Even art teachers get the urge to make art

This is a snowy picture of my family’s house back in Chapel Hill, NC during Christmas time

The concept of home is very important to me. I like to make the spaces I inhabit feel comfortable and inspiring. I’ll be honest, I spend a lot of time in Studiomaury and sometimes it feels like my second home. Although most of the time I’m busy prepping student projects, researching, creating demos, or lesson planning, I do occasionally slip into my own world and create art for me.

A thoughtful parent dropped off an old desk calendar full of 365 stunning works of art throughout history. She thought I may be able to do something with them. She probably intended that I apply them to student work, but I was so fond of the glossy images that I spent most of parent-teacher conference day listening to music, cutting, taping, and assembling my wall collage for me. I am glad to know the students are equally as intrigued by the diversity, color, and complexity of art throughout the ages. Most of our rectangle discussions this week have revolved around the pieces that jump out to us and why they are our favorites. A fair number of discussions have also been about naked vs. nude and the frequency of nudity in art. Luckily, the National Gallery was there to back me up as our fourth and fifth graders navigated through numerous nude sculptures during Art Around the Corner. Topics such as nudity in art, race, diversity, and religion can often be radical, controversial, and polarizing, especially when discussed at school–most of the time such discussions are fascinating, eye-opening, and  a learning experience for all.

Those eyes! I wonder what Mona Lisa would have to say about it all?

Speaking of Art Around the Corner. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that a great day was had by all. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I think of how lucky I am to spend Wednesday afternoons learning things even an art teacher doesn’t already know about art. I find new sculptures to love, something that speaks to me in a George Bellows painting, a hundredth glance at a Monet and the chance to clue a curious fourth grader into the world of masters like good old Claude.

“That Moe-net charachter you’re asking about is actually pronounced Moe-nay, and that painting you like so much is actually adored by many for the same reasons you just stated. His blurry brush strokes, his hazy colors, the way parliament looks like a medieval castle in the distance, the boat detail in the foreground, that is why we love art, why we love to look at it, make keen observations about it, and state our tastes and opinions.”

Claude Monet. The Houses of Parliament, Sunset. 1903. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

There was almost something poetic about tracing contours of Graft by sculptor, Roxy Paine,  in the rain. Especially for me, who had devoted an entire unit to contour line drawing with 5th grade!

This may not be my very best photographic composition and I apologize to Kianna who is a truly stunning girl, but this shot really summed up the joy and excitement of crossing over from seeing the older art in the West Building to the newer art in the East Building. Interactive art rules! It’s going to be a great year of museum education, can’t you tell?

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