Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Artist Reference: Guido Daniele

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
Hooray for Scholastic (and a double hooray for my school librarian-who is the best!) On long weekends I usually stop in the library to pick up a copy or two of 'Arts & Activities' or 'School Arts' magazine to read when I have time. Last weekend our librarian handed me the teachers copy of Scholastic arts and on the front inside cover they had a small story on artist Guido Daniele's 'handimals'. Immediately interested in these intriguing images (I love onomatopoeia) I checked out his website and lo and behold I had known about his artwork since last summer when I was in Kennedy airport waiting for my flight and snapped some pictures of what I thought was an unusually interesting AT & T phone ad. As it turns out, those ads were Daniele's work!

To learn more:

Guido Daniele Homepage

Discover Channel's Animal Planet Article

Scholastic Art: December 210/January 2011

I think I am going to use him as an artist of the month one of these months. I think the kids would love it!

New artist reference- Moyo Ogundipe

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

I'm not sure this artist is well suited for elementary, but the technique he uses in his work coupled with the color and the intricacies of the subject matter certainly make him an inspiring and interesting artist to study.

Moyo Ogundipe

Miro Miro on the Wall.

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

This lesson was just completed by my 5th graders. Its based on the work of Joan Miro. To begin with I demonstrated how to draw a simple 1 point perspective room. Following that we looked at a bunch of paintings from Miro's 'Constellation' series and discussed symbolism. The students were instructed to chose their own theme, which could be from memories, based on a books, or center around a theme (for example, the 'music' themed artwork below). The students then sketched out their ideas followed by re-drawing them and cutting them out from construction paper. Lastly we discussed why Miro used bold black lines throughout his constellation series and brainstormed a variety of line types they could use in their work.

Overall some students really got into the project, enjoying the freedom of being able to chose and develop their own ideas. Others, however seemed to have a hard time forming ideas for their theme and seemed almost suffocated by the freedom of it. It was interesting to watch the process unfold for each student. I liked the lesson and I love the artist, but I'm not sure my 5th graders were ready for something as open ended. Maybe next time...

Prezi...the new presentation?

♠ Posted by ArtMuse
I came across a blog called 'one crazy teacher to another' and found a post about 'Prezi'. It is a type of presentation format the markets itself as being better and more effective than power point. The video posted on the aforementioned blog is really funny too, so check it out.

Have any of you heard about or have used Prezi? Shae your thoughts!

In the meantime, I am going to play around with it and let you know how it goes!

Centers...Take three

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
Today was the first day I integrated centers into the classroom. I used the 3 centers I made for a second grade and fifth grade class. Each of which with very different results. The three centers I introduced were titled:

The Creation Station- Model magic (white) with these colored toothpick like sticks I had in my storage closet.
The Scrap Paper Creation Station- Scraps of construction and textured papers, glue, and scissors.
The Who What Where Game- Laminated strips of pink, green, and yellow sentence chunks that each had a who, what, or where statement that the students would combine, write, and then draw on white drawing paper.

Now let me preface this before I keep going. I had a very strong suspicion that Who What Where game would not go over too well with the 5th grade before I tried it, but I figured I'd would see how the response was nevertheless...

The second graders loved it! I had the students rotate between 2 of the three centers at 15 minute intervals, which worked out well because it left students with 1 center that they hadn't done for next time. I encouraged them to take their time and leave their work for the next time so they could keep developing it. The did a beautiful job, transitioned between centers well, and really positively responded to having the freedom to work on their own ideas for a bit. The creation station I structured a little differently, having students work in pairs to create a 3D form, which at the end of their time at that center, they would have to disassemble. At the suggestion of another teacher, I gave the students the opportunity to photograph their 3D creation so as to be able to print it and have them keep that as a copy of their work.

The fifth grade class I tried the centers out on went all wrong. They were disorganized, and everyone rushed to the 3D station, no one wanted to go near the scrap paper station and when I gave them the chance to try out the sentence game everyone ended up just 'free-drawing' with the boys trying to sneak draw pictures of guns, and inappropriate school pictures. I'm definitely going to have to go back to the proverbial drawing board with my upper grade center ideas. Oy, I can't stand it when things don't go well!

Barnett Newman vid

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

'Vir Heroicus Sublimis by Barnett Newman

I was thinking about what to post today and what popped into my mind was the video I had watched at my MOMA workshop. I am not usually a huge enthusiast when it comes to minimalism or minimalist abstract expressionism but after seeing this video I've been serious contemplating the idea of doing a lesson about different grounds and what Newman called 'zips' using masking tape and paint. I think the kids would love it. Check the video out, its really too cool!

Art Centers...Take two

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
I compiled a list of various center activities, after reading some different sites the amount of information and ideas I got was dizzying! So I wrote up a list in Word to help organize some of the new info I was acquiring. I'm going to post it on my blog so all of you can read it. I'll keep you posted on how center time actually goes!

1.‘Practice Draw’ – Laminate stock photos of things and have the students chose from the box of images what they can copy and draw from.
2.‘Practice Draw 2’ – Instead of photo’s use real objects like shells, baby shoes, dollar store stuff, etc.
3.‘How to Draw Books’ – Have on hand different how to draw books based on animals, cartoons, well-known characters, etc.
4.‘Draw Starts’ – First, I demonstrate on the white board, 1 person makes a random mark then another student makes something out of it (i.e. an animal, face, etc.). If the students can’t make the marks, the teacher can pre-make a bunch. They must elaborate and no snakes, worms or letters. (Good for k-2)
5.‘To Do List’ – Things that the teacher may need help doing things around the room.
6.‘Who, What, Where Game’ - Which is a box filled with cards of three colors. The pink ones are people, animals, or things(nouns or subjects) the green ones are action or verbs, and the purple ones are places or locations. So, if they draw a card of each color, they get a wacky idea to illustrate, such as "A hula dancer (pink) on a subway (purple) telling fortunes (green), or a polka dotted penguin, square dancing with a hippo, in a submarine.
a. You can add adjectives to your noun choices, you can add details to any of your choices to make it more fun.
i. So, a list of pink choices might be:
A lazy lizard, A wild-eyed elephant, An affectionate alligator, A sleeping frog, etc. A list of my green cards or strips might be: waltzing with a whippet, standing on his head, shaking off drops of water, eating a triple decker ice cream cone, etc.A list of purple choices might be: on a cruise ship, At a baseball game, in a toy store, on a beach at sunset, in your bedroom, at a summer camp, on a diving board, etc.

7.‘Scrap Monsters’ - Where they use scraps off the scrap cart, pretty much in the shapes they find them, to build monsters or animals or people. Some kids like to build with paper, but NO WEAPONS or airplanes.
8.‘Origami Box’ - With instructional books in it and paper. Students may trade me for true origami paper after they have demonstrated mastery.
9.‘Art Games’- various pre-bought packaged games that can include:
c.Tangoes by Rex Games (make the shape seen in the picture)
d.Thinkfuns: Izzi, Brick by Brick, or Block by Block
e.‘Modern Art’ - In Modern Art, players compete to gain the most money by buying and selling paintings at auctions and reselling them for profit.
f.‘Art Memo Game’ - Try your hand at a memory game with a twist. Art Memo has 72 cards depicting 36 different pictures. All 36 of the pictures are fine art from museums around the world. Made in Austria by Piatnik.
g.Prof. Noggin's History of Art - The History of Art card game, from Professor Noggin's series of educational games, encourages kids to learn interesting facts about art, one of their favorite subjects! Each of the thirty game cards features a great work of art from Michelangelo, Hokusai, Leonardo Da Vinci, and more of history's famous painters
h.Masterpiece, The Art Auction Game - For years families have thrilled to the excitement and fun of the MASTERPIECE game. Now you can join the tradition and make your mark in the high-stakes world of an international art auction, where the excitement is in the bidding

10.‘Calligraphy Bin’- With pens in it.
11.‘Sculpturades – Use of modeling clay or play dough where students need to guess the objects the person in creating (based on index cards with objects or pictures of objects)
12.‘Stamping Center’- Contains an ink pad and several different stamps. Some are from cheap children's kits found at the dollar store, some are higher quality. 4 1/2x6" paper is included in box.
13.‘Collage Center’ - Various types paper, stickers, sequins, ribbons, etc. 1 1/4 oz. glue bottle and 4 1/2x6" white paper included in box.
14.‘Coloring Center’- Variety of coloring sheets such as Optical Illusions, Famous Artworks, etc.
15.‘Rubbing Center’ - Various textures for rubbing including sandpaper, screen, mesh, texture rubbing plates. 4 1/2x6" paper included
16.‘Exquisite Corpse’- Round Robin style drawings, I would need to make the booklet.
17.‘Art Puzzles & Patterns’ – Various puzzles either hand made or pre-bought which can include:
a. Squizzle Puzzles (from Mindware)
b. Busy Beetles and Batty Lizards
c. Pattern Play (from Mindware)
d. Busy Beetles and Batty Lizards
e. Art Print Puzzles-can be handmade
f. Sudoku using colors (from the teaching palette, it has a link to printable sheets)

18.‘Manipulatives’ – Either hand-made or store bought for building, or connecting things which includes:
a. Toobers and Zots
b. Tanagram sets
c. Connectograms
d. Crystal Productions: ‘Wonderboard’-magnetic architecture set

I apologize for any misspelling and for the weird formatting (I copied and pasted this off word). Feel free to add any of your own center ideas. I'd love to add to my resources! :)

Art Centers...Take 1

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

I'm going to try and incorporate art centers into my teaching. It's going to be a gradual process and so I'm beginning by using centers as a reward for excellent class behavior. I use a red, yellow, and green 'stoplight' for my classes, and the goal, after reviewing the rules with them, is for them to always try for a 'green' day. If they succeed in having 3 green days in a row, they have earned a free choice day, which will be structured into art centers. Currently I'm trying to put together some center ideas that will be productive and engaging for all the grades but its a bit more work than I anticipated (isn't it always though? lol). So I have a feeling this will be a work in progress. Anyways, I found a great article on the teaching palette blog site entitled "Proven learning Centers for the Art Room" Here's the link, its definitely worth a look. I especially like the color sudoku and the Picasso center ideas.

I'm so excited...

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

I kid you not...I have arguably the best 4th graders ever! I'm so excited about the project they are doing right now that I just had to post some 'in-progress' pictures. Here they are...(the finished ones will be posted with lessons details as soon as they finish!)
BTW, they are from Gattis Elementary School TX (I looked at their artsonia page) It's well worth a look.

Going Green

♠ Posted by ArtMuse

My school is very eco-conscious and as such each year all the elementary art teachers within the district participates in a recycled art contest using materials that have either been recycled, or can be recycled. This was my first year being a part of this contest and as such I wasn't entirely 'prepared' for what to do, I was given about a month or so's notice and of course, hind sight is 20/20, now that the deadline for the competition is over and I've seen some of the recycled art I've got tons of ideas of what I can have my students do. Oh well, next year. However, this year I did turn out a few things.

Kindergarten created recycled trees. Using phone book pages, grocery bags, cardboard, foam from egg cartons and bottle caps.

4th grade created a collaborative work using magazine pages (and some cardboard as a frame)

I'll post more pictures from the opening in December, you wouldn't believe how great some of the other schools artwork is!

3rd grade organic stacked shapes

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
This is a lesson I've seen a few times on various art blogs and thought it would make for a great first lesson. It's a relatively easy lesson to teach and the results are great. The concepts I introduced included organic vs. geometric shapes, 2-D and 3D, and how artists create a 3D illusion on a 2D surface by adding shadows, contrast, and line designs (specifically using the 5 basic types of lines-horizontal, vertical, diagonal, zigzag, and curvy, as a springboard for them to create their own designs).

Here's a few finished examples:

Conference MOMA

♠ Posted by ArtMuse

I was very fortunate that for my school's Superintendent's conference day that the art teacher from within our district had organized a professional development workshop at the Museum of Modern Art. The workshop was geared for k-12 and focused on women in art. As part of this we looked at the photographs of Dorothea Lang, Helen Levitt, and the art of Kara Walker. It was nice to be able to sit down as a group and view and discuss the artwork, it's sort of like a special treat for art teachers to be able to do this. I haven't gone to a museum in a while and doing this was a nice reminder of how much I love talking about and seeing new art. There were two mini-activities that we did which I'll share with you. The first is called a 'whip-around' and the second is called a 'draw and speak'. They're by no means new techniques in art ed, but they both make for good warm-up activities for kids when viewing art (at all levels).

The 'whip-around', very simply, was when the workshop teacher asked us to take a minute and view the artwork and then say 1 word, the first word that came to our minds, when viewing it. Then we simply went around the room and shared our word. It was a good way to get a discussion started.

The 'draw & speak' was a bit more involved than the whip around. Basically you work in pairs with 1 person being the speaker, who views the artwork and then must describe it to their partner, the drawer, who, using those descriptions, cannot see what the actually artwork looks like, but draws what the speaker is saying. Now, for the first 2 minutes or so, the drawer can't ask questions. However, after the 2 minutes is up, the drawer can ask questions to help them clarify what they are drawing. After about 5 minutes or so, the drawer turns around and can view the work. What's great about it is that it forces you and your partner to communicate about the work in ways that they normally wouldn't. It also fosters collaboration, team work, and on the part of the drawer, allows them to not only render the descriptions, but make mental visualizations based on what the speaker is telling them. Then when they get to viewing the actual piece, they are already engaged in viewing it because of all the differences/similarities between what they thought and what is actually there!

Right now at the museum they have a great abstract expressionist exhibit and if you go on the site there are tons of interesting resources/videos about the ab. ex's including Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, and Franz Kline.

Here are some of the artists we discussed:

Dorothea Lang
Helen Levitt
Jeff Wall
Robert Frank
Cindy Sherman
Martha Rosler
Grant Woods

Oh, and I forgot to mention one of the best parts, the museum is closed to the public on Tuesdays so when you plan/have a guided tour that day its like having the museum all to yourself! :)

* Martha Rosler "Cleaning the Drapes' 1969-1972 (she also has a contemporary series based on the Iraqi War, if you're interested)