Contours drawn blindly, black-and-white portraits, the evolution of white converse and sketches of the surrounding world. These are just some of the images found under the Instagram hashtag #artsatarcher that make up the The “100 Days of ARTcher” project.
The assignment, which challenged Archer’s visual artists and photographers to create and post one piece of work a day for 100 days, recently ended after more than four months and over 2,900 Instagram posts.
The project was spearheaded by visual arts teacher and Arts Department Chair Emily Silver. Silver said that the often slow artistic start to the school year inspired her to propose the challenge.
“I was just thinking about coming into the fall and how sometimes it takes us a little bit of time to warm up and get our work going,” she said. “We left really strong in the spring, with a lot of great art and a lot of great artists, and I just thought it would be a great way to get people excited about art on campus.”
Silver hoped to bring awareness to Archer’s visual artists and their work, as well as push her students to create artwork consistently.
“It was really to start showing the community all the amazing things that we and the girls do at the school and also to keep the brain working creatively everyday,” she said.
Students who participated were initially intimidated by the length of the project, but grew to appreciate the growth it encouraged.
“It was stressful having to draw everyday, but I think that forced me to look into things I wouldn’t necessarily do or find people that I hadn’t seen in a while [to draw],” Rose Shulman-Litwin ’18 said, who worked on a series of blind contours. “Drawing everyday really encouraged creativity that way.”
“100 days was overwhelming but just doing one a day was easy,” said senior Leandra Ramlo, who also completed a series of blind contours. “Overall, I really liked it and it was really cool to see the progression over 100 days.”
Though the project got overwhelmingly positive responses from its participants, some say they would change aspects of their process were they to take on a similar project.
“I would post more — I would always forget to post on Instagram,” said Shulman-Litwin. “I’d work on just trying to be inspired everyday — drawing more from real life, not just photos.”
“I think what happened was that [the students’] processes changed, and so the theme changed along with it, which I was super excited about seeing,” Silver said. “I would encourage that more. People struggled when they thought they had to stick with a theme, so I would be a little more open with that.”
Despite these small missteps, both Silver and her students agreed the project resulted in meaningful learning.
“The major thing I took away was just to try something random,” Ramlo said. “I just kind of did something random that I wanted to work on. I think it turned out to be really fun because I didn’t have those expectations for it. I could just have fun with it.”
Silver recommended the project for anyone who enjoys a challenge or is experiencing an artistic slump. She added that just because the 100 days came to an end the work doesn’t have to.