We have been very busy creating art as spring slowly rolls in. Third and fourth graders finished their Native American unit off with their clay coil pots that are adorned with Native American designs and symbols. They only used black and white glaze on their white and/or red clay pots. This gives them a truly authentic look. They came out fantastic.
Upon finishing our Native American unit, we then completely switched gears and begun learning about Contemporary Art. We have been specifically looking at the work of Peter Max, Dale Chihuly and Wayne Thiebaud. We had the honor of housing 5 Peter Max originals, donated for loan from a Lyman family. It was an awesome experience for the kids to enjoy original art from a famous artist and I am forever grateful for that experience. Pics of our Chihuly "glass" chandelier and Thiebaud Sweet Treat chalk pastel drawings coming soon.
Happy New year!
It's hard to believe it is January already! Time sure does fly by when you are having fun. The 3rd and 4th graders have been learning about Native American art. They, most recently, finished creating "buffalo hide" art. Native American's would create artwork on prepared buffalo hides. They would do this for many purposes, but one was to tell stories. Students researched Native American pictographs and chose some to create their own stories. They planned these designs out and wrote out their stories. They drew these pictographs with pencils, then traced with sharpies before filling them in with construction paper crayons. They were only allowed to use colors that were used by Native Americans. Once their artwork was completed they cut the edges of their brown paper with "fancy" scissors, then ran water over the entire paper and crinkled it up (this was such a strange concept for them). The result is made to look like worn leather (buffalo hide). These came out fantastic and their stories are so creative.
We are currently working on Pueblo Indian inspired pottery. Each student is creating their own vessel using the coil method. They will then be scratching native american designs into the glaze they coat them with. I can't wait to see how they all turn out.
Symmetrical Name Bugs have arrived!
Students created made-up insects by using their first names and a mirrored image of their first name. First students had to practice writing their names in a style of their choice. Many choice cursive! They then learned a technique to be able to trace the mirror image of their name in order to create an interesting shape in which they then turned into a creative, made-up bug.
Once they finished their bugs and made a symmetrical leaf for them, they had to give them a name and decide where it lived. They really showcased their creative thinking skills in this fun art experience.
Can you read the “hidden” names?
Every year I like to start out with an important message... "Don't worry if you make a "mistake", turn it into something beautiful. Sometimes it's the best thing that could have happened to that work of art." I use the book Beautiful Oops! By Barney Saltzberg. This books’ message helps kids feel comfortable about making “mistakes” and encourages turning it into something, instead of getting upset by it. They love this book and will refer to it often. Students then demonstrated their creativity and wild imaginations through creating something out of drips of paint. Characters and stories emerged from their unique creations. They “knocked my socks off” with their creativity! They are currently photographing their work and recording either by voice or an artist statement about their creation. I hope to be able to share these digital files with their parents in the near future.
Currently we are working on symmetrical name bugs. Students are creating a made-up insect using their first names and a mirrored image of their first name. Stay tuned for some cool pics of these wacky bugs!
It's Spring....FINALLY! It seems like the art train is in full speed this time of year. It's amazing.
We have been working away creating some pretty amazing art. 3rd and 4th graders created wonderfully colorful Picasso inspired Roosters for their Square One Art fundraiser. They were great, right? Thank you to all who participated. We raised close to $3000 for our school.
We then dove into some 3D art in a very interesting project that evolved before our eyes and came out quite impressive. Students first learned to weave. They wove on a paper bowl. After the weaving was done they learned to braid, to create a nice border around the edge of the bowl. To finishe these off, students learned about radial symmetry and created beautiful radical symmetrical designs on foil with sharpies. They are truly stunning. This project took quite some time, but they really seemed to enjoy it as there were so many different aspects envolved. Once this project was completed we moved onto another 3D project. This time we created liquid soap dispensers out of clay! You are going to LOVE them. I got this idea from my own kid's art teacher. I love the ones my boys made, so I hope you will enjoy yours as well. They used two pinch pots, a coil, and a small slab to create these. They glazed them with beautiful colors and designs. I can't wait until you all see them.
I look forward to seeing many of you at our Share Fair on June 14th. Please be sure to come to the art room and hallway towards the library to check out their latest creations.
Third and Fourth Graders have worked very hard on creating their own “Story-Quilts” after learning about famous artist, Faith Ringgold. They learned that Faith Ringgold created story quilts from her life; family and imagination. Students were asked to think about memories from their own lives that they may want to illustrate. They then chose a favorite memory and created an illustration about it. Their illustrations were supposed to demonstrate an understanding of foreground, middle-ground and background as well. These story quilts took a lot of thought, planning, creativity and careful craftsmanship. They worked so hard and their efforts paid off. We hope you will enjoy reading about their memories.
Currently, we are learning to weave. Each student is weaving yarn in a paper bowl. They are coming out really great, and the students really seem to love this unit. Stay tuned for more on this project.
The year starts off with
a Beautiful Oops!
Students showed off their creativity on day one! I read them the book Beautiful Oops! Which teaches about how you can turn a "mistake" into something "beautiful". Students "spilled" some paint onto a piece of paper and picked it up and let it drip while turning it or shaking the paper to manipulate the paint. Once they were happy with their spilled shape, they let it dry until the following week. Their challenge was to then turn it into something using Sharpie Markers, colored pencils and they had the option of googly eyes. They did a fantastic job and their descriptions of their creations were priceless. To the right you find some pictures of their creations!
Here's a link to the book/song video that we watch:
January 2016 - Focus: Native American
totem poles & clay forms.
We started the new year off by continuing our study of Native American art. This time we were learning about Northwest Native Americans tradition of creating totem poles. Students began by drawing several designs of their own segment of a totem pole. They were asked to choose an animal that could represent something about themselves, because Native Americans always used symbols in their artwork. We then took out the clay and learned how to make coil pots - BUT, the clay I had was a little too dry, so we ran into a lot of problems. I then gave them slabs of clay that I rolled out so they could just then concentrate on building their animal on their slabs. They learned the attachment method of scratching and slipping. We then made cylinders out of the slabs. These will be individual segments to a large class totem pole. They are currently drying and should be ready for glazing when they return from our short winter break. We are all super excited about this project. Stay tuned for more photos.
Mr. Moriarty's Class was in full swing with our schools first mural project funded by the state grant we received. (see murals tab for pics of this rich experience) Mrs. Polanksy's class continued to weave using their own made clay looms. They truly got the hang of it and came out beautifully. Next month it's their turn to work with Wesleyan students and professor to create a school mural.
During this short month Mrs. Polansky's class glazed their clay looms and began weaving on them. This has been challenging to some, but once they got the hang of it they were weaving away. They will continue working on their weavings into March. I cannot wait to have them all on display on their hand made looms. It really is a pretty special project that I think the students have thoroughly enjoyed.
Mr. Moriarty's class has been working on our school's first mural, thanks to our state grant we received. Click on the Mural Project tab to learn more. Mrs. Polansky's class will begin our schools second mural for this year in the beginning of April.
While Mrs. Polansky's class starts their mural project Mr. Moriarty's class begins weaving on their clay looms. I'm so impressed with how these weavings have turned out and I can't wait to share them with you all during our Share Fair in June. (click on the murals tab to see pics of our mural projects in action.)
This month just seemed to fly by. As students finished up their birch tree forest paintings, we began to create "glowing" snowflakes. Students learned some new ways to create intricate snowflakes by folding paper in different ways. We made a big white beautiful mess with all the paper clippings. Once their snowflakes were created, they then glued them down to dark blue paper and used chalk pastels to create a colorful "glow" around them. They turned out beautifully and students had a lot of fun creating them. Up next in the new year we will begin getting dirty with clay as we make our own looms that we will then use to weave on during our colonial american art study.
In the art room, we started the school year off by getting our “creative juices flowing.” I read the students Beautiful Oops! By Barney Saltzberg. This books’ message makes kids to feel comfortable about making “mistakes” and how you can turn it into something instead of getting upset by it. They love this book and will refer to it often. Students then demonstrated their creativity and wild imaginations through creating something out of a scrap of colored paper. Characters and stories emerged from their unique creations. They “knocked my socks off” with their creativity!
We also had a special "I am an Artist" ceremony. Each student of mine picked out a bead and slid it onto a branch of my metal wire art room tree, as they did so they had to say "I am an Artist". I explained to my students that each time I look at the tree I will be reminding of all my little artists. It was a very sweet "ceremony" that they took quite seriously.
We then began to focus on symmetry, how we find it in nature and how we can create it in art. We used our names to create our own unique "bug", mostly insects or arachnids. The students learned a technique using charcoal pencils that make creating symmetry a breeze. They also had to come up with a unique name for their new "specie". After completing this 2D project, they were then challenged to create a 3D form of their "bug", using self-hardening clay. They did a great job!! Come on in and check them out, they are in the display cases.
Up next, we will be learning about composition, elements of art and digital photography, with the help of resident artist Craig Norton. I am super excited about this residency and I know the kids are going to love what we have planned.
During November 3rd and 4th graders explored the use of watercolors through creating birch tree forests. This is a great lesson as it allows students to learn about many different aspects of visual art, such as, texture, light & shadows, perspective, scale, contrast. And in addition to all of that they learn a whole lot about using watercolors as an art medium. Students really took pride in their work during this project and many of them impressed themselves with their final outcome. Some students even planned to give theirs to a loved one as a gift for Christmas. What a great job they did.
This was a busy month. We finished up our symmetrical bug projects with creating 3D bug forms to look like our 2D bugs.
They did a great job on them. Then the students had 2 classes
with resident artist, Craig Norton, who is a photographer. The kids loved learning about capturing emotions felt through music with
a photograph. Stay tuned for a glimpse of their work and a video that pulls it all together. To the right are some pics from our photo taking sessions for you to enjoy in the meantime.