Monday, April 25, 2016

Right NOW, in SJS Art Studio

Families, friends, visitors, and art lovers: 
We're getting ready! Please mark your calendars for 

Saint Jude School's 
Visual Art Show and Open House
Wednesday, May 11 , 2016

Kindergarten just finished turning themselves into Egyptian pharaohs...
... and Keith Haring style dancing figures....

...First graders looked at God's beautiful flowers and painted a large mural...
after painting their small Greek pottery... 
...second graders drew Renaissance inspired self-portraits and are currently taking weaving by storm....

My hands were TOO BUSY directing third graders coil pottery to take pictures...
Fourth graders are thrilled to discover what proficient portrait skills they developed ("before" and "after" photo)....look for portraits of famous Pennsylvanians on display....

Fifth graders are so involved designing superhero robot sculptures - wait until you hear them talk! 
Sixth grader potters are sculpting face jugs....

While seventh graders create celebration masks..
...and eighth graders explore Pop Art style block printmaking. 

There will be so much to see, learn, and do. 
Please join us!

Artist Flowers

One of my favorite all time t-shirts has a picture of nine american flags each illustrating the style of a different artist.   More recently, I've seen this one:

When you think about it, that's quite a challenging endeavor: communicating an artist's defining characteristics through a simple illustration.  I decided to try something along these lines with my sixth graders... and they certainly proved up to the challenge! 

 I should mention that this was an art integrated lesson involving the language arts teachers, the librarian, and the visual arts teacher (me :). During the course of this project, sixth graders broadened their research skills, read informational text from both print and online sources, learned to determine credible online resources, wrote a research paper sharing their newfound knowledge, and learned to write a properly cited bibliography.  
Each child chose an artist and began reading and researching. 
Then we used this mind map to help analyze their artist's styles. 

We discussed icons, logos, and symbols and talked about how a simple illustration can communicate volumes. We all enjoyed these minions.
I wanted a very simple iconic shape that was easy to draw and finally settled on a flower, in large part because of it's anthropomorphic similarities.

For fun, see how many artists you can guess! Answers are at the bottom : )

  1. Georgia O'Keeffe
  2. Grant Wood
  3.  Rene Magritte
  4.  Jackson Pollock
  5. Chuck Close
  6.  Frida Kahlo
  7. Henri Rousseau
  8. Vincent Van Gogh
  9. Georgia O'Keeffe
  10. Marc Chagall
  11. Andy Warhol
  12. Winslow Homer
  13. Salvador Dali
  14. Faith Ringgold
  15. JohannVermeer
  16. Vincent Van Gogh
  17. Pablo Picasso
  18. Claude MOnet
  19. Edgar Degas
  20. Henri Matisse

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Capturing a Memory

Close your eyes and let your mind wander.... think of a favorite memory... a special experience.  Where were you? What were you doing? How was your body moving? Could you smell anything? What did you hear? See? Taste? 
And so we began a lesson learning about the American artist, Romare Bearden. 
 Fourth graders read the story Me and Uncle Romie in their in Language Arts class and I was able to delve more into his life and art with the kids.  Romare is most well known for collage art depicting images of growing up in the South, of the Harlem Renaissance, and of the Black experience in America. 
The kids reflected on a treasured memory of their own, and explored elements of their memory through the medium of collage.

The National Gallery of Art has some great info for kids and parents on Romere Bearden (click here) and the Metropolitan Museum in NY hosts an interactive site here. Enjoy! 
Roller Coaster Fun!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cave Art Revisited

Ok, the secret's out. I took your kids spelunking.
Darkness filled the cave. Sometimes we needed to get down on our knees and bellies. We carried torches like people used 15,000 years ago. 
Thank goodness we didn't run into bats or bears!  But we did discover ART, ACTUAL drawings, on the walls!!!! Created thousands of years ago!!!! Rhinos, bulls, horses, deer, and handprints. No butterflies, though. 
Then we crawled out of the cave and back to our seats. Why? To make cave art of our own, of course! 

Cave Art Unit
Week 1: Sponge painting , mixing colors to create a textured stone wall.
Week 2: Spelunking!  Discover cave art through a virtual tour of Lascaux (here)
Begin to draw animals on the textured stone wall using oil pastels.  
Week 3: Complete cave drawings, have hands stencil painted, and work collaboratively draw on cave ceilings (under the tables).