Monday, February 21, 2005

Another completed wall of art. I love how the art work is so different from one another but so real. It is evident that the young artists put their heart and soul into each and every piece. Posted by Hello

A finished corner in the gallery. Beautiful! Posted by Hello

This space gets a total transformation in just a few hours! Posted by Hello

Artwork ready to go up on the wall. It was very overwhelming at first. We hung all the big murals and paintings first and worked from there. Posted by Hello

Art at Mass Art!

Saturday was a great day ! I helped to hang the exhibit of art from TAB (teaching for artistic behavior) schools at the Arnheim Gallery at Mass College of Art in Boston. Kathy D. , Kathy V., Diane, Lucy, Ellyn, Yoshiko, Carl and myself spent 5 hours hanging over 300 pieces of art. There are 14 schools from 6 different states represented. The exhibit is on display from February 22-March 8, 2005. There are also two artworks from my students that will be on display in the lobby of the Hynes Convention Center where the National Art Education Association's annual convention will be held (Mar.4-8). How exciting!
The gallery of art looks AMAZING! It looks so much better than my annual art shows. Someone asked me if my students knew their art was in this exhibit. The answer is some do and some don't. I would mention it to them one-on-one in class when I saw a piece that I wanted to save. Some kids think it is for the spring art show in school. I don't teach in Boston so I wouldn't expect a student to see their work. I couldn't bring everything and I certainly don't want to make a student feel their art is not "good enough" . I really didn't have lots to choose from. Since I have switched to choice-teaching, the students have more ownership of their work and usually take what they make home. It is often a struggle for me to get them to leave their art at school. However, dislaying art work is also an important component of art making. I look at this exhibit as one for other art teachers to see what can happen in a choice art class.
Some things that I noticed while viewing the art:
1. The art could be created in any of our TAB classrooms. there is no "teacher's style" which is so prevalent in a traditional art room
2.There were common themes throughout the work.
Dragons are very popular.
Children love to paint animals, whales, dogs and friends.
Sports and superheroes are prevalent.
Young artists also love to work in an abstract way.
3. Children have the best ideas!

Kathy D. is creating a website with lots of pictures of the show. I will post a link when it is done. In the meantime, I will post some of my photos.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A cut paper collage of "Toad" from Pokemon. this kindergarten student brought the Pokemon drawing book to the collage center to assemble and make her "Toad." This is another way the drawing books can be used in a choice classroom. Posted by Hello

Students that have a desire to draw realistically use the drawing books for help. They may still need some help and I have the time to sit one-on-one while the other students work independently at centers. Posted by Hello

Second graders at the paint center. Usually there are about 6-8 kids that paint at a time. Posted by Hello

This fourth grader painted a picture of his Mom. Last year (non-choice) he rarely finished his artwork on time. This year he gets his own work from the folder to finish. He WANTS to do art. Proof positive that this approach works. Posted by Hello

This second grader works on his tiger painting using a photo for reference. Posted by Hello

More cool things people have said.

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."~ Scott Adams (the guy who does the Dilbert comics)
I am going to copy this quote and put them in all of my centers. So many students want to start over when they make a mistake. Mistakes can be good. I had one boy trying to do an "advanced" stick weaving using 3 sticks instead of the usual 2 and he said he just couldn't do it . He looked at his weaving and realized it looked like a turtle so he made it into a turtle and added eyes. I'll post a picture of it soon.

"Art is idea. It is not enough to draw, paint and sculpt. An artist should be able to think."~Gordon Woods
Since I have switched to choice teaching, the students have stopped asking me, "What do I do now? What should I draw?" They know what to do if they are creating their idea.

" Quotes that make sense are cool"

I have been searching through my books for quotes about artmaking, creativity, etc. that I plan to display at my two art shows in April. My alltime favorite so far is from George Szekely in his fabulous book, Encouraging Creativity in Art Lessons.
He says, "The heart of this teaching approach is the belief that the essential goal of art teaching is to inspire children to behave like artists-to try on the artist's role-to feel what it is to gather an art idea on one's own and act on it. The goal is to reveal to children that art comes from within themselves-not from the teacher."


Saturday, February 19, 2005

First grade marker drawing of Spider-Man. I found the composition to be quite sophisticated for a 6 year old! He said he saw it on a video box cover at home. Posted by Hello

The Hulk and Spider-Man stick puppets posing in front of a "big building". Paper bags are found in the puppet center however this student is using it in a new way. These were made in a different kindergarten class but the superheroes continue to be a favorite topic of interest across the lower grades. Posted by Hello

The Hulk and Spider-Man being created at the drawing center in this kindergarten class. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 18, 2005

Dr. Octopus and Spider-Man marker drawing figures. Two kindergarten boys worked on these together. Lucas helped Noel cut out the tentacles....tough for little fingers to do but he did a terrific job with the scissors. Posted by Hello
In one particular kindie class there are four boys that are obsessed with Spiderman, Dr. Octopus and now The Hulk.. These superheroes appear in their artwork in one form or another.  Posted by Hello

"Mask-making Center Opens"

How embarrassing! I have not updated my blog in over a month!
I am glad that vacation is next week so I can get caught up on "school stuff."
The past few weeks have been so busy in the art room. I introduced the mask-making center to grades k-5. This has been very popular with the lower grades. They are designing simple paper plate masks with different eyeholes cut out. Some want oval eyes, slanted "mean" eyes or single rectangle cut-out eyes to make Ninja faces. I have been cutting the eyes out for them because they have a hard time doing it on their own. I need to have MANY plates with eyes cut out in the center because it takes too much time for me to do in class. One of my kindie classes has really taken to the mask center and have been designing costumes to accompany the mask. They are making Patriots football players (no surprise since the Pats just won the Superbowl this particular week!). This was Anthony's idea. He made the facemask/helmet and then added a large piece of colored paper that was stapled to the plate. He completed his costume by adding a number for the jersey. Today he made Wolverine from X-Men using the same idea. He asked for 10 popsicle sticks to do Wolverine's claws and when he couldn't figure out how to do it (I wasn't too keen on the idea of a 6 year old with claws anyway!) he decided to add his body instead. I have to bring in a picture of Wolverine for him so he can color the body and face and add ears.
I try to encourage students to spend more time on their art (if necessary) when they have a particular idea in mind. In this case, Anthony's Wolverine mask was a plain white plate with eyes cut out. He said he wanted to leave it plain white but I think, no, I knew he just wanted to get it done in one class. I felt it was my duty to get him to spend more time on his project. I just have to remember to find a Wolverine picture within the next week. :-)
Third, fourth and fifth graders began the mask center with symmetrical cut paper masks. Surprisingly, not too much interest here! Only a few students chose this project but the ones that did created some great masks. The fourth and fifth graders began papier-mache masks last week. This week most of them began to add paint. In some classes, all of the students wanted to make them. In others, only half of them did. During the lesson I told them that it was a commitment for at least 3-4 weeks for them to create their mask. (1 for papier-mache, 2 for paint,3/4 more paint/embellish). The rule begin a finish the mask. Some kids asked if they had to paint their masks or could they work in a center. I made all of them paint their masks.... except one ("Mrs. Bonomi, I had an idea this morning so I want to do this instead."
How could I say no?) Nick created an imaginary bird with wings using tubes and egg cartons. I love it when kids think like an artist and come to art with their idea.