Sunday, December 13, 2009

Open Studio

Open Studio is a reward for getting ten challenge points. Challenge points are awarded when an entire class works as a team to complete a challenge. A challenge could be organizing a silent clean up or having every artist follow all directions during studio time. Once they reach ten points, the following class they have a choice of what materials to work with and get to bring home all of their creations that same day. I like Open Studio because it gives me an idea of where the students interests lie and what they are most excited about working on. Recently, Ms. Patterson's class was given Open Studio. Here are some of their creations:

First Grade Clay Experiments

Whenever I begin clay with a class, I always give them an entire period to manipulate the clay in any way they like. They truly get to play with it and figure out its qualities. The students need this time for experimentation before we begin the assignment. The classroom explodes with ideas and the students are often creating figures, hiding spots and characters that come to life when they interact with each other. I love this opening to clay. Here are some photos of what happens:

Once the period is over, we all SQUISH what we have made and return it to the clay bin. Students then work together to make a list of all the things you can do with clay. Here is what we have come up with:

Next, we will begin to learn about ceramics and will create pinch pots with lids that will be painted.

Third Grade Shadow Play In Progress

Third graders are studying China in social studies. To link up with their work, we are looking at a traditional Chinese form of puppetry- Shadow Play. Legend has it that it was invented in China two thousand years ago. In this unit, we are focusing on how negative and positive space can be used to create detail in shadow puppetry. Using black construction paper, students have been experimenting with how they can create animals and imaginary creatures that will come to life when used with a light. Now that we know how it works, we will begin to create large shadow puppets operated by rods. Here are some in-class shots:

2nd Grade: Kandinsky

Wow! Our second grade Kandinsky study has come to a close (almost) and it has been great! Here are the parts that I have yet to update you on:

Part 2: Music as Inspiration
We learned that Kandinsky was very inspired by music. He felt t
hat it was an example of a purely abstract expression of emotion. We talked about how Kandinsky was inspired by musicians like Schonberg and Wagner. To practice collaboration and using line to depict mood in music, we worked with graphite sticks with a partner to create drawings inspired by different pieces of music. We were sure to include songs that students were working on in music such as "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Winter." The results were really interesting.
Parts Three and Four: Collaborative Painting
For the final two parts of our project, students focused on listening to one song and translating it to drawing and painting. We looked at the work we had done so far to talk about how artists can collaborate and work together to make one piece. Then, students used what they had learned about how line and color express emotion to make a large painting together. It was so much fun. Thanks to our visiting artist Brogan Ganley for helping to make it work!

To finish up our study, we took a trip to the Guggenheim where there is a large exhibit of Kandinsky's work. The students created some amazing drawings there. I will scan and upload some examples later this week.

December in Studio 220


First Grade: First graders are working with clay! The ceramics unit is a very exciting time of year. We will be exploring where clay comes from, what you can do with it, and what happens once it dries. The students will be working on a texture exploration to see what happens when clay is imprinted with different materials. Each student will create a pinch pot that is textured with the materials of their choice. We will then paint our work in a way that highlights the textures we create.

Second Grade: Second graders are beginning a sculpture unit. We will be studying the job of playground designers. We will look at different interpretations of playgrounds from around the world. Each student will imagine his or her ideal playground. They will use paper to create a three dimensional sculpture of their own play-space. For inspiration, check out one of my favorite blogs:

Third Grade: Third grade artists are working on the art of shadow play, a traditional art form first invented in China over a thousand years ago. We will be creating many different shadow puppets (pi ying) based on animals, creatures, monsters and ourselves. We will be learning about how using positive and negative space affects how the puppet looks when lit. We will also be exploring how artists can add sound and movement to their work.

Fourth Grade: Fourth graders are working on a relief sculpture unit. We are looking at the work of AJ Fosik and creating large animal heads out of papier mache and cut paper. We are thinking about how Native Americans believed that animals represented and had personality traits. Each student will choose an animal whose “personality” is similar to his or her own. They will then create a relief sculpture to represent their animal. Please send in cereal boxes, newspaper and cardboard tubes!

Fifth Grade: Fifth graders have been working on creating realistic drawings and paintings for the past few weeks. Taking a break from this, we will be exploring how artists create characters from their imaginations. We will look at many different artists who create fantasy characters, including Tim Burton, who now has an exhibition at MoMA. Each student will use pen and ink, watercolor and clay to create an imaginary character.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

On a side note...

Things have been very busy in Studio 220. I will be posting about all of our new projects soon and some really exciting trips. But on a side note, I wanted to tell you about something really AWESOME! One of my very best friends, Kim Scafuro, is an illustrator. You might have seen her work in a number of magazines and newspapers or in the Barney's holiday windows. (She made a number of the large character ornaments they have this year.) WELL... she started a portrait painting business, so if you are looking for someone to paint your portrait (or a family member's or pet's), check out her website. Hopefully she will be making an appearance in Studio 220 soon!