Students worked on remixing their past works into new works this week, using either new compositions, materials, or skills to demonstrate their art understandings. In addition to using materials from the past, students experimented with some new ideas and took time to get feedback on their works using a peer critique method. Because of a small disruption in the week of an ice day, not everyone's work was handed in as scheduled. I look forward to when the rest come in on Monday and getting this class wrapped up for the semester next week!
Trever O.: This piece was a remix of my old work that was my fish piece from 5th grade called Water Color Fish Painting. I kept the outline of the plants and environment similar and copied it four times. I changed the color scheme for each frame from the original. I used Andy Warhol’s idea of copying each frame and coloring it different with a color scheme for each. I changed it by rather having what seemed to be a blue background with a different color I used complimentary colors. I chose this piece because I was really interested in doing a block print piece.
Trever W.: I used the abstract of everyday objects. one similarity is the lies that divide the sections of color. I choose to remix this art piece because I thought it would be fun to use the colors in a way that I do not use a lot. One difference is the heart is in the middle of the new one and not the old one.
Kristina B.: I chose to remix a project that I did from earlier this year for a photoshop challenge. Comparing these two, this project I did the whole screen instead of just my face to add more of an effect to your eyes. The same thing that I did with both projects is I used photoshop and did an image of my face facing the other way each time. I chose to remix this project because I felt that I could improve it and make it more appealing when people look at it. What I did to change this piece was to do the whole screen instead of just my face.
On Thursday, we had an ice day. Instead of wasting away in front of the TV, I took the time to make these beauties for my new Schoology courses next semester. We are changing to the enterprise version of the website, so I am learning new things and needed more colored cans for each of my sections. Before I made these, I was feeling anxious about the change. I still feel anxious, but not nearly as much. Going to the Meijer Gardens later in the day to see some of the new Ai WeiWei exhibit also helped.
Next week is the LAST week of the semester before we start over again with a new group. I am really proud of what has been accomplished so far and I am excited to see what is ahead of us as we finish out this semester and begin a new one.
I did get a chance to start with a new group of students this week in my KCAD DE course. Our "get-to-know" you activity was a fun one where students were challenged to make images that created the letters to spell their names. Here are two example of the results:
GAP that Portfolio
Coming back from a break can be hard. I need just as much easing into it as my students. Instead of starting out with a new project right away, I decided that I would use that first day back as a way for students to reflect on all they have accomplished by GAP-ing their portfolios. I also wrote this activity for the MAEIA project and you can find the more detailed step-by-step instructions on their website.
What is GAP? It stands for Good, Average Poor. Students simply empty the contents of their portfolios (which is also great because I get things returned to me that have been hiding away in there) and sort their work into piles based on their assessment of the work.
Before we GAP, students write down the 4 C's (Creativity, Craftsmanship, Content, and Composition) in their sketchbooks and how we use the 4 C's to evaluate work. Here is a great video, too.
Once we discuss how we determine what is "good" art, with an understanding that everyone has a different idea of "good" and that is okay, students start to sort. After about five minutes of sorting, they determine which work was the most successful and which was the least and then put all works, other than those two, away.
Afterwards, students wrote down characteristics of their works using a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast and then we did a gallery walk before putting them away. This was also the time where I selected several works for upcoming shows and displays.
This activity is one that I have done with students since I learned it from my mentor teacher, Jean TerMeer, at Corunna Middle School back in 2004. It is great for getting students to think critically about what they have made in the hopes they will use that thinking again as they continue to make future work.
Everything is a Remix
For our last challenge of the semester and of the class, students are being asked to use the idea of remixing and apply it to their work. Students watched the video above and viewed work by Kehinde Whiley before planning out remixes from their own portfolios, using Artsonia Classroom mode to look back years and years ago. Student work will be finished just in time to start reviewing for exams next week! View some progress below.
2017 Regional Scholastic Winners
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University announced the 2017 West Central Michigan Regional Scholastic Art winners this week. Once again, BCPS Visual Arts students were able to shine and earn the recognition in the various categories offered in the competition.
I am excited that WMS had 30 winners across 12 different categories this year. It was also exciting that two of the works that won were printed on the 3D printer! The high school had 47 works that earned recognition, with one placing as an American Vision Nominee!
Here are the winning works from WMS students below (good luck to the Gold Key winners, whose works will now go onto the national competition):
Clayton Brown and Magnus Smith, Film and Animation
Abby Boyle, Ella Perry, Samatha Kitchen, and Shelby Lubbers,
Film and Animation
Brandt Bobeldyke, Film and Animation
Maddie Lange, Jenny Phung, and Kenzi Feuerstein, Film and Animation
As I have done for the past 5 years, I am finishing the year out with some closing images that highlight 2016.
It was a year filled with many opportunities for my students and me to shine. My students kicked off the year with our most successful showing at the Scholastic Art and Writing awards, and finished it off with another round of submissions that I am sure will find great success to kick off 2017. I got a chance to start the year with a keynote at ECET2 in San Diego, CA and finished it out with preparing both writing and presentations for various Art Education publications.
I started blogging because I wanted a space to document what my students and I were doing in the classroom and use that to help propel us both forward. What has been a byproduct from this is the amazing connections I have made with other teachers and classrooms who happen to stumble across this space and use the materials I have shared and make it their own.
I am very excited about what is to come in 2017. I keep working and growing to be the teacher I envision for my students and my students keep showing up, working hard, and producing results that are meaningful.
Here is a quick look at 2016:
Each year since I moved towards choice-based instruction I work to make my classroom more user friendly. I started out 2016 with this effort to organize my classroom and used students to help me do it. It has worked pretty well so far and we continue to make adjustments as students use the tools to create their art.
The 2016 West Central Michigan Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards at Kendall College of Art and Design was one of the most successful showings for BCPS Visual Arts Students in the history of our participation in the program. In addition to having the most recognition in Kent County, two of our students were selected as being a part of the Five American Vision Nominee works and three students works ended up receiving recognition at the National level. We are so proud of our student Artists and look forward to seeing the great things they continue to make as they develop their skills and creative voices.
This year was one of the most successful years I have ever had with grant writing. In the course of one month, my classroom received $7000 in funding and shattered all records for the amounts of funding we have received annually in the past. The biggest funding source came from Tanger Outlets and was used to purchase a 3D printer for the Art and STEM classroom.
NYC in June has become a tradition for me and a deserving National Scholastic winner. Cam Scheulke won a National Gold Medal in Jewelry for his origami necklace and we were able to celebrate the accomplishment in NYC. Cam's visit marked our third year in a row for a national winner and 6th National medalist in BCWMS history.
This year the high school art teachers and I had a series of after school Scholastic critique sessions for students to share and work on pieces for competition. It was the first time we tried this and it was very well attended and received by students. We will continue to work to find more opportunities for our students to connect and share their work as they grow in their skills and ideas! Good luck to all of the students who put work in the competition this year!
We ended the year with a new STEAM collaboration: video games. In addition to having students create the art and write the code, they had a chance to share and play each others' games. With the addition of guest speaker, Ben Lambert, and the two high school teachers, many of the students claimed this project to be the best one yet!
I am very excited for 2017 and all of the things that are going to happen in the new year. I hope everyone enjoyed their break and I look forward to sharing more with you next week!
Students finished up their video game design projects this week and had a chance to see what each other did. In addition to going around to each other's games and get feedback, students also had a chance to hear from the High School Visual Arts teachers who connected the learning happening at WMS with what is expected at the HS and beyond.
It was really exciting to see what students did with their games using Scratch. We stressed that there had to be some sort of educational aspect to their games, and some had stronger connections that others, but all tried and created something using tools they had little experience with before starting this project.
I was first inspired to do this project after hearing Steve Ciampaglia from the Plug-in Studio at the NAEA Convention a couple of years ago speak about using video game design with students.
Here are some games that resulted from our STEAM collaboration:
After the video games were shared, students had a chance to complete a self-assessment using Google Forms and in that assessment they were asked what their favorite part of the project was. For many, it was the fact that they could work with a partner to create a game. For others, it was hearing from Ben Lambert and the High School Art teachers and getting feedback from them.
This was a fun way to lead into break and something I know we will do again next year (hopefully with more time)!
I hope everyone enjoyed their last days before break with their students and finished 2016 with much success!
The second STEAM collaborative started at the end of last week. Even though we had a snow day and a two-hour delay this week, students stormed full force into their projects and worked to make playable games.
As a part of the design, students needed to work in pairs and come up with a concept that linked to education and create all of their original art for the game. Students used Scratch to create their games and many used Piskel App to create sprites and even some backgrounds.
Games will be playable next week and we will be having a mini Game Con so that students can experience each other's creations.
Students took a break from programming to hear from Ben Lambert, an iPhone Developer and Designer at (i)collective idea out of Holland, MI.
Ben got his start in 2D animation and graphics and began programming games after teaching himself. His game, Hungry Munchers, is available on the App Store and he is currently working on a game that should be available within the next year.
He shared a lot of tips on how to get started with developing games and students enjoyed the time he spent working with them on their games.
This week was the FINAL week for students to create and upload work for the 2017 Scholastic Art Awards. Here are some of the worsk we hope to do well this season. Good luck to everyone who submitted work this year!
This week students were challenged to create a 2D work that tacked an issue they felt strongly about and shows importance to either the past, present, or future. After brainstorming ideas, students were encouraged to use PBS LearningMedia as a resource to research their ideas and apply the information to help craft the imagery for their work.
An artist I used to help gear students up for this kind of challenge was Maria Fabrizio. She is the author of "Wordless News," a blog where the artist aims to capture a headline everyday in an unique image. Maria spoke at the MAEA fall conference and shared her process and how she gets ideas. I especially like that she creates many of her textures at night and scans them in to create a library of them that she can use when appropriate for her work. I knew when I heard her speak that I would have to use her as an artist of note for my students.
Students really connected to her work and enjoyed going through her posts and trying to guess the headlines.
After only five days of work, here is what students came up with for their answer to the question, "What is your issue?"
Can you guess their topic based on the images?
Challenge 3 Complete
This Challenge revolved around the idea of "Treasure and/or Trash." Students were encouraged to think about material use and could not use a material they had previously used in other works.
This lead to some new and interesting adaptations of objects and techniques. It was fun to see students struggle through and invent new ways to apply their concepts.
Here are some of the results:
Avery H.: For the elements of design I used line and shape. I used different kinds of lines with the hot glue. I also used shape by have many different shapes put together to make the necklace. For the principals of design I used balance and rhythm. I arranged the pieces of hot glue to balance the necklace. Using repudiation of shapes but changing them slightly created rhythm throughout the necklace. My aesthetic opinion of my art is that I like how the necklace looks in color and shape.
Colton S.: For this challenge, I created the famous line of T206 baseball cards out of felt. I used the element of form to create actual cards. I also used the principal of unity, because all of the cards are the same size and shape, just like the original line of cards. I think the cards are fun to look at and compare to the actual cards. I think they are for the most part very similar looking to the originals.
My T.: In my artwork an element I used was shape. I used shape in my art because of the paper swans I made and the paper stars. All of the origami is hung by a strand of yarn connected to the cone. A principle I had in my artwork was balance. I had balance in my artwork because when I added the paper swans and stars I had to make it balanced and not tilt on only one side. I had to make it even so that it would look nicer. My opinion on my artwork is that I think it looks really calming. There is nothing too crazy about the work it is really plain. The only thing that had a pop of color was the stars and I wanted some color in my artwork so I thought of stars and it worked out really good.
Lauren A.: The artwork I created was inspired by Joseph Cornell, I was inspired by this artwork by using unique objects to create the artwork. The elements and principles of design I used in my work was the rule of thirds and I used a lot of material out of magazines to create my artwork. My artistic aesthetic opinion of this is very good. I think that The was I made the shirt blue made her skin and hair look more natural, and I think that it makes the blue eyes pop.
As it happens sometimes, not all students finished by the deadline. I did not want to leave them out of this post, so here are some stellar works still being completed for this challenge.
This was a short week. I mean, a two-day kind of short week. So, what do we do with that time to make it meaningful and productive? A couple of things. In addition to students working on Challenge 3 works, students also researched and wrote about artists of their choice (focusing on the use of media and what they can learn from viewing the work) and uploaded images from last week's "speed dating" challenge.
Here are some highlights of those completed tasks:
Mixed Media Speed Dating Challenge
Paige S.: While creating this artwork, I learned a lot of new art techniques. This included, adding texture and how to draw things up close. I learned that you can use an ink quill to add details to your art, which I never would have thought could be a art material. Plus, I learned how collaging can also be an art technique. I also learned that it is fine if your art isn't perfect, and it's ok to not have a perfect, planned out, background. Overall, I learned a lot of new techniques and had an enjoyable time creating this work.
Artist of Interest
Our classroom is very fortunate to have access to a lot of resources thanks to grants and donations raised throughout the year. One way I use funding to add resources to my classroom is through the investment of a classroom subscription to Scholastic Art Magazine. I have subscribed to them for years and use them as a way to introduce students to new artists they they get to select from the online archives.
Once a month, students are asked to go into the website and select an artist to write about using a specific rubric. For this round, students were asked to explain how the material the artist uses impacts they way they view it, to explain how they can learn from this artist in their own work, and to use art vocabulary in the process.
Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks
I am very fortunate for many things I have in my life and the experiences I have been able to have over the years. For Thanksgiving this year, I had the great opportunity to travel to Tennessee and visit Nashville, Chattanooga, and the Smoky Mountains. Along the way, we visited new sites that I was urged to travel to by my fellow Art teachers.
I want to give a special thanks to Ted, Allison, and Cassie for guiding me to visit super special places like The Parthenon, The Frist, and the Hunter Museum. It was a great time for view works of art and also enjoy nature.
I hope everyone had a wonderful time this holiday weekend with their friends and family and that you had a moment to reflect on and enjoy the things that give you pause for thanks.
Students were introduced to a new challenge this week: Treasure and/or Trash. They looked at the work of Joseph Cornell, Claus Oldenburg, and others before coming up with plans for their own piece that looks at objects and how to capture and manipulate them to create art.
After planning works and getting feedback, students spend a good chunk of this week applying ideas into action through their art. The best part of this new challenge is that students may not use media they have used in the past. This has forced many to try new things and get out of their comfort zone.
You can check out some of the process below:
Mixed-Media "Speed Dating"
I recently came across a post from another Art teacher about how she used a fast-paced introduction and application method of 2D media and labeled it "speed dating." I decided to adapt that process for my classroom this week by first having students do an observational drawing of either a piece of string or their shoe, focusing in on it so it fills the page. Later on this week, students then took that drawing and went through a five station rotation, spending five minutes on each material (sharpies/gell pens/stencils, watercolors, pen and ink, oil and chalk pastels, and collage) to complete their composition. Each station had the material speak from their point of view to introduce and invite students to use them. For example, at the collage station, the note said: "Hello, I am collage. Did you know I came from a term that means "to glue" in French? Well, now you do. You need to collage at least two pieces of paper on your work. If you want to be fancy, you can collage over your drawing and continue it over top. Please be kind to the glue sticks. Oh yeah, fun fact: I was discovered by Picasso."
Because this was purely about the experience of both the observational drawing and the application of the variety of media, students felt free to take risks and really attack the picture plane. They will finish up their work by posting it to Artsonia next week. This is a participation piece and my hope is that they will use their experience to make choices in future works.
Here are some images from the process:
Scholastic Count Down
On Wednesday of this week, some of my students and I went up to the High School for our first ever Scholastic Art Awards Critique Session. It was fun to see my students (past and current) share their ideas and get feedback in this forum. We plan to hold two more group sessions like this before our submission deadline of December 15th.
Finishing Challenge 2
As we start the new marking period, students finished a challenge to explore the question: "Where are you going; where have you been?"
It was fun to see the variety of solutions that looked to use both real and imagined places as well as a wide array of media to explore the ways in which we can convey ideas. I am particularly excited about how many students created pieces of architecture or experimented with media they have not had experience with before.
Check out some of the results below:
Justin W.: For the theme where are you going where have you been, I decided to make a SketchUp of my dream house. My choices of material, which is SketchUp, that I used demonstrates my interoperation of the theme because I thought were I want to live is in this house in the future. My choice of composition that I choose to put the pieces in photoshop together shows my interoperation of my piece of the theme because I wanted it to be seen from all sides, which is what I did here. I am personally connected to this work, because this is the house I want to live when I am older. If I had to relate my art to one artist it would probably be Eugina Loli. We both have things in our artwork that are out of this world, or don't really fit in place. This was fun and I can't wait for the next project.
Abby B.: In my artwork, I created a batik landscape of Ireland, with the house on the cliff supposed to be a house similar to one on my way to church. When creating this piece, I used a piece of silk, and then dyed it with various colors, ranging from brown to green. I believe this shows the theme, as I have been to Ireland, and I have multiple connections to it, as many ancestors of mine were Irish. Additionally, the house in the artwork was one that I see every time I go to church. I felt the house had an older and more traditional look to it, as it was covered with dead plants, and slightly broken in. I combined both memories, and created this piece. I believe this item connects with the artist Faith Ringold, as we both used mixed media to represent something that we feel passionate about. This was my first time using this technique, and I am proud of the results.
Lindsey P.: In my art work, I drew an eye on a map and I did this because I see these things when I go to holland beach and holland state park. This is a map of holland beach because I spend most of my summer there. I made the waves and trees out of maps, I made the eye in black and white to contrast from the colors of the map.
Corrinne W,: For this challenge, I decided to try something new and use the 3D printer in my project and I did definitely learn a lot while designing. The reason I chose a city to design is because I have not been to many big cities other than Chicago and have always loved the lifestyle that the people have there. The one I designed is not any in particular, but it just represents places I have and places I haven't been. Some of the composition I used was setting the figure on a stool with a flashlight pointing towards it and snapping the picture. Then, I also used the rule of thirds when cropping. A personal connection I can make is that I enjoy photography and editing pictures and I also love big cities.
Jack C.: In this piece I chose to make a photoshop piece of my head filled with many mountains from the Grand Teton Mountain Range. I chose to use photoshop because the theme is "where are you going and where have you been." I chose photoshop because it is something that I want to get better at in the future and really improve at. I did this because part of the theme is where are you going and I interpreted that as things you want to do in the future, and working on photoshop is one of those things. This piece of work is very meaningful to me because I have been to the Grand Teton's before. It is my most favorite vacation that I have ever taken. This work is similar to George Seurat because they both use small objects or designs to create a bigger more complex picture. One major difference is that I used photoshop for my project and Seurat is a painter. Overall, this is one of the most successful pieces I have ever made
Photoshop Challenge 2
After completing their challenge that asked them to manipulate materials from a variety of sources, the Photoshop Challenge asked them to hone those ideas using digital means.
Students used their understanding (and some helpful tutorials) to complete the following works.
Ben V.: For this photoshop challenge, I chose to make a graffiti name. I chose to use more of a bubble letter type. I chose this because I feel like the bubble letters are easier to read. Also, I chose this type of letters because the common graffiti looks a little more bubbly. To create my name, I chose more bright and vibrant colors. I chose these colors because they make my name stand out. They are very bright colors on a dark background. Also, I chose bright colors because most graffiti is bright and vibrant. There is no cool graffiti that catches peoples attention, but has dull color. I really enjoyed using photoshop to make this project.
Bella E.: I created this artwork because I did the landscape challenge. I named my artwork, with the help of my friend, Sami Fox, and we decided to dedicate it to our friend, Autumn. I started with a solid brown paintbrush and made a line across the canvas. Then started to get lighter as it went down. Then I made trunks out of a brown brush and then used the leaf tool from the brush and I decided to add leafs for the trees. If you zoom in you can see individual leafs.
Trevor O.: This piece was created in photoshop. I had created the perfectly circular planets by using the marquee tool to create circles of varying sizes. I also use the gradient tool to make shadows on the planets in order to get a sense of distance from the sun. I utilized complimentary colors to make the planets. The large planet is blue and orange, the smaller one was purple and yellow, and the smallest one is red and green. I made the space background dark so that I could emphasis on the planets and their colors.
Bast from the Past
On Friday, Shelby came back to my classroom to observe. She was a student of mine in middle school and then again in high school as a part of the Dual Enrollment program. She is a skilled artist who is now in Art Education courses at Grand Valley State University. She is still deciding on whether or not Education is the route she will go with her career, but it was so nice to get to share some of the "secrets" to my classroom success with a young person I had a hand in shaping into an artist.
One of my favorite moments of the day was when we talked about what it means to teach. I don't always know the impact I have on my students. To have one choose to come back and share with me the impact I had on them was amazing. It lifted me up and helped affirm the decision I made to get into education.
I shared that with Shelby. Teaching is hard. But if you love it, it is so worth it.
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.