Loyal followers! I am so excited to inundate you with a photo blast of all the great work studiomaury has been churning out. I am so pleased with our Maury artists. Art class over the past few weeks has been such a delight. Students are in high spirits, positive behavior abounds, and we are all truly growing into our roles as Changemakers as a result of the hard work and practice our school community is putting forth (blog entry about my exciting Nationally broadcast webinar on Empathy and the Arts coming soon!)
Where to begin…
In case you haven’t been by to see the artwork on display, here is a glimpse at how our Roy Lichtenstein “BenDay Dot” portraits wrapped up. It is so surprising to me how challenging it is for fellow teachers and even parents to see through the abstraction of these portraits when trying to identify a student. Over the course of this contour line portrait project, I became so familiar with the students work and style that each individual face rings out, clear as a bell, to me. I guess that’s an added perk of being the art teacher–I feel so privileged to get to know each individual student in such a personal and unique way. I feel pretty confident that I could identify almost any of my 340 students by simply looking at any piece of their work and deciphering the personal style before me. See if you can point out some of your child’s friends in the gallery below.
Our Food Drive Design posters are also on display now right outside the studio. I was pleased at the level of restraint and craftsmanship demonstrated by 4th and 5th grade on these. Clean lines, bold colors and a strategic use of white space helped make these posters informative and eye catching to the consumer. Not to mention, the implementation of 3D design, color theory, and nutritional information upped the ante for a series of comprehensive products.
Third grade has had complete freedom in their latest project. After briefly looking at the bizarre work of William Wegman and his weimaraners as a way of using animals to create human forms, third grade has latched on to the concept of anthropomorphism, or combining human and animal features to create a new species. Our unit began with the creation of photo-collages chalk full of intriguing crossbreeds. These collages were then turned into comics with hilarious dialogue bubbles giving voice to some strange species. I am bummed that I don’t currently have any photographs of the comics because they are truly weird and amazing but I’ll be sure to get some up next time. The most exciting part of this multi-step project is that students were then asked to choose one of their anthropomorphic creatures and bring them to life in 3d. We have begun building the bones of our creatures from newspaper, masking tape, corks, paper cups, Q-tips, and cardboard. We will later cover them in plaster gauze, paint, and accessorize accordingly. Sculpture is the medium that speaks most to me as an artist so I am always amused to assist students in bringing flat images to the round. Kids are born to build, design and problem solve and I am always so impressed with the level of engineering and construction they are able to muster on their own. Beginning stages below!
As I’ve shared in the past, I love integrating art into other subject areas. Lately, science has been my inspiration. Preschool-PreK students are wild about Elf Owls (did you catch the newsletter article this month?) and K-2 are immersed in the geographic study of land forms! Do you know what an Isthmus is? How about a Strait or Gulf? K-2nd grade art students can verbally articulate what makes these land forms unique, as well as describe the relationship of the land forms to water through the use of positive and negative space. Have you ever considered that a lake is really just the negative representation of an island? Same goes for a Peninsula and a Gulf or an Isthmus and a Strait.
If that doesn’t work for you, think about it in terms of doughnuts and doughnut holes. Pop out the center of a doughnut and you have an island or doughnut hole left over. What remains is the negative space, or “lake.”
These kids are pros and have spent time charting, sketching, and carving positive and negative space land forms from sandwich bread (30 loaves, y’all)! The next phase of their geographic study is to create abstract oil pastel and water color resist paintings of all 6 land forms highlighting their unique spacial relationship.
There is so much exciting work to share about what’s happening in 4th and 5th grade that I will be dedicating an entire post to our artistic process soon. Enjoy this long weekend and the work of the great Martin Luther King Jr!