Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Mona Lisa's Mysterious Smile

The fourth grade students are learning all about the Renaissance this year.  They did a project about the Mona Lisa, for which we learned lots of fun art history facts.  I decided it would be a great skit for the Celebration of Learning.  Ms. Szarnych's class presented The Top 10 Worst Things to Happen to Mona Lisa!  Enjoy the video, and take a look at the funny parodies some students finished.
Being Silly With the Props

Class Performance at the Celebration of Learning
Jack's Cleopatra Lisa

Nate's DJ Lisa

Jasmine's Fairy Lisa

Mariah's Mona Rocker

Ruby's Teenager Lisa

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

African Textiles: Printing vs. Weaving

Kindergarten students have been comparing two ways artists make beautiful fabrics in Africa.  We read stories of African folktales, and we looked at African textiles.  Students tried weaving to get an idea of how kente cloths are made.  They stamped patterns to experiment with adinkra printing.  In January, Ms. Lindsey will be teaching them more about African culture as they work on a unit about Ghana!

Eliana is adding patterns to her woven "kente" strips.

William and Henry are proud of their work!

Homemade Adinkra stamps from craft foam and wooden circles.

Josue and Henry

Lacey and Haynes

Emiliano, James and Salam

Fiyin, Anita and Julia

Salam and James

Patrick, Bria, Mateo, Elsa, Francesca, Yasmine

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bamboo Brushes and India Ink


Second grade students are learning about Japanese artists including Hiroshige and Hokusai.  They learned that Hiroshige painted dreamy, beautiful paintings that included peaceful, soft moods.  Hokusai, on the other hand, created powerful and bold waves, waterfalls and other strong prints.  They saw videos about woodblock prints, they studied lines in Hokusai's work, they experimented with sum-e tools like bamboo and ink, and they invented their own landscapes in both ink and watercolors.  I am proud of what they have learned and what they have made!

Prescott's Art Club Welcomes 45 Members

Session 1 Club Members

The Prescott Art Club meets Tuesday mornings at 7:45.  We created 2 sessions this year to accommodate the large number of students interested in being part of our group.  Session 1 has completed a weaving project as well as a sculpture project.  Check out our cute woven owls!

Woven Owls

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Welcome Back!

Election Day, Norman Rockwell, 1944
Welcome back to school!

This summer, I went to Monet's garden in Giverny, sketched at the Louvre and the Musee D'Orsay, and wandered around the streets in Montmartre where Toulouse Lautrec, Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh all found inspiration.  I feel inspired and ready to start art class!

I am excited for the new year, and I hope you will follow our art blog to keep track of what our student artists are creating.

With the upcoming presidential election, our 5-8th graders will be having a special art show to celebrate the inauguration.  I will be collaborating with Ms. Gow and Mrs. Edwards to align lessons with what they are learning in social studies and writing.  We will look at famous artwork inspired by politics, and we will discuss how art can give people a voice to express their views.

I also plan to work on strengthening a growth mindset in each of our students.  This was a goal I made last year when I noticed many students feeling frustrated as we prepared for the spring art show.  By changing the way they approach projects, I hope that they will find even more success and will love coming to art class.  I found this video very inspiring as I planned:  Teaching Art or Teaching to Think Like an Artist

As for our other students, I am equally excited to work with them on projects that will build skills and knowledge to get them excited about art.  Each grade level has a different theme, but all grade levels will work on basic color theory, composition, proper use of art materials and creative problem-solving.

Kindergarten:  The Art of Picture Books
1st Grade:  Cultural Art
2nd Grade:  Famous Artists and Paintings
3rd Grade:  The Art of Chicago
4th Grade:  The Renaissance

Our Kindergarten and 1st grade classes are large and full of energy.  With our hands-on and often messy art projects, I have asked for volunteers to sign up to come help during the 1:40-2:40 hour.  Jen Bowers will have a sign-up through this link: Volunteer Spot . (THANK YOU, JEN!) Come join the fun!

Let's make some art!

Pointillism Practice in Grade 3

First Grade Papyrus Paintings

Kindergarteners making paper from recycled paper after reading The Lorax

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Aaron Douglas Layered Storytelling Paintings

Aaron Douglas, Aspects of Negro Life:  From Slavery Through Reconstruction,  1934

The fifth graders are finishing up their 10 week course on American Art.  I modeled the second half of the course after the current Art Institute of Chicago exhibition that showcases art by Grant Wood, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper and Aaron Douglas.  When we got to Aaron Douglas and the Harlem Renaissance, I couldn't find any lesson plans I liked online.  I decided to have the students study his work and to find common elements.  We picked 4 goals to make work in his style:  a monochromatic color scheme, concentric circles highlighting a focal point, silhouettes telling a story, and three distinct layers of value.  I had them choose a struggle for people in common current events, and I let them choose from a list of topics or come up with their own.  This was complex for 5-8th graders, but they had some strong work.  Here are some samples that impressed me!

One more by Aaron Douglas that was an inspiration to the students.

Maryann, Grade 8

Jackie, Grade 8:  Showing a bridge going over the Mexico/US border and a political rally.

Giana, Grade 5:  Showing refugees seeking homes.

Kevin, Grade 5:  Showing a bald eagle overcoming Donald Trump

Aria, Grade 5:  Showing Hillary Clinton speaking to a crowd.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

K-2 Student-Curated Art Show

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the arts with our K-2nd grade artists in Pilsen this weekend.  We had a great turnout, and it was such a memorable experience for us to offer the kids.  Thanks to the parents who helped organize, promote, and facilitate the show, especially Edyta Stepien and Janette Gilmartin.  Here are some photos of the event!
Kings, Queens, Turtles and Trees
The art filled the entire space!

Aleena, Grade 1

Kyle's Family helps him hang his turtle.

Thumbs-up from Xander

Proud Parker

Aiden placed his turtle at eye-level.

Heavy hammer!

Alejandro and Maks side-by-side

Caden is hanging his monster with Logan's

Logan's mom and dad helped him out.

Lincoln and his dad are placing his name tag

These two, still side-by-side!

Malacchi's brothers watched him hang his work.

Ava with her sparkle-covered king and her hand-made crown, looking proud.

Greta made a fancy crown.

First grade face painting

Caroline made two:  one for herself and one for her American Girl doll.

Alexa showing her teddy bear where her turtle is hanging...

Great Gallery Space

Jonny and Ethan making crowns at the craft table

Jacob and Jamie found stamps.

Aiden made a super-hero mask.

Lincoln and Mom posing with his king

Brenna painting Olive

Magdalena and Lila with Lila's Queen
Sophia with a hammer!

Sadie and her mom with her turtle

American Sculpture: Martin Puryear

Martin Puryear is a 79 year old sculptor who lives in New York.  He has traveled the world to study art and craft traditions, and he has rec...