Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Sending warm holiday greetings your way! See you in 2012!

Winter Counts in the Winter

Third grade students have recently been through a time warp! In art class, they were transported to the year 1857. They landed in the Great Plains, and became members of the Lakota Sioux Tribe.

Well, they didn’t really travel back in time. But, we did learn all about the Lakota Sioux Indians and how they tell stories and record history through what they call a winter count. The winter count is like a calendar. Events are recorded from first snowfall of one year, to the first snowfall of the next year using pictograms.

Students were asked to choose their own adventure in the Great Plains. They each recorded what happened to them in a winter count journal, and then translated their words into pictograms. Students even had the opportunity to invent their own pictograms for words they couldn’t find symbols for. Finally, students drew their pictograms on rawhides that they made earlier. The end result: each student has a unique and imaginative story to tell in the style of a winter count. Enjoy a few samples below!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sol LeWitt

In fifth grade we are currently learning about Sol LeWitt, and beginning a project based on his artwork (more to come on the project later). A couple years ago, I had the chance to see his exhibit at MASS MoCA in Massachusetts. It was one of the neatest exhibits I have seen. If you are ever in the area, the exhibit is actually going to be up until 2033! MASS MoCA also happens to be a pretty cool space. It is huge and has a warehouse kind of feel. LeWitt's wall drawings are huge! In class, we watched a timelapse video showing the process of creating a wall drawing. 

Feel free to find more information and timelapse videos by following this link:
Interior Hallway in MASS MoCA

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Coil Vessels

After spending a good portion of time on creating curvilinear two-dimensional lines, the fifth grade students created coil vessels using three-dimensional lines. Building upon ceramic techniques and skills from previous years, students created a coil vessel that incorporated variety in shape, line, and texture to add interest. Students experimented with expanding and contracting the walls of their coil pots for added pizazz.

Look for the final glazed product in January...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Winslow Homer Inspired Ship Paintings

The second grade has made a dramatic shift from abstraction to realism. And, who better to inspire realism? But, Winslow Homer! After learning about the American artist’s life and artwork (including his usage of foreground, middle ground, and background), students created an observational drawing of model ships in perspective. Students had the advantage of looking closely at some really cool ships in the art room, and drawing what they saw – in perspective! These drawings were then transformed into watercolor paintings by using new techniques like the watercolor wash and adding salt for a clever effect.