Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Youth Art Month Setup vs. the Blizzard

The short story: the blizzard won this battle, but the Art Department will not give up so easily and the Youth Art Month show will go on as scheduled, opening this Sunday at the Rahr-West Art Museum!

As in past years, the Museum hosts this wonderful student art show for our district during the month of March. February is spent selecting and preparing the artwork, and the last week of the month is spent hanging the show during the evening hours. That is, until Lake Michigan and its tricky "Lake-effect snow" turned a measly prediction of 2-4" into a 12"+ blanket that brought the city to a standstill!

A few brave art teachers were able to make the journey to the Museum after digging themselves out; we were able to fill some wall space before the building closed for the evening.

I snapped a photo of the progress in the main gallery before heading out!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

6th Grade Mona Lisa Quilt Preview

Enjoy a sneak preview of the 6th graders' collaborative masterpiece! Many of the students are not finished painting their canvas squares quite yet, but I arranged the pieces in order for the first time after school today and was too excited not to share!

Next up: the episode where Ms. Jabs uses a sewing machine for the first time since 1997...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Middle School 1pt. Perspective + Trick Photography

While practicing 1-point perspective, we added a twist and turned the project into a quick excursion into the world of trick photography!

We took initial photographs of our feet and printed them in black and white to view the value gradations, then rendered them in graphite on a lower box of our perspective compositions. Some of the final photographs turned out to be quite seamless!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

7th-8th Grade Shoe Drawings: Sketchbook Pro on iPad2

Students completed two observational drawings of their shoe: one with pen on paper, and the other using Sketchbook Pro on the iPads. For inspiration with our colors and lines, we looked to Andy Warhol's Endangered Species series!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Middle School German Expressionist Linocuts

For our printmaking unit, 7th and 8th grade students in World Art class studied the woodcuts of German Expressionist artists and completed 6" linocuts in this style.

We began by viewing woodcut portraits from the following artists: Max Beckmann, Kรคthe Kollwitz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, George Grosz, and Otto Dix. Students discussed the composition and style of these works, identifying adjectives to describe the style. Favorite answers included "rough," "contrasting," "textured," "sharp," and "choppy." Students noticed that the works did not seem to have a happy feeling, and that the faces were not intended to be beautiful or proportionate.

Practice: Using 6"x6" sketch paper and thick black markers, students made three or more practice sketches. A thick black marker drawing can achieve almost the same effect as a linocut, so students had to find the means to use texture to create areas of dark, medium, and light values. They were asked to draw one face, one flower, and one fruit or vegetable from my "fake plastic still life food" basket!

The Linocut: Students chose their favorite sketch to transfer to a piece of linoleum. We carved using #2 and #3 sized blades only to maximize textural effects. Students are in the process of printing an edition of two quality print on paper (it usually takes a few more tries to get those two perfect prints!). Each student is also printing on a 9" square of burlap as well as multiple prints on a 12" ceramic tile.

A few early finishers:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

5th Grade Slab-Constructed Vessels

Clay Day: favorite Art class of the year for many students! It is a true workout for both the students and I to get these accomplished in one 45-minute class period, but the 5th grade artists were up to the challenge. Many of the vessels are destined to be flower vases, pitchers, and coffee mugs (overheard: "I missed Mom's birthday, so good thing I will be able to give her this coffee mug for Mother's Day!"). Students demonstrated good clay-building technique; rolling their own slabs to the proper width, embossing textures, and attaching elements securely using the "slip and score" method. One young basketball fan helped his peers commit this technique to memory: "He slips... he SCORES!!!!"

Roughly 65-70 clay mugs were constructed on Tuesday afternoon and are now drying out on the shelf awaiting a turn in the kiln. The imprinted textures are beautiful in the surface of the clay, and so far, no handles have broken off!

Favorite Things

After classes were over and the supplies were cleaned and more or less put back in their places, I returned to my desk and found an anonymous note from a first grader who wanted to share his/her excitement over the day's project. It made my day!

Rough translation: "[Making] Shrink[y Dinks] rocks, [Ms.] Jabs!"