Expressionism and Cubism, Realism, Pointillism, and Pop Art. Connecting Pop Art to Andy Warhol, Lee also studied previous artists of each movement before painting the vibrant faces in acrylic. “A play on bright colors” is how he explained Fauvism last Sunday, and it shows in his piece featuring fluorescent corn yellow hair adorning a smoky blue silhouette.
Third grade students studied the gardens of Georgia O’Keeffe and then created their own florals using pencil and ink, adding color with tempera paints. Isabelle “Leah” Littlefield did a glorious yellow and orange version of O’Keeffe’s “Jimson Weed, 1932.”
She and her classmates also studied the visual diversions of perspective with Ms. Wayman, who guided them by assigning an animal to be drawn in the foreground and one framed in the background. The detail in these third graders’ masterpieces was undeniable.
To practice the difficult task of drawing lines and folds, Ms. Wayman granted the study of hats rather than the classic drape. Michelle DeGeofroy, a sixth grader at the West Tisbury School, mixed charcoal, pencil, and pastel to achieve the look of her different head pieces. The three mediums used by Michelle show her devotion to the assignment: she gave each hat its worthy identity. A fragile mosaic face only seemed finished with the cornflower blue hat atop her head. If you took woman’s hat off it would be like wiping the “smile” off of Mona Lisa.
Ms. Wayman has a lot to be proud of. Not only did she create a gallery show for her multi-talented students, she has also given them a desire to continue their love of art every day. “She comes up with so many good ideas,” says Isabelle, on why she adores art class each week.
Ms. Wayman strives to deliver fresh assignments to her students, giving them an example of her own first. She believes a teacher can talk and breathe knowledge, but she knows a picture is worth more than a thousand words.
Student Ruby Dix returned to Cynthia’s class this year after taking time off. Ruby dazzled paper with watercolor in a new understanding for the paintbrush, visible in the leaves and trees of her jungle scene.
“I never want to stop again,” Ruby said Sunday afternoon at the show. “I like all the people in the class and how we all want to do art.”
Carla Felter, a 2007 graduate of Franklin Pierce College, lives in West Tisbury and works at the Green Room. She recently studied art at Northwestern Community College in Connecticut.