Category: Wisconsin State 4-H Art Beat Camp


This past weekend I had the pleasure of instructing a visual arts track at Upham Woods to about 60 4-H members that are in grades 3rd-5th grade.  In honor of the 75th Anniversary of Upham Woods and the Upham Sisters that donated the 315 acres of land to the UW Extension to preserve the land as an educational format  so future generations of children  so they could experience nature and learn through the Wisconsin State and County 4-H programs.   The visual art track offered information about Elizabeth and Caroline Upham and explained why the metal sculptures related to Elizabeth Uphams artistic talents creating with metals and the stone slabs that the campers used as a base is connected with Caroline Upham because of her and her fathers expertise in geology.  The photographs I’m posting today depict a fraction of the activities, experiences and artwork created by our guest campers attending the 2016 4-H Art Beat 4-H Camp Program  this past  weekend.

Thank you to the parents and campers that had taken the time to write a thank you letter to the Upham family members for their donation of property and their continued support to Upham Woods.  If you would like to write a thank you letter please contact me.  There is still time to write a thank you letter to the Upham family members.

This coming weekend I’ll have the great pleasure of teaching a visual arts workshop at Upham Woods Educational Center located in Wisconsin Dells.  So here are some photographs of the sample pieces I’ve created for my young artists this weekend.

These sample pieces of artwork are a visual reminder to all the  2016 Wisconsin 4-H Art Beat participants as to how I had arranged my bent silverware. I also want to remind the participants that when creating focal points I suggest that you use an odd number and place the focal points in a triangle, so the viewers eye will travel throughout the composition.  It’s important not to place your creation in the middle of the base.  If the sculpture is placed off center and/or if focal points or parts of a sculpture hang over the side of a base, it will catch the viewers eye.  To create tension in my sculptures I have marbles  that appear to be falling off the spoons and onto another spoon or I have to pieces of silverware almost touching !  I created a spoon that appears to be much longer in length than it’s actual size and forks that appear to be interacting with each other as they move or balance a long orange rod.

I used ceramic tiles, glass and metal as my materials because these materials visually compliment each other.  They are inexpensive materials, yet these materials have richness and polished quality when  they are used together in a composition.

I like to have the base of my compositions lifted off the table surface because it gives the artwork a stronger sense of presence. If you look at the photograph of each sculpture I will give more specific information listed explaining it’s design.

The reason for using the metal silverware as a main material is because of the Upham Sisters (Elizabeth and Caroline  Upham ) that donated the 315 acres of land that makes up Upham Woods. Elizabeth Upham  created artwork using metals. Her metalwork was on exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum and jewelry created from metal was on exhibit at the Chicago Art Institution, Chicago Ill. 

So to honor the Upham Sisters on the 75th Anniversary of Upham Woods,  I’ve  chosen metal as a main  material for the 4-H Art Beat Campers to create with this weekend.