Middle schoolers create art at Waterworks

  • Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013 1:19 a.m.
Joshua Cross demonstrates camera techniques to his class during the Waterworks Middle School Art Residency.
Joshua Cross demonstrates camera techniques to his class during the Waterworks Middle School Art Residency.

SALISBURY — Twenty students from Rowan-Salisbury middle schools recently participated in the 2013 Middle School Art Residency at Waterworks Visual Arts Center.

The week-long program, which began in 2005, challenges students to think critically about various aspects of a hands-on art experience as they develop skills while completing multiple art projects. It offers art instruction to middle school students who are nominated by their school’s art educator or school administrator.


The Middle School Art Residency provides opportunities for students to participate in and learn about the arts disciplines from professional artists free of charge through a grant from the Proctor Foundation and Susan and Edward Norvell.

This year’s art residency focused on printmaking, taught by Catherine Cross Tsintzos, and photography, taught by Joshua Cross.

Tsintzos is a multimedia artist who serves as Studio Artist for Youth and Family Programming for the Orlando Museum of Art in Orlando, Fla., as well as Cultural Arts Coordinator for an outreach program for underserved minorities at Winter Park Presbyterian Church, Winter Park, Fla.

Residency students learned printmaking terminology and the four basic methods of printmaking – relief, intaglio, silkscreen, and planographic. The students experimented with these methods in creating a variety of art projects, including etching and printing linoblocks, using CDs as a printing plate to etch designs, watercolor monotypes and silkscreening T-shirts. The students were also taught to use the printing presses.

Joshua Cross serves as professor of art and director of the Grace and Cameron West Art Gallery at Pfeiffer University. He also is the adjunct professor of photography at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Cross focused on taking the basic principles of black and white darkroom photography and expanding them into making a graphic image.

The students used Holga and handmade cameras to create their images. Only three children in the residency had previously been exposed to film cameras and a darkroom.

“The Middle School Residency is a great opportunity to introduce students to in-depth studio practice in two distinct but complementary art disciplines,” said Ingred Erickson, education coordinator for Waterworks. “They become artists for the week as they learn their way around the print studio and the darkroom. They learn foundational skills and care of materials from a master artist, and use these skills to express themselves.”

The students were given 35mm cameras and used their imaginations to photograph subjects from downtown walks.

“The 35mm camera forces them to look carefully at their subjects and choose the best shots because they only have 12 images on the film,” Cross said in the press release. “It’s not like digital photography where you can just keep shooting and choose the best one.”


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