AMES, Iowa - Sioux City's Fourth Street Historic District will teem with budding artists, architects and designers June 11-13 during the Iowa State University College of Design Summer Workshop for area high school students.
In its second year, the two-and-a-half day creative exploration session will be held at the ISU Design West Studio, 1014 ½ Design Place. Eighteen students from eight area high schools are registered to attend.
Through a series of activities and tours, students with a penchant for visual arts interact with local artists and designers, explore educational and professional paths in art and design and create work of their own. The workshop culminates Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with an exhibit of the students' work and critiques by local designers. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Sioux City specific
Created and taught by Debra Satterfield, associate professor of graphic design, and Ann Sobiech Munson, assistant professor of architecture, the workshop is tailored to the Sioux City location.
"We try to capitalize on what the local environment has to offer," Satterfield said. "There is some amazing architecture with ceramic-tiled surfaces and ornamentation that reflects Sioux City's rich history."
During one activity, students take walking tours in the historic area. They're asked to sketch, photograph, write and collect ephemera (small objects like leaves or litter). Their observations, sketches and findings become the basis for the artwork they will create in the studio.
"The subject for their creative work is an investigation of the neighborhood," Munson said. "It's taking something that is very familiar to them and forcing them to look at it in a new way. They learn to look close at something to uncover the history they know about in the abstract."
"The students last year came away feeling a bit more proud of where they come from," Satterfield said. "They felt that their town and story has significance."
Experiencing studio culture
While working on the 2D and 3D projects based on their walking tour, the students are exposed to design studio culture, which differs from high school art classes.
"In design studios, we take short breaks and write reflections, which helps narrow and refocus the work," Satterfield said.
"There's a back and forth between making something and talking about it," Munson added.
As the students create and discuss their work, Satterfield and Munson guide them through fundamental principals of design like texture, repetition, scale and layering.
Both faculty agreed that the work produced by students last year was surprisingly good.
"The students who participate tend to be very gifted and ambitious. They want to know what a design career is all about and how to get one," Satterfield said.
Making connections for the future
From the spatial-environmental walking tours to the material manipulation of paper and found objects, the activities bring into focus the unique mix of disciplines in ISU's College of Design-architecture, community and regional planning, graphic design, interior design, landscape architecture and studio arts.
And during tours of local design professionals' offices and studios, students see the diversity of design careers open to them.
"One of the central ideas of this workshop is to facilitate connections with professionals in their community," Munson said. "This helps them start to understand how they can build on their skills and interests to develop their careers."
Students will visit Kathy Erion at Cannon Moss Brygger and Associates interior design studio; Nathan Kalaher, M+ Architects; Paul Barnes, City of Sioux City planning department; Michelle Bostinelos, SIMPCO transportation planning; Ashley Gates, JD Gordon Advertising graphic design; Karl Van Cura, landscape architect; and Pauline Sensenig/Ann McTaggart artists' studio. Other Sioux City design professionals participating in lunch discussions include Amber Hodges, graphic designer for Security National Bank and Chris Stamm of Lite-Form.
In addition, Iowa State design students Maggie Dougherty and Jake Groth will lead a lunch discussion about what it's like to major in design at ISU. Dougherty graduated from Sioux City Heelan High School in 2008. Groth is a 2008 graduate of Lawton-Bronson High School in Lawton. Both Dougherty and Groth participated in last year's Summer Workshop prior to entering the College of Design last fall.