A meaningful art and history experience

Master Art Classes with the Bermuda National Trust and Masterworks

In early March the Bermuda National Trust AXIS Education Programme, in collaboration with Masterworks, began the first series of Master Art Classes for senior students.

Twelve students from various schools have met after school at National Trust properties Verdmont Historic House and Garden, Spittal Pond Nature Reserve and Masterworks where they have been learning about Plein Air drawing techniques.

Students are provided drawing tools and a portfolio to store their work.

Classes are designed to engage, inspire and motivate older students in a meaningful art and history experience, which fosters care and appreciation of our rich culture while assisting them with their academic and career goals. This new initiative focuses on students ages 15 to 18, who benefit from professional art instruction and experiential learning in an atmosphere of natural and cultural history while developing their own artistic talents. Lessons are led by Masterworks Education Officer, Krystle Paulino, and Bermuda National Trust Educators, Cindy Corday and Dorte Horsfield, with an added bonus of receiving mentoring from Bermuda’s foremost artists.

During the first series of classes students have focused on a multitude of unique features found in paintings, furniture and architecture at Verdmont as well as the outdoor environments at Spittal Pond. Students were also provided a private tour of the Masterworks vault by Tom Butterfield and were amazed by the variety of paintings stored there from Winslow Homer and Georgia O’Keeffe to modern pop art, as well as local and international artists using every media imaginable.

“The Bermuda National Trust AXIS Education Programme has been a resounding success,” noted AXIS CEO Albert Benchimol.

“Enhancing the programme through collaboration with Masterworks, another great Bermuda organisation, allows students to immerse themselves in Bermuda’s natural and cultural history while expressing themselves artistically. We look forward to the results and thank the Bermuda National Trust, Masterworks and the mentors for their time and dedication.”

The Master Art Classes are designed to support the Bermuda senior school’s curriculum. Students taking visual art classes at level S3 and S4 in the public school system or the advanced placement courses at SGY1 and SGY2 level or at higher standard level courses within the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme have the opportunity to strengthen their skills and creativity.

Students interested in pursuing a career in art have been encouraged by guest artists who were invited to join the classes.

Canadian artist Margaret Best gave an inspiring PowerPoint presentation showing her art work and the art of other painters that have motivated her during her career. Mrs Best is a renowned botanical artist focusing on colour pencil art and realism. She conveyed tips on materials and subjects and stressed the importance of a mentor. Her motto to the students was to “shoot for the stars, keep learning and pushing for excellence”.

Local artist Michelle Pasquin also gave a presentation on her works. She has recently produced an impressive mural at Masterworks which combines the fauna of Bermuda before the first settlers arrived with painting techniques inspired by Spanish cave paintings. She spoke to the students about the lessons learned from cave paintings and showed images of several of her beautiful watercolours and acrylics.

Portfolio development is an integral part of the programme, enabling students to show their strong Bermuda connection through a mixture of subjects and techniques. The ten-week class series will pinnacle at the end of term with a show titled See History through Your Paint Brush! at Masterworks. Through generous sponsorship, Axis Capital Holdings are truly investing in the human capital of Bermuda through a programme which now champions the future or artists of Bermuda in addition to the science and social studies programme already in place.

Students who are interested in participating in the second series of Master Art Classes beginning in September should contact the Bermuda National Trust AXIS Education Programme education@bnt.bm or Masterworks edumworks@logic.bm to register.

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Published May 29, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated May 28, 2014 at 4:56 pm)

A meaningful art and history experience

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