Inspired by artists of note for this assignment (Julian Opie, Frida Kahlo, and Do Ho Suh) as well as other works I show them from past students and a great TED talk by Phil Hansen, I ask for students to think about how they can use what they know about manipulating art media to say something about the theme that makes the most sense to them. Before beginning on final works, students are asked to create a series of thumbnail sketches of possible solutions as well as list the materials they think they may need to complete the work they would like to create.
This can be a big challenge for many. In order to avoid some of the pitfalls of feeling like they may never be able to come up with an idea, I saturate our Schoology page with old lessons/solutions from former students and step-by-step how-to's to help those who may be stuck with what to do. I also make sure and refer to artists that can be connected with the work they settle on doing for this project as well and use their sketchbooks as a place to explore and play with ideas. One of my favorite resources to use is the Scholastic Art Gallery of former student winners from around the country. Using student work that is both age appropriate and aspirational helps push students beyond simple or basic solutions and challenges them to think in a larger scope and to reach further than they have previously.
We will be finishing up this theme next week and I am very excited to see where we go next. There is a nice variety of materials being used and approaches to the topic that are making me think about the stories my students have to tell. It will be fun to share this work with parents at conferences next week.
Here are some images of students working:
Leaves for Sale
I love the results and think they would make a great addition to any fall themed table scape. Any leaves not sold will be available for purchase at the upcoming Byron Center Fine Arts Boosters craft fair at the high school on November 11th. The funds will be used to help offer additional opportunities for students to perform and participate in the WMS Art and STEM program.