Two second grade art classes from Sayre School visited the gallery recently to see Marvin Francis’ work. Their reaction was mixed. One particularly bold student declared: “This art makes me want to throw up!” Another little girl was so disturbed that she cried. Yes, an Institute 193 exhibition made a child cry.
Teacher Georgia Henkel initially planned the visit to demonstrate Francis’ use of papier maché, a medium her students have been studying. However, the challenging subject matter of his sculptures presented another learning opportunity. “I think it’s important that they understand art isn’t always pretty. It can also be challenging, provoking, difficult to face.”