Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Henri Matisse!

In second grade, students have been working on a multiple step project inspired by Matisse. While students are not finished yet - I found a really neat interactive learning experience through the Baltimore Museum of Art's website. Check it out:

Observational Band Instruments

Fifth grade art students found inspiration from something very familiar… their band instruments. At our school, all students are required to take band in the fifth grade, so they have all been getting to know their new instruments. In art class, students created observational drawings of their instruments looking closely at small details, highlights, and shadows. As a group, we talked about composition in relation to art, which is very similar to composition in music. Students chose an open or a closed composition to feature their instrument. They also made important decisions regarding the arrangement of their subject to create a visually interesting composition. They drew their final piece in sharpie, and then brought in some color using colored pencils. Well done, fifth grade!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tote Bag Awareness Project

In fourth grade, students took on a project that explored the individual in a different way. This project’s focus is on how students, as individuals, can make a change. I created the Tote Bag Awareness project as a way to show students that art can be a means of communication. No matter how old you are, you can make a change. First, we watched a clip of Planet Earth, and enjoyed the beauty and uniqueness of the deep oceans. Then, I presented a lesson on plastic bags. We discussed: statistics about plastic bags, the Great Eastern Garbage Patch, plastic bag bans, and how to remedy the negative impact of plastic bags. Next, students created a drawing that communicates something about the environment to promote a change. I strongly discouraged students from using words, to highlight the importance of telling a story using pictures. After creating drawings, students transferred their drawings onto soft-kut printmaking blocks. Once the image was transferred, students carefully cut into their drawing, then inked their block, and printed the image.

Initially, students printed on colorful paper to get the feel for this printmaking technique:

The final print was transferred onto a canvas tote bag. The result: students made an artistic statement in their school and in their community. Wherever they go, wherever they shop, whenever they have their tote bag, they will have a piece of art that stands for something that needs addressing in the environment. What a big statement for someone so young!

*Tote bags are NOT washable!

*Tote bags are NOT washable!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pioneer Still Life

Third grade art takes on a new challenge: the still life! The pioneer still life builds upon observational drawing skills from years prior. Students learn to observe and draw multiple objects, paying close attention to the relationships between each object on the page. For instance, you can see which objects are in front, because they overlap the object behind it. Pioneer objects were carefully chosen as a theme for each still life. This enables the viewer to create their own story behind the artwork.