Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Newsletter!

Can you believe December is almost here?! Here is our newsletter for the month!

November flew by! It was great to speak to so many of you at conferences. Thanks so much to everyone for donating materials to the studio! Your contributions from the Dick Blick Wish List and of recycled materials have been much appreciated by the students. As always, we are still collecting materials and baby wipes.

Many of the grades are still working on the explorations begun in November. This is what we have been working on:

Kindergarten artists have explored creating their own stamps using etching. Each student created a tree using their handmade bark and leaf stamps. In December we will continue to explore stamping. Instead of using Styrofoam, students will explore how found objects can be used to create prints. Here, we will be using many of the recycled materials that have been rolling in!

First grade artists are working on a ceramics unit! We are studying clay and exploring how it can be used. Students will learn about where clay comes from and how people have used it for thousands of years to create vessels. Each student will create a pinch pot with a detachable lid. Students will be learning about scratching and scoring to attach one piece of clay to another as they transform their lid into an animal.

Second grade artists are going to be working on a unit inspired by the later work of Henri Matisse. We will be studying how later in his life he began “painting with paper.” Students will be working independently and collaboratively to create a number of cut paper collage pieces. We will explore how compositions can be played with and changed. We will explore ideas of organic/geometric shape, positive/negative space and symmetry/asymmetry. Students will also play with scale, making tiny collages and gigantic collages. It is sure to be a ton of fun.

Fourth graders are working on a painting unit. In November, we explored color mixing and application. This month, students will be creating portraits of a family member. For inspiration and to see the different ways a portrait can be painted, students will study pieces by Dana Schutz, Alex Katz and Kim Scafuro. We will look at how artists use color and paint application to express personality.

Fifth graders are continuing to create their tunnel book showing their characters’ environments. They are studying Andrea Dezso’s tunnel books to see how paper can be layered to create depth. Students will create their environment using a number of pop-up paper engineering techniques and will include a foreground, middle ground and background. They are busy working on each layer of their piece and are eager to put it all together.

5th Grade Note: Many middle schools require students to audition for art or to submit a portfolio. Each school is different, but the general process and what they are looking for is the same. On Thursdays during 5th period recess, students applying for art as their talent in middle school are welcome to come to the studio to practice for auditions.

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