Students finished up two challenges that I did not get a chance to post about until now. As we finish up the school year, I am trying my best to keep up with every fast-paced movement forward. Here are some of the results from the last two Challenges:
For this assignment, students had to think about the objects in their lives that they cherish or not. They also were challenged to use a material they had yet to try and that offered for some fun experiments.
Luke: For Challenge 4, I used printmaking for the 16 teams that are in the NHL playoffs, As you see there is only the Minnesota Wild because I have not finished yet so I will re-submit with 16 teams on a white sheet of paper. I used space to fill up the space in my artwork and I also used variety so I used a variety of colors and ink to make the two main colors of each team. I love to watch the NHL Playoffs and I had to use a different material so I printmade the NHL teams.
Sophia: In this artwork I made a necklace out of pop cans. Some of the elements of art and principals of design that I used in this piece are shape, color, and pattern. I cut out the circle parts of pop cans and put them in a "U" type pattern to fit around the neck and I used the red from coca-cola cans to add some bright color. I like the artwork I made because it is very unique, different than anything I have done, and I used recycled materials.
Tess: In this piece, I used the elements of texture, the material yarn made for a very unique texture for the art, and line, the piece was made out of a lot of lines put together. to make my artwork I also used rhythm in the fact that the black and white lines were repeated throughout the cleat. Personally, I think that this piece is very aesthetically pleasing. The cleat is very detailed and I think that the colors work very well together.
For this challenge, students were asked to create work about a cause they cared about. It was interesting to see what they made, especially since they only had a week to do it.
Marie: In big cities like Chicago, or New York, it becomes more and more popular to see people without homes begging for money on the roadside. Myself, having been to both of the cities experienced seeing this, as well as in my home town. Many people put these people aside, and expect someone else to help them. Supporting homeless people as well as shelters is important. This artwork supports this idea of people without homes, because of the jar with a small amount of money, and the collage of cardboard. Both relate to the idea of homelessness. The vibrant colors support the idea of supporting homeless organizations, as well as people.
Kylie: I made this artwork because it shows how overwhelmed she is. It shows everything that is going on and how stressed she is with the world. I know from experience how it feels to be very overwhelmed with everything that is going on. I thought that with the distortion it shows how overwhelmed she is better. Also the eyes are big so that you can see what is going on. There is a saying "The eyes are the window to the soul."
Chloe: My artwork is dealing with the Flint water crisis. In my work I represented how this issuse can affect us in the future but in a good way. Eventually the water is going to become clean enough to drink. In the background I used a pipes showing how it all started from the pipes. This is important to me and other people because people NEED clean water to drink and they shouldn't have to go to the store to do so.
I had the most awesome opportunity to apply and be accepted to participate in The Power of Art Conference at The Lab School in Washington D.C. This three-day conference allowed teachers from across the country to come together at The Lab School and discuss one of the most important topics in Arts Education, which is Arts Integration. I was fortunate enough to arrive early enough on the first day to make my way to several important spots around our Nation's Capitol and take in the history and the art (often times at the same moment).
I had an amazing experience learning more ways to integrate the Arts at this conference. I am very passionate about this topic and actually wrote my Thesis on this for my MA in Art Education back in 2010. As a teacher who is also certified in English/Language Arts, I try and cross other content curriculum into my Arts lessons and it was really eye-opening to see an entire school use the Arts in their content curriculum throughout grades and subjects. It was also really inspiring to see the various collaborative works students did around the school, many of them hand-in-hand with Robert Rauschenberg!
This annual conference is available to teachers and administrators from schools all over the country. I highly recommend going and applying with other teachers and school leaders from your district!
Challenges and Bootcamps
This week was all about building skills as students tackled two challenges/bootcamps that they may or may not use in their upcoming work. I like weeks like this because it allows students to take a step back from worrying about a perfect finished work and instead work through tutorials that help them gain skills and understanding of how certain materials work.
The first challenge this week was with Photoshop. Students were given a choice between beginner, intermediate, and advanced options before selecting which they would do. Each had some kind of video guide to help them, which was good since this was a first experience with Photoshop for many.
Here are some of the outcomes:
After finishing up with Photoshop, students went through a similar practice with small drawings using perspective. Again, they got to chose from a wide variety of resources. I have begun to call this one a bootcamp because students struggle with the challenge that can come from using perspective. Somehow referring to it as a bootcamp gets them to look beyond the struggle and come out the other side trying their best to make the work happen.
Here are some results:
These works will be a nice transition into our next theme which deals with answering the question: "Where are you going? Where have you been?"
The Power of Art Conference
I am so thrilled to have this opportunity next month to learn and share with teachers from across the country in our Nation's capitol. I will make sure to share what I learn on here and elsewhere online. I have to give a huge shout out to my students who helped me earn this spot.
As a part of the application, I had to share a lesson with students examples. Because of the amazing creative and hard-working students I have, I was able to select many samples of how my lesson worked with students. I am pretty sure this is why I was selected and I am so thankful to the great work my students have done and continue to do.
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 .
Watercolor and Pastel
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.
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.
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.
New Week, New Challenge
This week students started a new challenge entitled "Where are you going? Where have you been?" In doing so, we started brainstorming why places are important to us - both the places we have been and the ones we would like to visit before planning thumbnail sketches of possible solutions to the challenge.
This week also marked the Annual Michigan Art Education Association Conference and I knew I was going to be gone for Thursday and Friday. I did not want students to get started on their work for this challenge without me being there, so I decided to take a process that another teacher uses in her classroom and breakout a Perspective Drawing Bootcamp Challenge.
I used to teach perspective at the front of my classroom, step-by-step. Instead of doing it that way this year, I used a handful of videos from Circle Line Art School and posted them in various difficulty levels for students to complete on Schoology and submit when completed to Artsonia.
On Wednesday students were given the resources, along with a basic overview of how to give the illusion of space on a 2D surface using a variety of tricks (included color, which was also covered this week through a mixing demonstration/activity). Students were then encouraged to practice in their sketchbooks before applying it to their final paper.
It was great because there were a lot of choices students could select and be self-directed on (I also included some hand outs for students in case the internet was quirky). I love going to conferences because I get a chance to share with other teachers and learn new techniques for making and teaching art. I also love it because it gives me a chance to see what my students can do when I am not in the room.
Here are some finished examples of the various levels students completed:
Zach L.: I chose to make my perspective drawing of a birds eye view of New York, because I have always wanted to visit there. I love the tall sky scrapers and people everywhere, so I decided to copy that image down that I had in my head, onto paper. Also, I filled in the white spaces with black, so it would make an illusion of the buildings becoming higher, and popping out from the page.
Damien A.: I used the principles of perspective in my art with the road and the house. My vanishing point is at the end of the road, and I made the porch, roof, windows, and door by connecting the lines to my vanishing point. This connects with some of my other art because in other art I use a lot of shading, and it was no different with this art. you can see the most of it on the back of the pine trees and the house.
I will not be able to explain EVERYTHING I learned at the conference, so I will just list some highlights:
The annual conference for Michigan Art Teachers was held in beautiful Traverse City this year. It was also peak color this weekend, which made our stay that much more scenic!
Trying New Techniques and Materials
I learned a bunch of new techniques and used some new products, too. My favorites were learning how to draw with copper point (as demonstrated by Carrie Jeruzal, this year's MI Middle Level TOY) and positive/negative ceramic prints.
I had a great time sharing resources. I presented about STEAM with the STEM teacher at my school, Jamie Dennett. I also presented on my own about mono printing with Gelli Arts.
Learning from Experts
The conference was filled with great speakers, including our keynotes. I enjoyed hearing about the future of Visual Arts education from Dennis Inhulsen, Wordless news from Maria Fabrizio, and TAB from Katherine Douglas.
Celebrating the Visual Arts
It was also fun to see so many of my colleagues and students from across the state be celebrated. I also enjoyed my time at the Dennos Museum, viewing and learning about various artists.
It was a great week, filled with a lot of learning for both students and me. Next week is the end of the marking period, which means we are a quarter of the way through!
Steal Like an Artist
This week has us finally getting into the thick of the first art-making challenge theme: Biography/Autobiography. Students were introduced to five artists who use this concept in their work to document themselves and the people around them before developing their own ideas about how they wanted to interpret the theme for their own work.
Before getting too far along in the planning, I felt it was important to discuss with students how to generate ideas, build off of what already exists, and how to transform concepts that work into something more personal to work for themselves. A great way to do this, was to have a look at Austin Kleon's talk below.
Students were initially surprised that I would advocate stealing anything. But after watching his talk, students discussed what it means to "Steal like an Artist" and how to use that mindset as a key to unlock existing potential solutions in new and unique ways by learning from what has worked in the past in order to make something new. I like the idea of leveraging past solutions to make new ones and it is something I hope to push my students on as we work through this first challenge and the ones that follow.
A Week of Demos and Planning
Since the switch to a more process-based approach, it has been tough to get new students to understand the importance and patience of going through various demonstrations, idea generating processes, and even playing (which seems like something all kids would want to do automatically) before starting their final works. By the time they have come into my classroom, they are so used to diving into a step-by-step, teacher-driven outcome from all of their classes that they are not quite sure how to handle the freedom associated with choosing their own solutions to a broad theme or idea.
That is why we spend at least one week of each challenge going through demonstrations, using our sketchbooks as a playground to experiment with media, before finally diving into a solution that will reflect the final product. This week was spent doing blind contour portraits, using pencils, markers, watercolor, printmaking, and clay as well as going through thumbnail sketches to find possible solutions for their works.
Here is a peek into some of the work we did and some of the progress students have made so far on this first challenge:
Earlier this month, in a letter to parents, I invited my students to use Artsonia classroom mode and upload their personal art from the summer.
It is always an awesome thing to see how some students will take advantage of that opportunity to showcase their work, even if it is not for a grade.
I want to take a moment to thank and congratulate Leila for uploading multiple pieces to the gallery for the challenge and winning an Artsonia gift card for participating!
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.