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

Art Bytes

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
Here are 4 sites that may be of interest to you.

The first is through the Museum of Modern Art and its called Modern Teachers. It doesn't contain extensive art information but it does have a really cute interactive cartoon called Destination Modern Art which is similar to the animated flash video on the National Gallery of Washington's site. As you pilot your alien friend through the gallery you can stop and 'look, listen, and interact' with the various artworks hung on the gallery walls.

The second site is called Artbabble and what I found to be of particular interest is the fairly extensive list of artists (under the artists link at the top of the homepage). When you click on a specific artist, which FYI is alphabetized by their first names and not their last, you get a few short contemporary high res. videos about the artist and their work. None of the videos I saw were that long, but it just might do the trick as a hook or icebreaker when introducing an artists or a specific work with your students. Below is one of those clips, about artist Jeff Koons from the site:

The third site is a new blog I came across from the art teachers listserv it is for Art Education Videos suitable for grades k-12. I was perusing it and came across a 2-minute video I particularly liked on Herb Williams, an artist who does all his sculptures out of crayola crayons! On the side search bar you have to click crayon sculptures.

Lastly here is another site from the listerv, called Glogster which I am about to check out right now. Supposedly its a great resource for creating/altering SMARTBOARD activities. But I'll let you know in a few days...In the meantime, Enjoy!

The Frick NYC

♠ Posted by ArtMuse

On Monday I visited the Frick for the first time
, never having known it even existed prior to checking out Googles new 'artproject' website. The museum itself was the residence of steel magnate Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) and houses his diverse (and exquisite ) collection of old master paintings, bronzes, and furniture.

The most extravagant example of the depth (and wealth)
of Frick's collection is the 'Fragonard Room' Originally the Fragonard room was Ms. Frick's sitting room, and everything in the room includin
g the moldings on the wall was designed after the 17th and early18th century French Baroque style.

The museum is a real treat, admissions is a bit steep at 18 a person (12 for seniors and 5 with student i.d.) but the pricey ticket for admissions is more than made up for after seeing the fantastic artworks and the free audio tour that you can get which narrates more than 1/2 the works in the museum really makes for a great learning experience. If you have the chance, definitely check it out!

The Frick Museum

Birthday hats...don't you just love tissue paper!

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

It's amazing what you can make with white drawing paper and tissue paper! The wonderful ESL teacher at my school runs 'International Week' every year the Monday through Friday before February break. The entire downstairs multipurpose room (which is the size of a small gymnasium) gets turned into a 'museum' with artifacts, art, clothing, and literature from different cultures, representing by our PTA, from around the world. This years theme was birthdays around the world, and so I did my part by helping put together a small display case near the front lobby of the school. I also had some students create a huge invitation card made from the cardboard my new kiln came in, that was placed in the 'museum's' entryway. Each student that created a hat used the colors of his or her flag to decorate it. Albeit a small contribution, the students really enjoyed making their birthday hats, and despite giving up 2 weeks of lunch time, I really enjoyed the process too! Seeing what a great event international week is at my school, maybe next year I'll do something a bit more involved, we'll see....

Fainting Goats-totally not education related but hilarious

♠ Posted by ArtMuse
Like many things in my life, my sense of humor is pretty random, I was talking to a friend of mine and the subject of fainting came up. My friend referenced goats fainting to the discussion and after he mentioned it, I just had to see it for myself. Well, here they are: they're calling 'myotonic' or 'stiff-legged' goats and they're totally hysterical! They remind me of what happens to my shih-tzu when I try to put doggie clothes on her~ :)

Happy Valentines Day!

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

Here's a video from the 'post secrets' project. If you've never heard of it, its a project where people from all over mail in a secret (anonymously) and its gets posted in books. I purchased a book a few years ago, and they're very powerful and completely individual to read through. Here's a Valentines video based on it.

(* Warning-this video is not all warm and fuzzy, but has some sweet and not so sweet interpretations of 'love')

Post Secret

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

I was revamping my sub-folder lessons and came across the site:

Storyline Online

It's a website that has well-known stories read by celebrities. It's a nice alternative to having the story read traditionally to students, plus they may get a kick out of the digital version (especially if it's a story they have already read or are very familiar with).
Some of the stories include:

Sophie's Masterpiece
A Bad Case of the Stripes
When Pigasso Met Mootise


'Look, Look, Look' is Great Great Great

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

The other day on my prep period, I was perusing the school library looking for a book to read to my k-2nd graders because the lesson I had planned (for the schools Square 1 art fundraiser) only took about 30 minutes of our 40 minute period and I wanted something to occupy the whole class for the remaining 10 minutes. As I was browsing our fantastic librarian recommended a book called Look, Look, Look by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. She recommended this book to me as an especially good followup to the book Mouse Paint, which I had previously read to my kindergartners. I brought it back to my room and read it through and absolutely loved it!

The premise of the book is simple, 3 mice find a postcard from 'art' that had been mailed to the people in the house who were away on vacation. On the postcard is a famous artwork and the mice finding it particularly interesting, take the card into their mouse 'house' and start analyzing it. As the book proceeds, the mice make frames to look at the artwork in, collages of the shapes that the artwork has in it, and color families that go with the artworks paint colors. The book easily teaches young students how to look at and analyze some qualities found in 2-dimensional works. I'm going to make 'frames' like the mice had in the book, have them laminated, so they have a clear see-through center, and then have my k-2 grades use them to view and analyze works of art. I think they'll love it. It's great to find a book that illustrates some art criticism, which I find particularly difficult to teach to my students, especially the younger grades.

2 Bites of Tech info (no pun intended :)

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

Here are two tech-related things you may want to check out.

When you fill out the survey you instantly get a 1 year free digital subscription to School Arts magazine. It's basically the magazine in pdf format so its a really good resource. I happen to enjoy the magazine and find it really useful. This months magazine theme is compassion. You can also check out the School Arts blog here:

The second is a new project created by google which lets you virtually view famous artworks from museums around the world. The MET, MOMA, Frick and more are already up an running on the site. The project is called:

You can also access google art projects through google earth, which will enable you to zoom down from the earth to the front of these museums and 'walk' right in!

The timing happens to be great for me because I'm working on a Van Gogh lesson with my first graders. So next week, we're off the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam!

Happy surfing all!

Happy New Year!

♠ Posted by ArtMuse

Gong Xi Fa Cai Or Gong Hey Fat Choy!