Students finished up their work with their first major challenge this week. It was so fun to see the variety of tools and techniques they adapted to fit their vision. One of the biggest reasons I embraced a more open approach to teaching art is because of the outcomes below.
Marrisa M.: This challenge of Biography and Autobiography I have choose to photograph people's shadows. In this piece I have had people doing a handshake and during every movement I have captured it. I have put all of these photos next to each other to give the affect on the handshake. I have a made a connection to the piece with myself by showing the friendship between the handshake in the picture collage.
Ella P.: With my framed piece I have put together a collage coming off of the colors as Andy Warhol uses in his pieces with pop art. I took the difference of warm and cool colors to create the human body framed to perfection. When looking at Andy Warhol's work you will also see lots of the outline of people not always being detailed to perfections just the person will stand out using the colors. The pieces overall creation was to show its viewers that we live in a eye sight world if something looks fascinating or is seen as eye candy it is treasured. So the art will be viewed as special for the frame makes it valuable and in society that is who lots of people are even seen as with out a doubt people will judge from clothing to the makeup of a person, it is all how you are framed. So I would like to show my piece as though I stole the colors from Andy Warhol. Leading to the frame in which it creates a catching effect that most of society uses in there daily lives.
Evan g.: The reason that I chose Steve Jobs for this assignment is because he is a main inspiration for me because he did not just make a product, he made it look good, and that is what I wanted to do with my piece I wanted to pay Steve a tribute for what he has done, and so I did. My drawing compares to Chuck Close's artwork because he draws his on real people, but he uses a grid to draw his, while I draw the whole thing at once instead of one part of the grid.
Khiem N,: The assignment is to draw you or other person that you know so I chose my grandfather at first but I change my mind and chose my old art teacher because I'm in art class. My old art teacher teach me stuff but I can't remember but I remember some of my art work is mix with dark blue and light blue for the sky. I compare my art to Noli Novak because my work have only use shading pencil which make it look black and white just like her art work the difference is that her art work is made of a lot of dot and mine didn't use any dot .
Isaac c.: Kyrie Irving is my favorite basketball player, so I decided to dedicate this artwork to him. I used water color for Kyrie, thin point sharpie for the words, and chalk pastel for the rainbow of colors around this piece. I combined the colors with my fingers and I am very excited about how good it came out.
Sarah W.: For my piece I decided to interpret the assignment as a biography. I decided to do a biography because I thought that it would be interesting if I focused on someone that I was close to and create a piece of art about them. I have a personal connection with my piece because it is about my great grandpa who I was very close to. During this project we studied many artists, including Andy Warhol. I think that my piece is similar to Andy Warhol’s because we both used multiple colors and printmaking as a medium. However, our work is very different because with every print of a person he changed the color he used and kept them bold. For my piece, I kept the person the same color for all 3 prints, but faded the prints as the prints .
Ruby S.: I interpreted this assignment by thinking about how others view you. The personal connection I have with this piece was that, many people try and kind of hide behind what they don't necessarily like about themselves. Which in those things, I know many people who have done this, and I have too. I was inspired by Patrick Bremer, even those his is pretty realistic. Mine does compare to his in the way that some of his pieces are abstract, and mine is too.
Alex: For this assignment I decided to do an autobiography. I chose an autobiography because I have always felt that you should not judge a person by what they look like but who they are. That is why a made a face of several of the things I like. Like basketball and football. I feel like my work related to Patrick Bremer. I thought my work was like his in the way we both use collage to create a portrait. But there was a difference in the fact that my work was 3D and also used pictures to create the face. He uses colored pieces of paper to create his work.
You can see more on our online Artsonia gallery.
Students really started applying all of the demonstrations we went over last week as they made final sketches before diving into creating the work for this Challenge. The theme this time around is Biography/Autobiography. It has been fun to see the different people students have selected to highlight in this work and the narratives they have shared and created to turn their ideas into concrete works of art for others to see.
Here are some of the highlights as students make their work this week:
I even got in on the fun and was able to bring in elements of a piece I have been visiting for the last two months and finish it. I enjoy demonstrating my process to students so they can see how I struggle through solutions and work with a variety of media to figure out exactly how and if something is done.
Working side by side with my students is something I just started doing in the past few years (really since I adapted a choice-based or TAB studio). As my students were encouraged to become artists in their own right, I found it was more powerful if I did the same. This helps me practice what I teach and it helps students
Artist of Interest
This week, we watched the TEDx clip of Austin Kleon's talk, "Steal Like an Artist." I show this to students to encourage them to gather ideas and use them to make new work. I even took part of one class period to do some independent research and writing about artists using Scholastic Art Magazine.
I love using this resource in my classroom because it is easy to get students to use it and the content is so rich for our subject area. It is always fun to see what students select as being the work they want to write about and why. My hope through doing activities like these is that students will be able to "Steal Like an Artist" and use the ideas offered in ways that make sense in their own work.
Here are some of the responses given:
The second assignment in our DE Intro to Photo for Non-Majors course is all about capturing movement. Students worked on various methods and means to capture motion with most of the focus being on controlling the aperture and shutter speed.
Here are some of the highlights from their work with this challenge:
Do What You Love
February is tough. At least it always seems to be for me. I wish I could say it was easy because it is so short, but it is not. I think that is why it is a shorter month. And although everything is starting to come to a fever-pitch with competition deadlines and notifications, it is nice to come back from lunch to a note like this on my board.
I love what I do and am so thankful I get to go it. I cannot imagine anything other than being an Art Teacher to children, even when it gets a bit tough.
Share The Love
I love to share what we do in the classroom with others. I talk to my students all of time about how their work is being viewed by teachers from across the country and that they are really the thought-leaders and models for what great Art Education looks like.
This weekend, the sharing continued as I participated in The Art of Education Online Conference. I shared how I transitioned my classroom to choice and I really cannot imagine a better decision I have ever made in my career.
Demos for Days
This week was spent planning and going through a lot of different demonstrations. Because students are selecting their media, it is important to me that they are exposed to a variety of tools they could use. I go through several different ways to demonstrate materials to students and this week was a perfect example of the trio in which they experience this.
First is the "I do" method that basically involves me showing students what to do and then everyone taking notes on the basics of that I showed. We did this for clay stages and strategies using armatures and various molding tools. Then there is the "I do, you do" method, where I do something and then the students do the same thing. We did this for watercolor techniques. The last is something I have started toying with this year, which is more of a "you do." This is also referred to as "Speed Dating Materials" in my classroom. This allows students to be able to experience a wide array of tools in a short time to see if they like working with them. I did this for printmaking this time around.
This is always the hardest part for me because I am anxious to see what students will make and I am excited to see the end result.
MAEA Region 9 Highlight Show
We had an awesome showing at this year's MAEA Region 9 Highlight Show at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. It was a packed house filled with artists, parents, and other members of the community to celebrate the accomplishment of these artists. I am very proud of the students who received recognition at our school and cannot wait to see how their work does as they move onto State.
For our second week of class, it is important for me to start to learn about my students - and that often is starting with their names. I am a visual person and using their portfolio design, students crafted names that represent their interests. What is nice about this opening activity is how students are able to help me learn what interests them as well as actually learn the name. Because the names are large and on the front of their portfolios, I am able to easily see them and start to learn them.
Here are some of the results:
Sarah W.: For my portfolio name I based all of the letters off of my favorite sport, volleyball. For my “S” I made a Nike headband because I wear those a lot especially to volleyball. For my first “a” I combined a volleyball passing sleeve and an ankle brace to form the “a” shape. For my “r” decided to draw a volleyball shoe. To represent my second “a” I made a volleyball on a side line. Lastly, to make my “h” I used a Under Armour water bottle and the FarOut logo. Combined they made the shape of an “h”. All of these objects are important to me because I use them daily for volleyball and if I didn’t have volleyball I don’t think that I would be me.
Avery Z.: I created this art piece to express me and my personality. The basketball was used to form an 'a' because basketball is my favorite sport and I love to play. Another letter that expressed me was the 'r'. The 'r' is in the shape of a book because I love to read. I also tried to incorporate new techniques that we learned in class. Those techniques are shown in the 'a' and the 'v' as the colors are fading.
Braylon B.: I chose all of these letters for a certain reason. I chose them because these things represent me as a person. The only exception is the letter B, I chose this because it looked really cool and I really like the fancy letter. I did the dot method with the marker inside the letter. I chose an upside down hockey stick for the R because I love hockey even though I don't play it. For the letter A, I chose to do the at sign in an email. I chose this because I would be a totally different person if I couldn't text anybody. I chose earbuds for the Y because I love to listen to music. The L in my name is a pencil. It represents me because I go to school Monday through Friday and if this wasn't in my life, it would change me. The O represents me because I love donuts so much, they are my favorite type of breakfast food. I chose to do a regular letter N with an American flag inside of it because I live in America and if I didn't, everything about me would change. I chose every single letter because each one represents something about me.
MAEA Region 9 Highlight Show
To finish out the week, I had the opportunity to enter student work into the Michigan Art Education Association Region 9 Highlight show. This is an adjudicated show that is juried by local artists and art professionals. It was great fun to see all of the winners and share in the success with my friends and colleagues. It was also a wonderful time to take in extra PD time with my fellow Art teachers as we viewed work on display at the GRAM, KCAD, and discussed all aspects of Art education.
Thirty-three works were selected Saturday to represent Byron Center Public School students from 1st-12th grades. The work will be on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum through February 23rd. All of the works selected will move onto the State adjudication next month.
Start by Making
As I have done for years now, I started the first day of the new semester with new students and with clay. It was great to share past Empty Bowls experiences with students and get their hands busy with making right away. I look forward to our event to raise food and funds for our local food bank later this Spring. I will post more details on that as we get closer to the date.
Setting the Tone
One new thing I tried with my students this week was a scavenger hunt. I was inspired by other art teachers out there who shared their ideas about getting students familiar with the room and materials through something like this and found this resource as a great help to doing it for my students. I of course adapted it to fit our needs and space, but it did not need much adjusting to work wonderfully in my classroom.
I feel this activity really has allowed students to see themselves as a resource and to rely on their ability to work together in order to get things done.
One of my favorite ways to start out the first week is to use Peter H. Reynolds' "The Dot" as a springboard for my students to get working with materials. And since we did the scavenger hunt, they knew exactly where all of the materials are kept!
I have a three year plan for these spheres before I consider the project complete. Last year we made medium sized ones and this year we made smaller ones that were tiered on each other. Next year, I plan to make LARGE ones that will hang in the middle of the installation. Then I will need to move onto something else, I suppose.
In order to make the sphere you need 20 circles that you fold into triangles. You then glue two sets of five as shown above and then a row of ten that makes up the middle. It is very quick and easy to put together and students are always impressed with how quickly the flat shapes morph into a a 3D form.
Here are some finished pieces before they were folded and made into spheres.
Oliver M.: The meaning of "The Dot" is about how she din't think she was good at art but truly deep down she had a determination/inspiration for art and how she thinks of it. I did my dot because I really like to make make landscapes. I hope to inspire other people to try out to make different types of art.
Marie B.: "The Dot" is a story about how you can use art and any type of talent to inspire others. This piece of artwork relates to "The Dot" story because it inspires people to live their life colorfully. As you might see the art piece represents a piano. Usually piano's black and white. Generally pretty boring. But by adding colors of the rainbow to the piece it shows that we can inspire people to add color to anything boring or bad in their life. Living a colorful life means to add happiness and interest to your own life.
Dual Enrollment Assignment One Done
Students in my Dual Enrollment class finished their first Photography Assignment and presented their work to the class Thursday. The first assignment's focus was on changing perspective and seeing things in ways that is not your typical view. It was fun to see what subjects students decided to focus on for this assignment and to put their new understandings of the manual camera settings to work. Here are some of the results:
Stump the Student
Students finished up their time in the Art Room with me this semester. To finish off the class, students worked on their Final Challenge and Exam this week. In order to get ready for the Exam, students were given a review guide and some went beyond just filling it out to create a guide to help them study.
The day before exams stared, students were asked to come up with two questions based on their review. Then, after breaking into two teams, students played "Stump the Student." The first team action is for students to pick their team names. I required students to use "artful" names and some of my favorites from the day are "McWarhols," "Chick-fil-Art," The Chuck Closers," and "Chuck Far Away."
The rules for the review game are simple: students are placed on two teams to go head-to-head, asking their opponent a question based on the review. They may use images or other props to help visualize their question and they must know the answer to what they are asking. If the student being asked gets the question right, their team gets the point. If they are stumped, then the student who is asking the question gets it right if they know the answer. Then roles change before two new students are up.
It can be an intense game, so ground rules of behavior are also set before we begin to ensure it is fair and all benefit from the question/answer to help them review for their exam. I started doing this a few years ago and enjoy it beyond any other review activity I have tried prior or since.
For the Exam, students were asked a series of questions that covered the bulk of concepts they learned from this year. From identifying basic color groupings in famous works, to ordering the stages of clay, and labeling the parts of an image structure, students were tasked with being accountable for the terms and concepts they were taught over the last 18 weeks. The best part of this is that Schoology grades it for me, so students and I receive immediate feedback on how they did and what could be improved upon.
In addition to that, they also had to create a GIF using a work from one of our elementary or intermediate art students. I have Ian Sands to thank for this idea. This is one of my favorite things to do to end the term because it gives kids one more tool set before they leave and they get to use that to create something using another BCPS student's work.
Here are some highlights:
Lego Wall Update
Thanks to DonorsChoose and the amazing support of those who gave, we now have the makings of a Lego Wall over by the STEM classroom! I am very excited to get kids involved with making art on this and have Tricia Fuglestad to thank for sharing various Lego Art Lessons on her blog.
One project I hope to adapt for our wall is this one on Rotational Symmetry. It is a great opportunity to showcase STEAM in action, especially since the work will be in a public space. I also think this work, using students as models for character traits is a great way to use Lego to connect concepts to the classroom. The STEM teacher and I are working on a few ideas in hopes we will have a solid plan by 4th marking period.
If you are interested in building your own lego wall, here is where I drew inspiration before getting my project organized on DonorsChoose. It took me about a year of thinking about this before I went to action on it. I started by talking to our building leadership and the STEM teacher, who were on board from the beginning. Then I created the project on DonorsChoose, which ended up being funded by the end of first semester. Finally the boards were installed days after getting the shipment.
It has been really exciting project to have funded and one that has gotten a lot of positive reactions from students. The fist pumps and excited smiles alone have made it a success.
To finish out the term, I also had students fill out an exit survey. I use this for a few things. I use it as a point of data to reflect on my effectiveness as a teacher and if we met the goals set; I also use it as a way to make improvements and adjustments for the future. It is a nice way to end the class, especially reading the responses I got to what was the best thing we did and anything else they think I needed to know.
I use Google Forms for this because it will organize the data for you in a very easy-to-read way. Here are some of the responses from those sections:
I had a great first half of the school year and know that this next week with a new group will make way for a great way to finish it out!
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.
Intro to Photo
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!
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.