Emi Bender was one of the Summer Institute students this Summer. Here is what she had to say about her experience.

"My session volunteering with Dane Arts Mural Arts was an incredibly positive experience. Especially as an aspiring artist, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to work with professionals on art pieces and be able to contribute to the Madison community. I was exposed to almost every stage of the process of creating a mural, from
the first scale drawings to signing the piece at the end. I was also given the opportunity to apply my own hand in painting and drawing.

Although I couldn’t stay for the full program, I worked on murals in two different mediums: waterbased exterior paint and interior collage. The two projects were also on dramatically different scales, with the exterior mural being over four times the size of the interior mural. While working on the exterior project, Neighborhood House, I learned about and applied working with proportion when transferring images from a small photo or
drawing to a large wall, how images are perceived from a distance versus up close, and how to work on a textured wall. The second project, a landscape collage for the Madison Literacy Network, gave me experience in color washes, priming panels, color matching, and how to create the illusion of light and depth in landscapes.

The last thing I completed was a lifesize painting of a flamingo for the Fitchburg bike path, which allowed me to practice painting from reference images and mixing colors for highlights and shadows. I would recommend the DAMA summer volunteer program to any high school student, but especially aspiring artists. There is no substitute for working alongside professionals and witnessing the entire process, and I’m so glad I found DAMA and got to participate."

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