Discipline: Visual Arts
Natasha Smith is a self-defined teaching artist. Natasha holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Scotland. For over 15 years Natasha has been actively teaching and maintaining her art practice which combines printmaking, collage, painting and assemblage. Natasha has taught at Kootenay School of the Arts, Red Deer College (Summerscapes) and Oxygen Art Centre; she presents at conferences and offers private tuition. Over the last seven years Natasha has been involved in six ArtStarts Artists in the Classroom residencies in both Elementary and Secondary schools in the West Kootenays.
Natasha's planning, organization and implementation were very conscientiously and thoroughly done. She carefully planned projects that were suitable for all ages, from Kindergarten to Grade 6, and that allowed children a lot of freedom within the parameters of the projects. Natasha is skilled in nurturing each child's individual creativity and guiding the child's development without crushing his/her spirit. In working with adults within the school, she is very collaborative and flexible. Margaret Stegman, Teacher
I was Natasha's contact person on the teaching staff and she was the artist in residence who headed up the project, which resulted in a series of colourful collaged tiles which grace the hallways of the school. Students and busy staff appreciated the extent to which Natasha was able to take the lead on this, from conception to the hanging and celebration of this display. Her experience and skills were evident throughout. Lois Lawrence, Teacher
Using mixed-media painting techniques, students will create a personal visual story inspired by the broad theme of the river. The project begins with students taking a field trip and spending time by a river, they will be encouraged to take photographs and sketch by the river and the idea of the river as a source, or metaphor to express stories or dreams in visual form will be introduced. Natasha will demonstrate various mixed-media painting techniques using acrylic mediums (including photo transfers) and paint and students will create their own personal visual story on a wooden panel.
This project can align with any curriculum focus of the school's choice. Natasha will introduce a variety of printmaking approaches to students including monoprinting, drypoint etching and collagraph techniques. Students will learn about the various plate-making techniques and investigate various printing possibilities including selectively applying colour, chine colle and blended rolls. Depending on the equipment available at the school, Natasha can demonstrate these techniques using a printmaking press or low-tech, hand printmaking techniques.
In this project Natasha will introduce students to the additive/subtractive process of collage investigating the curriculum subject of the school's choice. Students will first develop their ideas by creating thumbnail sketches to investigate the curriculum subject/theme and image composition will be discussed. Using a variety of collage materials including fabrics, natural materials and textured papers, students will learn how to glue the various materials down, creating a collage on a firm wooden tile. Students will then investigate the elements of texture and colour by applying paint to their collages. This project can form a permanent feature at the school.