Sunday, March 22, 2009

Peace Quilt Benefits Iraqi Library

Dana Carney's fifth graders read the book "The Librarian of Basra", and discussed ideas of war, civilians, and peace in regards to the war in Iraq. The students decided they wanted to do an art project to help the library from the story, which had been destroyed in the war. Each student created a quilt square illustrating what "peace" meant or looked like to them. Later, a parent volunteer sewed the squares together and the quilt was raffled at an "art night" event. The money the students raised was donated to the American Library Association, which has a fund for rebuilding the library in Basra, Iraq.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Photo Sharing: Social Issue Art

This artwork, made by Jodi Kitson's 8th grade students, is based on the students' feelings/opinions about the social issue of violence. These multi-media projects were shown at the White Flint, Maryland, Montgomery County Public Schools 2008 Arts Fair. The artworks were accompanied by artists' statements, which explained the students' artistic choices and personal connections to the issue.

April is Autism Awareness Month

Art teacher Aaron Grover emailed to announce that April is "Autism Awareness Month". He and his students have an exhibit opening at Sovereign Collective Studios, next to Bodega on High Street in Columbus, Ohio. Stop in during gallery hop, the first Saturday in April.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lesson: Bas-Relief Memory Tiles

Fifth-graders were invited to view objects of historical significance, such as a bust of George Washington, Shepard Fairey's print of Barack Obama, or Augustus Saint-Gauden's Shaw Memorial. Then, they were asked to reflect on a significant event in their lives, and illustrate the symbols of their story through a bas-relief clay tile. Afterwards, the students were instructed to write a "label" for their piece, describing the event that inspired their work.

Materials: air-dry earthenware clay, modeling tools.

Basic instructions:

1. Think about why people and events are sculpted.
What important positive events have you experienced in your life? What symbols do you think represent you?

2. Consider how a historian would understand your
tile. What are the most important elements that you need to include?

3. Add to the surface of the tile with clay shapes. Keep it simple!

4. Score the area on the tile where you will attach the shape. Then score the back of the shape, and add a tiny bit
of water to make sure the shape sticks well.

5. Use the sculpture tools to add texture to the surface.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Register now for NAEA

Time is running out to get the early-bird savings for this year's NAEA convention in Minneapolis. Register before March 20 to save $75. Need a roommate to cut down on hotel costs? Leave a comment below to find a partner.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lesson: Clay Creatures

In this lesson, fifth-grade students examined paintings based on mythology or story-telling. Looking at such paintings as Sodoma's Saint George and the Dragon and Copley's Watson and the Shark, students were asked to consider the beginning, middle, and end of the stories told by each painting. They also took time to examine the "creatures" in the painting, and sketch details (teeth, claws, tail, etc.) of each creature.

Later, the students were asked to create a creature of their own, basing it on a story they'd like to tell. They took time to consider the character traits of their creatures, and decide whether it would be a "hero", (protagonist), or "trouble-maker" (antagonist).

The students created their creatures using Model Magic and basic modelling tools. Before startin
g, they were instructed to refer to their previous sketches of teeth, claws, and other features. Later, they were asked by their classroom teacher to write a story about their creature. These stories were printed and displayed next to their creatures as "labels".

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lesson: Oil Pastel Botanical Illustrations

In a lesson combining art with science, fourth-grade students were invited to closely examine a flower, leaf, or other natural specimen. They identified parts of the plants using vocabulary learned in science class, and made an rough sketch, annotating their drawing with vocabulary words. Then, they attached a piece of acetate (overhead projector sheet) to their sketch with masking tape. Next, the students outlined their sketch on the acetate first with white oil pastel, and then shaded their specimen with additional colors, all while continuing to carefully observe their specimen. Finally, the students chose a color of construction paper that complemented their illustration, and attached the acetate to the paper using clear tape.

: magnifying glasses, paper, pencil, oil pastels, construction paper, tape, flowers and plants.

Basic Instructions:

1. Examine the plant with your magnifying glass. Identify the parts of your plants from your science word list.

2. Sketch your plant: concentrate on lines, drawing the outline of the plant and the edges that you see. Fill the whole page with your drawing.

3. When using oil pastels, layer colors from light to dark. First, cover the surface of your flower with a light underlayer of white or yellow.

4. Then, experiment with making marks and using different colors side-by-side. Try making your marks go in the same direction of the petals or leaves that you’ve drawn.

5. Blend the colors by rubbing them together gently with your finger.