Edible Montages

Launched by ADHT’s Insights, First Year Features is a multi-part series that aims to showcase the work produced by students currently enrolled in Parsons’ First-Year Program.  Challenging the ways in which making and writing come together in and out of studio, seminar and socially aware spaces, students offer multiple entry points into the task of art and design, and how design engages in our complex and rapidly changing world.

For the second installment of First Year Features, we have the work of students Anney Norton, Balbina De Silva Milmo, Kenisha Bijoux Rullan, and Wilson Diaz Antigua from Alaiyo Bradshaw’s Drawing/Imaging course.


Drawing/Imaging asks first year students to consider how meaning is constructed and communicated through visual images. In this course, students use traditional drawing and digital imaging methods to explore the conceptual, aesthetic, and formal qualities that inform how ideas and impressions are expressed on a two-dimensional plane.

In her D/I section, Professor Alaiyo Bradshaw asks students to try their hand at an edible montage. Using a color pencil drawing of a chosen favorite food, a study of the hand in watercolor, and photo images, students create a personal narrative montage. Preferences have included experiences, emotions, food, music, self-portraits, favorite literature, and more.

Below students show with their final work and their own insights into their process, how the Edible Montage project merges analogue and digital techniques and consists of a continuation of work in visual perception, color mixing and theory, analytical construction, and an introduction to the media of color pencil, watercolor, and Adobe Photoshop.  

Reflecting on these exceptional montages, Professor Bradshaw notes, “Students love the assignment. The project starts out with using only primary colors to create the analogue work. Students are surprised at the amount of secondary and tertiary colors they can create by hand mixing the limited palette. They then digitally collage the scans, photos, textures, colors and techniques until the puzzles comes together to form their intentions or somewhat unintended pleasant surprises.”

Anney Norton

anney norton

“I maintained a more rough and loose look when I cut out certain images, adding a dimension of chaos to a seemingly bright and ordered piece. The roughness was a stark contrast to the refined beauty of the images I used. I felt that the theme of watercolor, and watercolor-esque pieces, glued the different elements of the piece together and gave the whole piece a sense of continuity. The project ultimately allowed me to discover a new medium, one that I have grown to love and enjoy.”

Balbina De Silva Milmo

balbina milmo

“The story of this work involves my transition from Mexico to New York. On the bottom there are trees and two stippling drawings of my sister and me that I created. I decided to leave them black and white and not fully opaque in order to give my piece some contrast. This project really helped me understand how to work with different selection tools, layer masks, layer styles, and other basics that I had not yet nailed.”

Kenisha Bijoux Rullan

Kenisha Bijoux Rullan

“I didn’t really know how to situate the hand. At first I intended that it would reach out to something, but I ended up placing it in the center of the photomontage and duplicating it so that it looked like it was reaching out to another hand. This, to me, represents the connection between people in the city. The movement from the evergreens to the city also represents moving from Seattle to New York City for me. I also changed the hue of the hands, one is purple and one is more yellow/orange to tie the whole piece together.”

Wilson Diaz Antigua

Wilson Antigua

“My main mindset throughout was to achieve a sense of symmetry around the whole piece. Each object that I added had to have its equivalent complementary. Although at first I thought making the montage about myself would give a more personal touch to the piece, I figured that I would learn the most if I just had plain fun with the application. My concept would revolve around the idea of ‘apples vs. oranges’ in a war that transcends time and how the banana was the singularity that would bring peace to both factions.”

All work featured here is done so with the consent of their makers.

This installment was created by Alex Bennett.

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