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Leary says she decided to use doors because she wanted to inspire the students with what's called assemblage art, a style that started in the early 20th century with artists like Marcel Duchamp who used everyday objects to create works of art.
“I thought there was a lot of fun and freedom to that style of art.” Doors are human sized, Leary says, and because of this—as well as the fact that they have two sides, and can open and close—makes them an excellent canvas: "Doors open, they close, they can lead to something, they can keep something out.
Twelve students were given a discarded wooden door to use, along with materials including paint, newsprint, magazines, and construction materials. The twelve resulting pieces of art have been installed into the small gallery at the Hyde Collection. "They create a wonderful installation of individual pieces, each unique, and very expressive."
"One of my goals was to have that sense that art can be just part of your life. You can create a studio space, where you can go make art, and take it out of the school year,” Leary says. “It can beyond the school year, you can keep making art, you can just make it an additional part of what you do.”
Leary chose a mix of students, some who were art students, others who'd never had art training. "I looked to people who already knew the kids, through their schools or other organizations, they didn’t have to be art students. In fact, I wanted to reach out to kids who say ‘I’m not good at art’, but who are very creative.”
Leary says the next step is windows, which she says her students suggested. She says it's a natural progression. The Hyde Collection is looking to find sponsorships for the windows project next year, in a more formalized way.
An opening reception will be held on Saturday. More information at the Hyde Collection's web site.