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Learning the Art of Screenprinting

Emily Hall screenprints Learning the art of screenprinting, eighth-graders in the Studio in Art class imprinted their own T-shirts with an original design created by classmate Phoebe Olkowski that they will all wear during their Jr. Docent event at the Darwin Martin House in April.


Through a grant from the Amherst Central Alumni Foundation, an instructor from the Western New York Book Arts Center visited Christina Klein’s art classroom to teach her students how to screenprint.


First practicing on paper before they printed their T-shirts, Nathan Deganis-Librera, a workshop instructor at the WNYBAC, taught them how to use two hands to firmly pull black ink over the screen, check their imprint and then set up the ink for the next person.


The T-shirt design project was one of many that the Studio in Art students are doing as part of their Jr. Docent program through the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo.


Each student created a potential T-shirt design that incorporated elements that they Winning design Student practices a screenprint learned about after visiting the Darwin Martin House this past winter. T-shirt designs were voted on by faculty and staff and Phoebe’s emerged as the winner.


Another project they have done is to create an original room to design and animate using SketchUp. Sketchup (formerly Google Sketchup) is a 3D modeling program that can be used in architectural planning, interior and landscape design, engineering, film and video design. After learning about the Martin Family on their tour, students designed a space within the home based on what they thought the Martin's would enjoy. There is a lot of math and history involved with this unit, so it has been a wonderful multidisciplinary project!


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex, with its national and international appeal, is widely recognized as one of the most important works of Frank Lloyd Wright’s early career. During this semester, Amherst Middle School students have embarked on an amazing journey exploring what life was like in Buffalo at the turn of the century. Our students partnered with Erie1 BOCES and the Martin House docents to learn about Buffalo history and architecture, I Beam construction, art glass, the Darwin Martin House and Barton House, the Martin family, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s life story.


As the culmination to this extension of our classroom experience, Amherst Middle School students will serve as Junior Docents to explain the historical background of the home and its construction during a tour for parents, friends and family on April 17.


Finished T-shirts   Student applies ink to screen   finishing a shirt