School of the Minds

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Engineering is Art


by Khaldoune Bencheikh

This will be conducted at Khaldoune’s studio in Irmo.  Minimum 5 students and maximum 10 students.  $240/student/semester for 12 sessions of 2 hours each.  This flat fee includes cost of materials and supplies, as well as the usage of tools and facility of the Art Lab.


See a video of Khaldoune explaining his MFA project.

This hands-on course is a historical reconstruction of material and processes of painting, ranging from the Greco-Roman encaustic painting to the Venetian painting and Byzantine mosaics. This creates a bridge between historical painting, an old technology in terms of visual communication and the new digitized media, which is an extension of the past. This course will use computer-manipulated images from the past as subject matter of traditionally rendered paintings. The creation of these digitized reproductions will be given as a homework assignment to bring at the beginning of each project using free photo editing programs that can be found online.

This course will be composed of the following:
The first part consists of the Art Lab to understand the chemistry of paint by manipulating 100% safe, raw materials to make paint, mediums and different binding agents as well as the traditional fabrication and preparation of substrate of paint. The Lab is a valuable opportunity to learn self-sustainability and be free of the burden of commercialized art products.
The second part will be an application of different paint processes and techniques (encaustic, egg tempera, oil painting and mosaics) to render computerized images in the spirit of these traditional mediums of painting. This practice is to provide students with the basic skills of painting as well as an educated eye when confronted with produced images in museums, art galleries, etc.
To nicely conclude the course a field trip to the the Columbia Museum of Art and the Greek Orthodox Church will be planned to put students’ practice and the newly acquired knowledge into a larger perspective.
For images of Khaldoune’s work as a teacher, click here.
NOTE: This course suits the needs of 4th to 8th grade students due to their motor skills and attention span required to accomplish certain tasks. Younger students are always welcome to join, assisted by an adult to respond to their needs.  There will be no classes on the 2nd Fridays of each month (January 11, February 8, March 8 and April 12), so that homeschool families can still attend their Art Lessons at the Columbia Museum of Art.

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