Making Art Pop in Lower School

Wood, vinyl, paint—all the materials needed to create a new pop art-inspired installation in the Lower School!

For the past few weeks, Lower Schoolers have been exploring and learning about the work of Sara Zigman, a St. Louis-based entrepreneur and artist who has a passion for 3D art and product design. Her work is highly chromatic, bold, and textural, and she has created large-scale modern, sculptural, and pop artwork and murals for Anheuser-Busch, KDG Properties, St. Louis Fashion Fund, and more. Zigman creates contemporary art with pops of color with simple black and white contrasts and organic and geometric shapes. Some of her specialty pieces are “marble” paintings, the familiar butterfly benches in the Central West End, modern pop art cubes, organic shape sculptures, Matisse-like paintings, and designs that she has developed into functional objects.

In anticipation of Zigman’s visit, Lower School artists were immediately drawn to her work’s color and excitement and played with their interpretations in the art studio. Junior Kindergarteners painted concentric squares, Senior Kindergarteners painted organic shapes inspired by her sculptures, first-grade students created drip paintings inspired by Zigman’s marble series, second graders created collages similar to Zigman’s Matisse style art, and third graders collaborated to make 18″ cubes that were part of a hanging art installation during the Beasley Fine Arts Night.

On the day of Zigman’s visit, she joined a Lower School assembly to share her goals and how she persevered to become an artist. “Find your passions and work hard to learn everything you can about the activity you love. You have to practice to get better. It’s important to do what you love every day and explore ways to make a living at the same time,” shared Zigman.

Following the assembly, fourth-grade students experienced a hands-on, creative experience with the artist making pop art cubes using the vinyl shapes they had created using Adobe Illustrator and a Cricut machine. The challenge was to make one side of the cube four concentric squares, two sides with a large white organic shape and a pop of color, one side with a colorful organic shape and a pop of white, and a fifth side of the cube held a base color that the students could choose how to finish. Ashna J. ’30 shared more about the process,A hard thing about making the cubes was putting the stickers down right. I learned a lot about how she makes her sculptures, how she puts them together, and about the butterfly benches that she made.”

Lower School Visual Arts Teacher Sarah Garner reflected on the visit. “It was a memorable experience for our students to work alongside a professional artist,” she said. “It was also so wonderful to welcome an artist back to campus. Meeting artists in person really inspires our students and reinforces the foundation of the love of arts and arts in our community.” Ellie J. ’30 said, “It was super fun. We made 3D squares with shapes and random stickers. It was cool that we got to see how she creates her art.” Lexi E. ’30 added, “I enjoyed meeting her because she was so kind and helpful to everyone.”

Thank you, Ms. Zigman, for an exciting, expressive, and engaging visit. We look forward to seeing the final pop art installation in the Beasley halls!

For more information on Sara Zigman, visit her website and follow her on Instagram.