Studiomaury has been transformed into a highly productive art space, one that rivals even that of Andy Warhol’s infamous cross-genre studio space, The Factory (minus the tin foil on the walls). I’m dying to share the pop culture creations our elementary artists are churning out, all at the unique inspiration of Pop Art legends such as Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol!
Early Childhood has been taking guided discovery to a whole new level in their exploration of the art element, texture. Through the world of printmaking and collage, students have been both honing their scissor skills by cutting various household objects and making monoprints in primary colors. Early on in the unit, art class was conducted like a science experiment, where students predicted which items would be most challenging to cut based on their texture and strength. The pieces left over from our cutting frenzy were then used to fashion a highly textured collage. Check out the data collected from each PS-PK class below!
Next, we moved from actual texture, to visual texture, by printmaking with recycled bubble wrap of various sizes and “bumpiness” to create Benday Dots like the artist Roy Lichtenstein used in his comic book-inspired paintings. Comic artists tended to print the primary colors in small, closely applied dots to save money on ink and give the illusion of colors blending on the page.
Continuing the Lichtenstein study with a wee bit older crowd, kindergarten through 2nd grade has been really impressing me with their contour line portraits! We have examined many of Lichtenstein’s human figures and siphoned out that his use of heavy, contour lines to outline the features of his subjects help give him that signature, comic book feel. We compared a classic portrait, like DaVinci’s Mona Lisa to one of Lichtenstein’s “IT girls” and found the similarities and differences between them quite the conversation starter. Both are ladies, yes. Both are portraits, true. Can you dig deeper to compare and contrast even more about these mysterious women?
Our creative process involves a photograph of the student, a transparency sheet over top, dry erase markers for lots of practice getting the tricky contours of our face and bodies, and permanent markers for once we’ve mastered tough parts like the eyes, nose, and mouth.
We will be adding Lichtenstein’s Benday dots to these portraits as well, only with a different application. Stay tuned for the most hip, cartoon-esque portraits of Maury students to ever hit the scene!
On to Pop Art sculpture with 3rd grade! This project is always such a success each year that it’s one of the only projects I’ve ever repeated over my three years of teaching. There’s something about combining art and math to create 3D, whimsical sculptures of bizarrely textured ice cream sundaes that really gets the kids excited, then again, when does ice cream not get you excited? We begin by looking at some of Oldenburg’s large scale, site specific artwork. This year, I got to share the exciting tale of how Mr. Roger’s and I set out on a journey on bikes in the pouring rain while at Monarch Butterfly camp in Minnesota last summer to find my favorite sculpture of all, Spoon Bridge and Cherry.
We discuss how location really says a lot about what the artist is trying to covey about their piece. We look at examples of Oldenburg’s intriguing material choices and ponder why creating plush sculptures of everyday objects forces the viewer to look deeper at something so very ordinary.
Before the students get to begin sculpting their dream sundaes, they are required to “pay” for what they purchase. Say you order a large sundae, that’ll cost you $1.50. Add chocolate sauce ($0.50), whipped cream ($0.75), and cherries ($0.15), you’re looking at $2.90 just like that. Teaching kids how to give proper change during money transactions is a real life skill so why not practice in art class? After the business side is over, the messy, whimsical sculpting takes place. Check it out!
The 4th and 5th grade project has a real Thanksgiving feel to it. Our canned food drive at school has served as the inspiration center for our pop art label design unit. Ms. Hunt and I have been collaborating to add a nutrition/design emphasis to a classic advertising challenge. Students were tasked with redesigning the label of a commodity food item so that an aspect of the products nutritional value was given center stage in the design. Using what the students know about color theory, they had to creatively incorporate color schemes, logo design, mascot creation, and other visual techniques to make their food item pop off the shelves. To say I am impressed with the work so far is an understatement. Best of all, after dropping off hundreds of pounds of food collected by YOU to the Capitol Area Food Bank on Friday afternoon, I was given a behind the scenes tour of the state of the art facility by a Maury parent and am in the beginning stages of nailing down a Maury art exhibition on site at the food bank! Below are examples of the magnificent works in progress.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all and thanks for all of your generosity and kindness, always!-Ms. Bomba