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Thursday, February 18, 2010

photomontages on the theme of justice

In honor of Black History month, the sixth graders have been studying the life and artwork of African American artist, Romare Bearden. The students learned that Bearden founded a group called "spiral," which served the purpose of gathering visual artists and writers together in their support of the Civil Rights Movement. Romare Bearden created socially conscious collages that depicted the inequalities present within America at that time.

In response to viewing Romare Bearden's art, the students were given the task of creating their own socially conscious collage. They were given various quotations on the topics of civil rights, women's rights, freedom of speech, and peace. Below are some of the students' interpretations of these quotes:

"Peace is the only battle worth waging." --Albert Camus

"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sones of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. --Martin Luther King Jr.

"Peace is the only battle worth waging." --Albert Camus

"There was never a good war or bad peace." --Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jumbo Sculptures in the style of Oldenburg

The fourth grade students learned about Swedish-American sculptor, Claes Oldenburg, who created jumbo sculptures of everyday objects. The students were assigned to a team, and they were given the task of creating a jumbo sculpture of an everyday object using recycled materials and paint. This project required teamwork, creative problem solving, and skillful craftsmanship. Below are images of some of the ideas the students came up with:

One Point Perspective

The fifth graders learned about the art and life of Vincent Van Gogh. Although he faced difficulties throughout his life, such as emotional instability and poverty, Van Gogh persevered as a painter and created over 900 painting in his lifetime! Now he is a globally recognized artist. The students viewed Van Gogh's painting of a bedroom, and they identified what looked "strange" to them about this room. We discussed how it is important to learn the rules of one point perspective before breaking this rule (like Vincent Van Gogh). The students showed a great amount of perseverance in drawing their own bedrooms in one point perspective. The drawings featured are still in progress.

Drawing Cats in the style of Laurel Burch

The kindergarteners viewed the artwork of Laurel Burch, a contemporary artist who paints cats with vibrant colors and patterns. We talked about how it is important to use our imaginations when we create art. At times, we create things on paper that don't exist in real life--like a blue cat!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I have chosen to teach art as my profession because creating visual representations of the world is my passion, and I want to share this passion with students in a classroom environment of creativity and possibility. As a visual arts teacher, I believe it is essential to keep my hand drawing and painting, my arms elbow-deep in clay, my mind engaged in creative problem solving, and my eyes open to the details of our world. I hope to inspire this type of engagement within my students. The students at CCA have been asking what kind of art I like to create. I always find that to be a difficult question to answer because different ideas require different modes of representation. I thoroughly enjoy all mediums. Feel free to browse my personal artwork at

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Allstar Academy Kickoff!

For the next two months I am teaching an origami class on Thursday evenings. The students are enthusiastic (as I think you can tell :), and the class is off to a great start! This week we learned about the history of origami and about samurai warriors. The students created origami samurai hats and designed their own personalized crest.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Painting in the Style of Peter Doig

Canoe Lake
Oil on Canvas
Peter Doig

Peter Doig is one of my favorite contemporary painters. He creates dreamlike scenes in his paintings, which evoke memories for the viewer. He also uses a distinct foreground, middle ground, and background in his paintings. The fifth grade students created dreamlike scenes in the style of Peter Doig by painting distinct color bands of foreground, middle ground, and background. The students also learned that cool colors are oftentimes used in the background, and warm colors are used in the foreground.

Fun with Numbers

The Kindergarteners LOVE to write numbers, so we decided to have some fun with numbers! The students used oil pastel crayons to write numbers 1-10 (writing two number 2's, three number 3's etc.) Afterwards, the students used watercolors to create water resist paintings.