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CONTENTS VOLUME 165, N o. 4
10 12 14 16 23 26
EXPLORING MURALS AND 3D ART
3D ART IS DINO-MITE Suzanne Dionne RECYCLING RENAISSANCE: BOOKS AS ART Michael Wade INTEGRATING THE CURRICULUM: MAGNANIMOUS BEETLES Paige Vitulli SCULPTING HAND-IN-HAND Tina S. Fletcher and Maria King ALIVE AND KICKING: ARTISTS UP CLOSE Don Masse COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS: IMMORTALIZING AMERICA’S GENEROUS SPIRIT Eva K. Esrum 28 CREATIVE COLLABORATION: UP FOR AUCTION Jennifer Hamilton
YEARLONG SECONDARY CURRICULUM SERIES 8 3D INTRO ART, ARTICLE 9 OF 10: INDOOR SCULPTURE GARDEN Debi West
SPECIAL FEATURES AND COLUMNS 6 STEPPING STONES: DESIGNING COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS Heidi O’Hanley 7 CHOICE-BASED ART: ART TRAP Nan E. Hathaway 38 TRIED & TRUE TIPS FOR ART TEACHERS: ART GIVES LIFE Glenda Lubiner
READY-TO-USE CLASSROOM RESOURCES 19 ARTS & ACTIVITIES ART PRINT: STREBTVORWÄRTS COLLECTIVE, HOMAGE TO KURT SCHWITTERS (1887–1948) Tara Cady Sartorius
37 ARTS & ACTIVITIES STUDY PRINT: SMALL DADA EVENING Kurt Schwitters
and Theo van Doesburg
A&A AT YOUR SERVICE 32 MARKETPLACE 36 ADVERTISER INDEX
DEPARTMENTS 4 EDITOR’S NOTE 33 MEDIA REVIEWS 35 SHOP TALK ON THE COVER
MAXX MOSES WORKING ON MURAL Campus of Zamorano Fine Arts Academy, San Diego, California. See “Alive and Kicking: Artists Up Close,” page 23.
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Arts & Activities® (ISSN 0004-3931) is published monthly, except July and August, by Publishers’ Development Corp., 13741 Danielson St., Suite A, Poway, CA 92064. Subscriptions: one year, $24.95; two years, $39.95; three years, $49.95. Foreign subscriptions, add $35 per year for postage. Single copy: $4 in U.S.; $10 outside U.S. Title to this magazine passes to subscriber only on delivery to his or her address. Change of address requires at least four weeks’ notice. Send both old and new addresses. Periodical postage paid at San Diego, Calif., and at additional mailing offices. Printing by Democrat Printing, Little Rock, Ark. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Arts & Activities®, 13741 Danielson St., Suite A, Poway, CA 92064.
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e d i t o r ’s n o t e
When it comes to mural experiences at school,
I N M E M O R I A M ( 1 9 4 2 – 2 018 ) Thomas von Rosen p r e s i d e n t
Don Masse is an expert. By turning to mural artists in his San Diego e d i t o r a n d p u b l i s h e r Maryellen Bridge
community, Don has orchestrated opportunities for elementary students to speak and interact with the artists, watch as they work, and even assist them
in creating the murals right there on their school campus. “These up-close experiences are extremely powerful for the students, our school community, and the artists themselves,” says Don, adding that “these glimpses into the creative process also give students opportunities to see how
a r t d i r e c t o r Niki Ackermann EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Cris E. Guenter Professor of Arts Education/Curriculum and Instruction California State University, Chico
Jerome J. Hausman Lecturer, Consultant and Visiting Professor, at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
the artists are thinking critically while working through issues or problems
Barbara Herberholz Art Education Consultant, Sacramento, California
they encounter.” (Just like the kids themselves do in the art room!)
George Székely Senior Professor of Art Education, University of Kentucky, Lexington
Don believes it is important that “communities come together and activate school spaces in a positive way … murals can make such a powerful
difference in a child’s daily interaction with school.” Read “Alive and Kick-
Geri Greenman Art Department Head (Retired), Willowbrook High School, Villa Park, Illinois
ing: Artists Up Close” (page 23) to get the whole story.
Paula Guhin Art Teacher (Retired), Central HighSchool, Aberdeen, South Dakota
Want to know how a mural created by elementary students raised $1,000 at a local education foundation’s gala? Take a look at “Creative Collaboration: Up For Auction!” (page 28), where Jennifer Hamilton details how she and her kids did it.
In addition to murals, we are focusing on 3D art in this month’s issue. Here is a sampling: If you fancy dinosaurs or beetles, we’ve got Suzanne Dionne’s “3D Art is Dino-Mite” on page 10, and “Integrating the Curriculum: Magnanimous Beetles,” by Paige Vitulli (page 14). Does it hurt your heart to see the library throwing out so many old books? Check out page 12 where Michael Wade shares his “Recycling Renaissance: Books as Art” (page 12). Then, the team of Tina Fletcher and Maria King expound on such things as alginate, hydrostone and students feeling accomplished and surprised by their final products. Turn to page 16
Nan E. Hathaway Art Teacher, Crossett Brook Middle School, Duxbury, Vermont Amanda Koonlaba Curriculum Specialist, Teaching Artist, Saltillo, Mississippi Glenda Lubiner Middle-School Art Teacher, Franklin Academy Charter School, Pembroke Pines, Florida Don Masse Heidi O’Hanley
Art Teacher, Zamorano Fine Arts Academy, San Diego, California Art Teacher, Brodnicki Elementary School Justice, Illinois
Irv Osterer Department Head – Fine Arts and Technology, Merivale High School, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Debi West Art Education Consultant, former Art Teacher, Hilton Head, South Carolina
A D V E R T I S I N G D E PA R T M E N T
a d v e r t i s i n g m a n a g e r Amy Tanguay
amy.tanguay @ artsandactivities.com 888.651.7567 p r o d u c t i o n d i r e c t o r Kevin Lewis p r o d u c t i o n m a n a g e r Tong Ros production @ artsandactivities.com
to find “Sculpting Hand-In-Hand.”
Enjoy this month’s issue. After you have tried the ideas shared within, why not share some of your lessons and projects with us? Our Writer’s Guidelines are found here: artsandactivities.com/submit/ writers-guidelines. We are always on the hunt for new ideas to share, and yours just might be what we are looking for ... you never know until you try!
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Manuscripts Subjects dealing with art-education practice at the elementary and secondary levels, teacher education and uses of community resources, are invited. Materials are handled with care; however, publisher assumes no responsibility for loss or damage. Unsolicited material must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. For Writer’s Guidelines, visit artsandactivities.com/submit/writers-guidelines/ Address all materials to the attention of the Editor. Simultaneous submissions will not be considered or accepted. Indexes Articles are indexed in January and June issues. Issues of Arts & Activities are available on microfilm and photocopies from: ProQuest Information and Learning, P.O. Box 1346, 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48106. (Issues beginning with January 1977 are available in microfiche.) The full text of Arts & Activities is also available in the electronic versions of the Education Index. Copyright Permissions Reproduction of any portion of this magazine without written
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The opinions and recommendations expressed by individual authors within this magazine are not necessarily those of Publishers’ Development Corp.
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So easy to fix, a child could do it!
hotkilns.com/why KILNS BUILT TO LAST
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Stepping Stones is a monthly column that breaks down seemingly daunting tasks into simple, manageable “steps” that any art educator can take and apply directly to their classroom. Stepping Stones will explore a variety of topics and share advice for art-on-a-cart teachers and those with art rooms.
DESIGNING COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS
BY HEIDI O'HANLEY
s art teachers, we encourage collaboration in different ways with our students, staff, and schools. Sometimes, we are asked by parents or administration about creating collaborative art projects that can be installed around the buildings, either temporarily or permanently. At least one time during your school year, I encourage trying at least one collaborative art project.
WHY COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS? Collaborative art projects focus on cooperation and discourage competition. According to an article in mathandreadinghelp.org, collaborative art balances individual talents with the common goal of the group. In creating collaborative art projects, students can learn to appreciate everyone’s differences and similarities in a supportive environment. Teamwork also helps to achieve this goal. Once a collaborative art project is completed and installed, I often see a student searching for their contribution and, once found, excitingly pointing it out to his or her classmates.
CREATING A SCHOOL-WIDE COLLABORATIVE ARTPIECE. In the past, I’ve discussed the how school-
wide art projects can be designed and executed with ease. Many popular ideas include International Dot Day installations (inspired by Peter Reynolds’ The Dot), rock gardens inspired by the book There’s Only One You, by Linda Kranz, Pinwheels for Peace (created for International Peace Day), “What Lifts You” wings inspired by the artist Kelsey Montague, and bottle cap installations that feature famous artworks or inspirational personalities. Every year, a new inspirational idea goes viral on social media, and multiple schools take part in creating their own school-wide interpretation of the project. In planning a school-wide project, it is very important to plan ahead, especially if you need permission to install artworks around the school. First, ask the appropriate administrator if it would be possible to create a school wide project. He or she may ask for details, longevity of project, supplies needed, size, and other questions related to installation. Once you know your answers, look into what materials you need and where to gather them. For example, if you plan to create a rock garden, talk with a local landscaper to see if there are rocks available that can be donated. If you plan to collect bottle caps, advertise in the beginning of the school year so you can collect enough by the spring.
CROSS-CURRICULAR COLLABORATIONS. At the ele-
mentary level, our students have “buddies” with
other classes, and they meet up throughout the week to read, write, create, and design collaborative projects. I was excited to find out how many classes have been creating STEAM projects with their buddies. For example, one of our sixth-grade classes are buddies with another kindergarten class. Since the beginning of the school year, they have designed rocket ships, built towers and bridges, and created holiday-inspired projects. Since grade levels have started working with buddies, it has made a tremendous impact with students of all ages. Early elementary students love working with the older ones, while the late elementary students enjoying supporting the younger ones. I often see buddies working in our school’s makerspace area, or in the hallways designing projects.
GRADE LEVEL COLLABORATIONS. In previous articles,
TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT? Will the project stand
I’ve mentioned how the junior high art teacher and I have joined together to create collaborative projects with our students. One popular idea that has gone viral are drawingto-sculpture creations, combining elementary drawings with middle/high school sculptural designs. If you’ve browsed social media, you may have seen random articles of parent/ child creations that have humorous results, or companies that can create plushies or jewelry from a young child’s drawings. Every year, I have my third-grade students create an alien creature inspired by the surreal artist Joan Miró. Students are given a criteria of shapes they must use to design their alien creations. My students are also asked to create a name for their alien, what type of environment they live in, and any special abilities their alien may have. Once their drawings are done, they are shipped to the junior high for students to create a prototype from the drawings submitted. The prototype consists of a box (designed to show the alien’s environment, name of alien, and more; similar to a toy design), and an alien, either created by felt, sculpture materials or clay. The junior high students then give their creations as gifts to my elementary students. When I hand the creations back to the students, they are excited and love to share what they receive with their classmates and teachers.
up over time, or will it need to be taken down at the end of the school year? If permanent, will the artwork hold over time? Will you be able to hand back all the pinwheels? Will the paint on the rocks withstand the cold winters or sun’s rays? No matter what you decide to do for a collaborative project, think about the end result. n Arts & Activities Contributing Editor, Heidi O’Hanley (NBCT), teaches art at Brodnicki Elementary School in Justice, Illinois. Visit her blog at www.talesfromthetravelling artteacher.blogspot.com. m a y 2 0 1 9 • 86 Y E A R S
Edited by Nan E. Hathaway
Choice-Based Art classrooms are working studios where students learn through authentic art making. Control shifts from teacher to learner as students explore ideas and interests in art media of their choice. This concept supports multiple modes of learning to meet the diverse needs of our students. Learn more at teachingforartisticbehavior.org.
ART TRAP BY NAN E. HATHAWAY
ou notice that interest in the painting center, in your Choice-based classroom has evaporated. Or maybe you observe that no one has chosen the collage center in days (or is it weeks?) Why isn’t anyone using clay lately? IT'S TIME FOR AN ART TRAP. To spark interest in a new material, nudge students out of their comfort zone, add an element of surprise, or reawaken the charm of a familiar medium, I set a trap. It is so simple, yet surprisingly effective. HERE'S WHAT I DO: Problem: Kids at the Drawing Center have fallen into a routine of copying logos or favorite cartoon characters. Art Trap: Students arrive to find one table set up with an attractive arrangement of drawing tools and templates. Stencils, triangles, rulers, compasses, protractors and rubbing plates are invitingly placed down the middle of the table. Colored pencils and gel pens are set within easy reach. Result: Students tumble into the trap and start using the available materials in ways they never thought of before. Success! You caught some artists! Problem: The Collage Center is the least used space in the studio. Art Trap: Four copy box lids are arranged down the middle
of a long table, one each for warm colors, cool colors, neutral colors and tissue paper scraps. Glue, silly-edge scissors, hole punches, staplers, and tape dispensers are arranged neatly at one end of the table, magazines and wallpaper books at the other. A pile of tagboard is available nearby. Result: Two groups of friends settle in and start making collages. You join them and model how a collage artist might layer, arrange, rearrange to develop an idea. Problem: At the clay center, students really love making small slab bowls but once they have made one or two, the learning stalls. Art Trap: Students arrive to find a big container of clay stamps and a box of rubber letter stamps. Result: Still many slab bowls result, but now decorated with stamped designs, customized for gift-giving, declaring: “Love Ya Mom!” “Dad’s Popcorn Bowl.” “I you,” “Today will be a great day!” Tomorrow maybe some lace, texture mats and maple leaves will appear here, to keep the creative juices flowing. www.ar tsandactivities.com
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An Art Trap is simply a passive invitation to try things out. Sometimes it is as simple as setting up three or four painting stations instead of waiting for students to get the paints out, or even just putting up a couple of easels (bait with colored paper?). I have set art traps by cutting giant circles and leaving these provocatively on the painting table. Once I put a pile of small black construction paper squares next to a container of new white gel pens. I have warped some looms and put one at each place, with a box of yarn as a centerpiece. I secretly make my own rules: an art trap is a success if students come in and just start using it, less so if they first ask: “Can we use this?” An art trap should surprise, inspire, provoke or entice its intended prey. It can help set new direc-
... spark interest in a new material, nudge students out of their comfort zone, add an element of surprise, or reawaken the charm of a familiar medium ... tion, expand possibility or use up that box of whatchamacallits you have been hoarding. Art traps can give students a break from the routine of your expected “5-minute demo” that usually starts each class. Students often arrive to the studio and beg “can we just get right to work?” Art Traps help make “getting right to work” a success and function as a safety net for students who come in without an idea or plan for the day or who need a nudge. Sometimes students get stuck but refuse every single suggestion I offer—so frustrating! But if they stumble into one of my art traps, I’ve got them! They are caught, on the hook, and we have side-stepped the usual power struggle. So, if you notice that your students could use a little shaking up, bait a trap and see who falls in. n Nan Hathaway teaches art at the middle school level and was named 2015 Vermont Art Educator. She is a member of Teaching for Artistic Behavior Leadership Team, is co-editor, with Diane Jaquith, of The Learner-Directed Classroom: Developing Creative Thinking Skills through Art and Contributing Editor to Arts & Activities. Visit her blog: studio-learning. blogspot.com and the Teaching for Artistic Behavior webpage: teachingforartisticbehavior.org/ 7
Yearlong Secondary Curriculum Series | 3D INTRO ART
ARTICLE 9 OF 10
Indoor Sculpture Garden by Debi West
ave you ever thought about how cool it would be to have your students build an indoor sculpture garden? I remember a few years ago when our city of Suwanee, Georgia, started their very own “Sculpt-tour” (www.suwanee. com/whatsnew.sculptour.php) and I would have loved to incorporate this community event into my 3D art curriculum, but at the time, it seemed daunting. I let it rest until a few years ago. when I realized my kids really could successfully turn this vision into reality!
sentations have been very successful through the years. Several years ago, I had two very strong classes that took their presentations to the next level. The students dove into the research and imparted a lot of great knowledge to their peers (and me!). When they were done presenting, I asked them what they thought about creating their own indoor sculpture garden. They were intrigued! As I explained my vision (sort of making up the lesson as I went), I told the
MY INTRO 3D STUDENTS are required
to create and present 3D master sculpture PowerPoints and teach each other about artists they are inspired by. They use a 3D artist research handout (available on A&A Online) that guides them about which artists to consider and a few important facts on each artist. This is a fun way to teach art history in that students are researching and presenting and I’m not just standing up front lecturing for days. These preInspired by Jean Dubuffet.
Inspired by Deborah Butterfield.
Our indoor sculpture garden was a hit.
Inspired by Edgar Degas.
m a y 2 0 1 9 • 86 Y E A R S
ARTICLE 9 OF 10
3D INTRO ART CURRICULUM SERIES
3D Artist Research Guide 1. Find your research group. 2. Select a master artist from the list, or approved by me. 3. Fill out the following questions. 4. Use your research information to create a Power Point or Prezi presentation. 5. PP must be 5 slides, with at least 8 images and background info on the artist. 6. Have Fun! • George Segal • Jean Arp • Alexander Calder • Pablo Picasso • Elizabeth Murray • Frank Stella • Claus Oldenberg • Stonehenge • Greek Architecture
In the school hallway, a team of students finishes work on their sculpture.
kids they could work in groups (as they had done in their presentations) and each group would be required to create a life-sized sculpture in the style of their master artist. They were hooked! I reminded them that the lesson wasn’t about copying the work exactly, but springboarding off of specific elements found in the master artist’s works. THAT FIRST YEAR, there weren’t many guidelines. Students could use any media they felt comfortable with, so there was a lot of choice involved. I reminded them that they needed to consider their armatures, since the final piece had to stand on its own and be at least 4 feet tall. I told them it would be nice if I could tell who the master artist was before I read their research sign. They had three weeks of class time to plan, experiment and create their sculptures. They completely threw themselves into the project and created incredible sculptures. Then, we set them up in the main commons area of our school building, creating our very first “North Gwinnett High School Indoor Sculpture Garden!” The last day of the assignment, we took group tours and each artist group explained their process and smiled with joy knowing they worked hard on something that was garnering a lot of attention in the school! Of course, I posted images of my students in process work and their final sculptures on social media. After seeing the posts, Suwanee City Hall contacted me to ask about exhibiting 12 of
• Donatello • Marisol • Ghiberti • Beverly Buchanan • Henri Moore • Louise Nevelson • Joseph Cornell • Robert Rauschenberg • Stonehenge
• Alberto Giacometti • Pre-Historic Sculpture • Duane Hanson • Frank Lloyd Wright • Ancient Egyptian Art • Christo • Deborah Butterfield • Architect History • Michelangelo
• Rodin • Brancusi • Audrey Flack • Hellenistic Period • Bernini • Hepworth • Noguchi • Bridget Riley • Peter Voulkos
I. Background of the artist/era (date born, birth place, who was the artist’s mentor (influences, friends, hobbies, education, exhibited, etc…) 1. _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. _______________________________________________________________________________________ 4. _______________________________________________________________________________________ 5. _______________________________________________________________________________________ II. Which Art Movement is the artist/technique from? A definition of the movement. __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________ III. List 3 of the most well known artworks of your chosen artist/technique (make sure to save images of each artwork to use in PowerPoint presentation. Cite!! Title
Size Media Note
1. 2. Go to artsandactivities.com and click on this button for resources related to this article. 3.
Go to artsandactivities.com and click on this button for resources related to this article.
these sculptures in their building over the summer! I said “YES!” This lesson provided students with the freedom to take their creativity to new places; plus, it became a wonderful advocacy tool for our art program. We completed a second year of this project and again, my students didn’t disappoint. Twelve of the sculptures were exhibited at City Hall over the summer. I know this lesson is a keeper!
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Next up … Nevelson Inspired Recycled Collaborative Mural! n Arts & Activities Contributing Editor Debi West recently retired from her job as department chair and art educator at North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia. She owns and operates WESTpectations Educational Consulting. She and her husband now reside in Hilton Head, South Carolina. 9
3D art is by Suzanne Dionne
efore students entered the art room, there were pictures of dinosaurs placed on the tables. I had conducted an image search online and made color copies of numerous dinosaurs. Upon seeing the pictures, students started commenting, “Cool, we’re making dinosaurs!” Dinosaurs are fun! Kids just seem to love them. Students in grades 2–5 worked on this project, which took approximately four hours. You might be able to collaborate with a classroom or science teacher who teaches the pre-historic period and/or dinosaurs and teach this as an integrated art lesson. DEMONSTRATION: I told the
Sara, grade 5.
> > >
students we were going to watch a YouTube demonstration on the Smart Board to assist us in making the dinosaurs. (Link to the video is available on A&A Online.) The beginning of the video shows the creation of the dinosaur: A sheet of newspaper is rolled up to form a body and is held together with pieces of masking tape. Using smaller pieces of newspaper in the same manner makes the head/neck, legs, and tail. Lastly, the parts are joined together with more pieces of tape. When purchasing masking tape for this project, buy a good brand, not an economy one. Some masking tapes will not hold, the edges will not stay put and the dinosaur parts start to loosen up. Make sure students pull the tape around tightly and press down to make sure the dinosaur is firm and parts feel secure. Two or three layers of tape work well. Newspaper should not show through.
Aubrey, grade 3. Fiona, grade 4.
PAPIER-MÂCHÉ IS THE NEXT PART of this project. Before students come to class, everything is prepared, so that, they 10
m a y 2 0 1 9 • 86 Y E A R S
Lukas, grade 4, tapes his “dino parts” together.
Nathan, Kain and Matthew work with the papier-mâché.
Leilany, grade 2, attaches her dinosaur to her background.
Upper-elementary students will • gain knowledge of the elements and principles of design. • make connections between science and art. • contrast shape and form (two-dimensional and three-dimensional).
NATIONAL ART STANDARDS
CREATING: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. CONNECTING: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.
can complete this step within the class time. Good old-fashioned papier-mâché is made up using wheat paste, water and a little glue. Check with the school nurse to make sure there are no wheat allergies. If there are, you can have a papiermâché mix on hand. If any students have sensitive skin, they can use gloves. Again, make sure there are no latex allergies if using latex gloves. Two or three plastic containers of the mixture are placed on tables. Students work on both sides of the table. Tables can be covered with plastic covers that can be purchased at dollar stores or regular large sheets of bulletin board paper work fine. Newspaper strips are pre-cut and placed on a table not being used. Once students have their dinosaurs and are ready to begin, I give a demonstration.: Newspaper strips are dipped in the mixture and “squeegeed” between fingers and are placed on the form. Two layers of newspaper are necessar y, but three is best. The entire dinosaur needs to be covered. Berlyn, grade 4.
Fifth-grader Sara thoughtfully paints her art piece with acrylics.
18-inch cardboard rounds with corrugated with white tops (contact a paper company or ask a pizza parlor if they might donate some to your class)
• Banner wheat paste • Plastic containers • Table coverings • Acrylic paint • Good-quality masking tape • Newspaper
Go to artsandactivities.com and click on this button for resources related to this article.
The background landscape cardboard will have landforms such as hills, volcanoes and large rocks. These will be made by crumpling up pieces of newsprint. Students take some of the papier-mâché mixture and smooth it onto the cardboard where the landforms will be placed. They can put the newsprint pieces into the papier-mâché mixture and then shape as desired on the cardboard. When the landforms are done, they can add the dinosaur, while wet with papier-mâché. Students may want to add more crumpled newsprint to form land or rocks under the dinosaur’s feet. Beware: The dinosaur and the background take quite a bit of time to dr y. Depending on your school building, months when the heat is on and the air is dr y, may be a better time to do this lesson. During the summer, when the air conditioning was on and the building was humid, some of our projects began to mold. Of course .. this is NOT GOOD! If you can get the pieces outside in the sun, this can help speed up the dr ying process. see
86 Y E A R S •
on page 30
sad but true commentar y on school libraries today is that, more and more, they are housing fewer books and resources of the hardcover kind. Our school librar y used to burst at the seams with shelves full of hardcover non-fiction books, reference materials such as Encyclopedia Britannica, and rows of teen fiction novels. Now our librar y’s inventor y has been reduced to one small corner of the room making way for study tables, lounge areas, and computer-friendly space.
Students often have the same initial ideas of how to alter the books, based on what they may have seen online or on social media. I offer more outside-the-box thinking, such as using the pages or covers as canvas for drawings or paintings. I acknowledge that sculpting with paper can be a challenge, so take a found object or create an object out of clay, cardboard or other material and then cover it with pages from the book. The lesson can be tailored for so many objectives and learning outcomes, as well as being done with multiple levels of students. AS A LOVER OF KNOWLEDGE AND BOOKS—and because Often I challenge the students to use a theme or motif. Other I’m an art teacher (a.k.a. “hoarder”)—I could not allow times the project is left more open ended. It can be modified for these books to simply be thrown away! To the rescue I rigor and intensity based on grade level and student ability. Breathing new life into books headed came. I snatched up ever y thick reference for the dumpster is always fun and book I could get my hands on, ever y An outdated old book, rewarding. I am constantly beautifully bound book with an amazed by the creative and interesting cover, and ever y destined for the trash, can be inventive ways in which my picture book headed for the seen as a vehicle for students alter the books. If dumpster. I saw endless possicreative exploration. your school librar y is not par ting bilities with these seemingly useways with old reference books. then less materials. check with the local town librar y as they often In college I learned the beauty of books during a “Book Arts” course that I took. I learned how books are have book sales, or check a thrift store, or perhaps reach created with such masterful technique and craft. I saw how out to families who might be looking to get rid of an old old books could be transformed into amazing works of art. collection of books. Keep an open mind and the possibiliAn outdated old book, destined for the trash, can be seen as ties are endless. n another medium in the art classroom, a vehicle for creative exploration. I know to some it may seem harsh or almost Michael Wade teaches art at Beckman Junior/Senior High sacrilege to deconstruct or alter a perfectly good book, but School in Dyersville, Iowa. the way I see it is if they are bound for the compost, they can instead be reborn as works of art. WITH THESE NEWLY ACQUIRED BOOKS, I
have implemented a fantastic unit in my advanced studio classes, “Books as Art.” I introduce the lesson by talking about book arts and how books are made. I then segue into artists who use found objects and mixed media to create unique sculptural works. We finish our discussion talking about possible ways to alter the books in creative ways. Megan, “Book of Roses.”
by Michael Wade 12
m a y 2 0 1 9 • 86 Y E A R S
This “log cabin” has a textbook foundation and an atlas as its roof.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES High school students will … • be able to define repurposed art. • apply art techniques and processes to books. • apply principles of art to their design.
NATIONAL ART STANDARDS
• • • •
CREATING: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work. PRESENTING: Interpreting and sharing artistic work. RESPONDING: Understanding and evaluating how the arts convey meaning. CONNECTING: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context.
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Old, outdated books Adhesive materials (glue, tape, staples) Cutting utensils (scissors, craft/utility knives) Drawing media Paint, paintbrushes Found objects
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hen the principal of a local elementary school asked me to be a guest art teacher and facilitate lessons for the entire student body (over 300 students from K–4 to 5th grade) at their Egypt-themed Cultural Arts Day Festival, I sprang into Egyptian art-lesson research. I explored hieroglyphics, mummies and pyramids, but found that those subjects were already taken. I had to dig deeper. The solution? Scarab beetles!
EVERYONE LOVES “DUNG” BEETLES, RIGHT? I introduced the
lesson with a question: “What has 2 antennae, 3 body parts, 6 legs, is symbolic for restoration of life, is a sign of good luck in ancient Egypt, and eats dung?” Describing the scarab beetles’ dung-eating habits and ability to roll enormous dung balls, is always a crowd pleaser for students of all ages—preschool through college. It just so happened that, prior to my sudden scarab artteaching endeavor, I stumbled upon my new favorite expository text at the New Orleans Insectarium: A Beetle is Shy (Chronicle Books; 2016). This award-winning book, written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long, features beautiful images and poetic descriptions of the fascinating world of beetles. From flea beetles to bombardier beetles, an incredible variety is showcased and picture-perfect for sparking children's imaginations for art making. FOR THIS PROJECT, I use the “Five E” model of instruction: Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, and Evaluate. 1. Engage: Begin the lesson by sharing images, models and real beetles. Read a book such as A Beetle is Shy. Share fun facts about scarab beetles. 2. Explore: Have students look at and touch the beetle models or images. Ask them to describe characteristics of the beetles they are viewing. How are they similar/different? Locate the body parts and predict their functions. 3. Explain: Describe the external parts of the beetle to students. Describe the life cycle of most beetles, body parts, coverings, shapes, forms, and colors. 4. Extend: Have students participate in beetle journal drawing and model making activities. Students will select a beetle to draw in their journals and create with Model Magic. Students can model the life cycle of the beetle. 14
• Models and photos of beetles • Books about beetles • Paper and/or journals
• Model Magic or similar product • Toothpicks • Markers, paint, paintbrushes ®
CONNECTIONS Art: Scarab Art & History from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/10.130.910_27.3.206/ Science: Colorful photos and scarab beetle description from National Geographic: animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/scarab/ Math: Bilateral symmetry History: Ancient Egypt. Literature and Literacy: More books... • The Beetle Book, by Steve Jenkens (HMH Books for Young Readers; 2012) • Arthur V. Evans (Princeton University Press; 2014). • The Beetle Alphabet Book, by Jerry Pallotta and David Biedrzycki (Scholastic; 2004).
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5. Evaluate: The assessment can be twofold: the clarity/ details of the insect drawing/model and the reflection on the use of art elements. n
Dr. Paige Vitulli is Interim Chair of the Dept. of Integrative Studies, and Program Coordinator for Graduate Art Education in the College of Education and Professional Studies at University of South Alabama (USA) in Mobile. m a y 2 0 1 9 • 86 Y E A R S
by Paige Vitulli
Students enjoy the fact that there are so many kinds of beetles.
This student’s beetle has an iridescent look.
Beetle Facts Beetles’ Body: Three segments (head, thorax, abdomen), six legs, wings, elytra, antennae or feelers, pinchers, compound eyes, bright colors, patterns, sizes big and small, great sense of smell to find food. Beetles’ Metamorphosis: egg > larva > pupa > adult. Beetles’ Habitat: Beetles live in all environments from deserts, rainforests, lakes, mountain tops, yards, parks, in our houses, even polar caps. Beetles live on every continent except Antarctica. Beetles’ Diet: Plants, other insects, carcasses, nectar, dung, (aquatic beetles eat fish and tadpoles) Beetle Species: 350,000 known species of beetles Beetles Existence: Beetles have lived on Earth for 300 million years and 50 million years before there were dinosaurs, and beetles are still thriving today. Beetle Population: Beetles make up the largest group of animals on Earth; nearly one-fourth of all animals are beetles. Beetles and the Ecosystem: Beetles help balance the ecosystem, beetles clear pastures of cow dung, beetles eat aphid eggs and other crop-destroying insects to keep insect population in balance; beetles pollinate flowers and keep the soil rich in nutrients. However, some beetles can eat lumber and houses.
To achieve a fuzzy look this student used pipe cleaners to make its legs.
Source: Bountiful Beetles Lesson Plan, http://readingfriend.com/content/pdf/1464623760_ Beetles_LP.pdf
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Sculpting Hand T
his overview of a hand mold making and casting lesson began in the occupational therapy classroom. It is meant to inspire students to think about who they were, are now, and one day hope to be.
THE ANCIENT GREEKS developed life casting long ago, but this type of sculpting is still used in classrooms, community settings, and hospitals today. As a classroom activity, hand molding and casting promote self-expression and finesse technical skills. Art teachers holding to common core standards will appreciate that this process encompasses all four visual art domains and foundations, namely, to create, produce, respond, and connect. It is an appropriate activity for middle school students under supervision, and high school students can independently explore complex nuances of self-expression by incorporating mixed media into final sculptural forms. Away from school settings, hand casting has different roles. For example, occupational therapists help people who have experienced injury or illness create a hand cast that holds deep emotional value. For these patients, hand casting can promote self-awareness, provide a way to introduce oneâ€™s self to others, or create a personal memento for family members. One innovative way occupational therapy students are introduced to hand casting can be incorporated into high school classrooms. At Texas Womanâ€™s University, therapy students intertwine hand mold making and casting techniques with artistic abilities, creating a sculptural form accompanied by personal narrative. To do this, they incorporate meaningful objects and an evocative hand gesture into their casting, and create a statement describing visions of
their past, present, and future. The exciting process of creative self-discovery unfolds as students create their past, present and future narratives, respond to them by selecting objects and gestures appropriate to the technical processes of mold making and casting, and consider displays that amplify meanings of their narrative. They produce successful molds and casts, collaborating with peers to manage specific technical constraints. Finally, they take resulting sculptural forms from the classroom into larger school or community settings for an exhibition, where they connect with others, exploring concepts and processes that were harnessed to give rise to meaningful art forms. In future years, these sculptural windows into the past also become mementos for themselves and others. PREPARING THE STUDENTS. After reviewing instructional, safety and technical information, students see mold continued on page 18
1. Student selects meaningful object. 2. Students mix alginate for mold. 3. Student immerses hand and object in alginate. 4. Student pours casting mixture into mold. 16
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by Tina S. Fletcher and Maria King
NATIONAL ART STANDARDS
• Students will plan a hand cast that incorporates a meaningful gesture and object that references student visions of their past, present, and future. Student will articulate reasoning behind hand gesture and selection and incorporation of objects. • Students will create a hand mold and cast, refine the final product, and aesthetically present the final project in a way that is technically sound and feasible. This incorporates pragmatics of space, durability, and stability. • Students will create a display for the hand cast in a way that amplifies the meanings of the hand gesture, objects, and narrative statement. • Students will articulate aesthetic decision-making processes leading to final product and display, factoring in unanticipated technical challenges and casting outcomes. • Students will create a narrative statement that incorporates aspects of their past, present, and future context, including societal, cultural, and historical influences. During exhibition, student will explain influences of external realities and personal experiences on internal states and traits evidenced in final sculptural form.
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CREATING: Generating and conceptualizing artistic ideas and work. PRESENTING: Developing and refining artistic techniques and work for presentation. RESPONDING: Interpreting intent and meaning in artistic work. CONNECTING: Relating artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.
• Alginate, gypsum cement/hydrostone • Water • Personally meaningful objects • Petroleum jelly • Containers, bowls (to act as molds) • Gallon-sized zip-close food storage bags • Carving and smoothing tools, paintbrushes • Adhesive for mounting sculptures to bases
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7 5. Student rotates mold for casting mixture to coat inside. 6. Student sculpts casted hand to remove flaws. 7. Completed cast. www.ar tsandactivities.com
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MOLD & CAST RECIPES
te and y sheets for algina material data safet low fol d an ad Re 1. hydrostone. ide of gypsum cement/ ly on hand and ins rub petroleum jel , se ea rel sy ea r Fo 2. r. container inate into containe 7 cups of dr y alg ure as me ely os Lo 3. 1 ps cool water. oatmeal. Add about 6 /2 cu e lumpy pourable consistency is lik til un then nd r, ha ine by nta ix co M o 4. mixture int th mixture, pour into container. ep de t jec 5. Coat hand wi ob ial t is holding spec plunge hand tha rubbery solid. mixture becomes til un ll sti 6. Remain t in mold. jec nd out, leaving ob 7. Slowly pull ha
making and casting demonstrated by their teacher. Mold making and casting takes three hours. Some of this time is needed for the undisturbed cast to harden, and students can attend other classes or do different activities during this time. Each finished work costs $10–$15, depending on whether kits or bulk materials are used. Before beginning, students are quizzed to ensure they understand the process. For mold making, they work in pairs. They serve as “model” for their own hand mold, then “maker” for their partner’s hand mold. For cast making, students work alone, pouring their own cast and creating their narrative and display. MAKING THE MOLD. Alginate is used for mold making. Derived from processed algae, it is commonly used in dental practices to make impressions of teeth. Some students may have prior knowledge of it. Molding ingredients are 7 cups of powdered alginate and about 6.5 cups of cool water. Alginate can be premeasured into plastic bags to minimize waste and streamline the process. A 2.5-quart cylindrical plastic container or pitcher can be used to hold the mold. The maker mixes alginate and water in a large plastic bowl by hand until it resembles thin lumpy oatmeal. The model rubs a thin film of petroleum jelly on the inside of the cylindrical container and on their hand, and then dunks their hand into the mixture, covering their 18
The Cast 1. Mix 3 cups of dry gyp sum cement/hydrostone and 1 cup water in a gallon-sized food storage bag. 2. Mush bag until mixture is smooth. Add small amounts of water until consistency is like melted ice cream. 3. Fill mold halfway, rota te to coat inside of mold and release bubbles. 4. Pat sides to release bub bles, then finish filling. 5. Leave mold alone for one hour. 6. Carefully slide mold from container. 7. Gently remove mold piec es from hand cast. 8. Car ve away bubbles, fill pits, and file base for smooth mounting. 9. Rest cast on a soft tow el in an open shoebox for a few days to harden. Mount case to a base 10. with recommended adhesiv e.
hand and wrist with a layer of it. Next, the model holds their object, assumes the planned gesture, and positions their hand in the container. The maker pours the alginate mixture over the model’s hand and object. The model remains still for three to five minutes until the alginate becomes rubbery, and then carefully removes their hand, leaving the object in the mold. This process is repeated with the partner. POURING THE CAST. The teacher mea-
sures out three cups of loosely packed gypsum cement/hydrostone powder into a gallon-sized food storage bag for each cast. Casting material can cause skin irritation when improperly handled, and teachers should emphasize safety, including disposal of casting material in appropriate trash receptacles, and never down a drain. Students pour one cup of cool water into their bag of dry casting material. They gently massage the mixture through the bag until it resembles melted ice cream, adding small amounts of water if needed. Each student pours this mixture into their mold, pausing halfway to rotate the container, coating the mold and making it less likely problematic air bubbles remain. Students then fill their mold nearly full and vigorously pat the container to encourage air bubbles to escape. Each mold is topped off and left alone for an hour. A name and unmolding time on each container can keep things organized.
UNMOLDING, REFINING, AND DISPLAYING THE CAST. After gently slid-
ing the mold from its container, each student removes pieces of the rubbery mold from the hand cast using plastic knives, sculpting tools, or their hands. This should be done carefully so as not to break soft cast fingers. Students repair pits or flaws on the cast by mixing a small amount of powdered casting material with water in a paper cup and filling them using a sculpting tool or small paintbrush. Wart-like structures are carved away with a knife or sculpting tool. Each student places their refined cast on a dry towel and stores it in an uncovered shoebox. After a few days, the cast is fully hardened, and students can use creative expression to form their display and narrative. HAND MOLDING AND CASTING involves
opportunities and challenges. Students usually walk away from this experience feeling accomplished and surprised by their final product. Perhaps the most exciting aspect is how it brings the classroom together as students creatively collaborate and encourage each other through the entire process. n Tina S. Fletcher is an Associate Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy at Texas Women’s University in Dallas. Maria King is a graduate student there. The writers wish to acknowledge the photography by Lily Selvaggi and editorial assistance by Georgea Green.
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A&A Art Print: Respond and Connect Strebtvorwärts Collective. Homage to Kurt Schwitters (1887–1948), 2011
“I could see no reason why used tram tickets, bits of driftwood, buttons and old junk from attics and rubbish heaps should not serve well as materials for paintings; they suited the purpose just as well as factory-made paints... It is possible to cry out using bits of old rubbish, and that’s what I did, gluing and nailing them together.” Kurt Schwitters
MAIN ART CONCEPTS: Shape • Line • Scale • Transparency • Unity • Movement
MURAL: This is the four-story (approximately 50-foot-high) mural some will never see in person. It was created in 2011 in Hannover, Germany (the birthplace of Kurt Schwitters) by a group of artists as an homage to Schwitters. Five years later (2016) the mural was covered up by another building that now fills the parking lot where the photographer stood to take this photograph.
LANGUAGE ARTS: Schwitters’ 1919 piece that served as inspiration for the mural, Das Undbild, features a collage and a montage including the word “und,” which means “and.” Loosely translated it could mean “The ‘and’ picture.” The bold “und” means “and,” which is the focal point Kurt Schwitters, Das Undbild, 1919. Collage. Georges Pompidou Center, of the collage. So the piece is Paris, France. Public domain. primarily a picture of “AND.” In one source, the mural was referred to as “Das Wandbild,” or “The Wall Picture.”
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MUSICAL NATURE: Under this Pavlovianseeming feeding experiment, the artists ironically wrote, “tschiep. tschiep. tschiep,” which is how the sound a bird makes is spelled in the German language.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT: Kurt Schwitters’ life spanned the two world wars. He was deeply affected by the destruction of Europe during World War I, and his assemblages from detritus may have been both a statement about the random connections in life as well as his attempt to rebuild his broken world from scratch.
A DADAISM: Schwitters might have been amused that his mural was temporary. In March 2016 a “celebratory” funeral was held where a speech was delivered from the “voice” of the wall: “Maybe in two hundred years, I’ll be exposed again and appear as a relic, like a cave painting.”
THE QUOTE, “Life is a marvelous invention. You should get a patent on it,” is split in two places, and is attributed to Schwitters’ friend and fellow artist, Theo van Doesburg (1883– 1931). The two were artistic collaborators and poets, and they traveled together to the Netherlands in 1923 to introduce Dada art and ideas to new audiences.
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GEOGRAPHY AND CULTURE: The district Linden of Hannover in Lower Saxony, where Kurt Schwitters was born, is located about 156 miles west of Germany’s capital, Berlin. When he was 13, Schwitters traveled with his father to the 1898 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) in Paris, where the Eiffel Tower was a major attraction. Here, the Eiffel Tower is connected to other parts of the mural through a system of gears. Letters are falling down, and getting ground by the gears below.
UNDERWATER FANTASY: This diver seems to be swimming in a fish tank containing a submerged city. Flying fish emerge from spray-can bubbles above him.
HISTORY AND SCIENCE: During World War I, Schwitters served as a technical draughtsman. Some of his works reference a scientific view of nature, such as this unraveling ribbon of DNA. To the left is a diagram of a dissection of a frog. Schwitters was very interested in obscure instructions and other graphics that lead to deeper understanding of systems in nature and politics.
LANGUAGE ARTS: Schwitters invented the word “merz.” It is a made-up word that Schwitters derived in 1918 from a fragment of an ad for Kommerz Bank that he used in one of his collages. He coined “merz” to signify the stuff (usually discarded) of life. He scavenged his materials from unlikely places; seen by others as garbage, Schwitters used them as valuable parts of vocabulary in his art. “Merz, means to create connections, preferably between everything in this world,” wrote Schwitters. STREBTVORWÄRTS was the name of the 5-person team of artists who collaborated to create the mural. The name means to “strive forward” or to “seek” or “aim” and “advance.” The subtleties of various languages sometimes escape direct translation.
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Strebtvorwärts Collective. Mural: Homage to Kurt Schwitters (1887–1948), 2011. The Velberstraße, North Linden district of Hanover, Germany.
In the Studio: Create and Present Annotations and lesson connections on these pages by Tara Cady Sartorius, Program Director, Alabama Arts Alliance
NOTEWORTHY COMPOSITIONS. The look of a collage can be deeply affected by the “rules” one sets for its creation. Order, chaos, content, and color are all part of the thought process in choosing what stays and what goes from a complex work of art.
METAMORPHIC METAL. The transformative powers of the imagination fueled students while they created drawings of metal and mechanical parts into “machines” that have strangely human characteristics. In 1967 American psychologist, J.P Guilford (1897–1987) designed a test for creativity. He would identify a common everyday object (such as a newspaper) and then ask the participant to come up with as many possible alternate uses of that object within a limited amount of time. For example, a newspaper could be used as a hat, a flyswatter, a rug, a shirt, a dog bed, a love letter, etc.
Art by fifth-grade students of Mike Gnutek when he taught at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois. Mr. Gnutek currently teaches at South Middle School in Arlington Heights, llinois.
Music and several visual prompts were part of this lesson. Teacher Gnutek says his students “listened to a jazzy John Coltrane piece, while they drew with oil pastels on white paper. Then students listened to a drummy Jill Jolala piece, while they drew with oil pastels on black paper.” After looking at art by Kurt Schwitters, Wassily Kandinsky, and Sonia Delaunay, students cut up their own drawings and combined their musical interpretations to reflect their own aesthetic choices. “Cutting and collaging two different graphic scores into one, students were forced to contend with importance and relevance.” Mr. Gnutek also suggests that in the future he might have students observe and listen to live musicians rather than recorded music, because live music might give artists more visuals and vibrations to inspire their work.
NATIONAL ART STANDARDS: Grade 5 CREATE: Combine ideas to generate an innovative idea for art making. RESPOND: Recognize differences in criteria used to evaluate works of art depending on styles, genres, and media as well as historical and cultural
Art by high school students of Jane Langenfeld at Mercy High School in Omaha, Nebraska.
Teacher Jane Langenfeld asked her students to bring two common household pieces of metal hardware to share with the class during this project. They then created drawings with colored pencils and paintings with metallic watercolors combining the shared objects in unexpected ways. Langenfeld says, “I personally really liked how the metallic watercolors worked but my students didn’t share the love. In the future, I would offer both mediums and let students decide if they want to use just one or maybe combine the two.” She also used a copy machine to adjust sizes and scales of her students’ sketches to facilitate the combinations. In the future, Langenfeld envisions having her students turn their paintings into 3D objects with moving joints. Sign us up!
How to use the A&A Monthly Art Print: Carefully unbend the staples at the center of the magazine, pull the print up and out of the magazine. Rebend staples to keep magazine intact. Laminate the pulled-out section and use it as a resource in your art room. — Editor 22
NATIONAL ART STANDARDS: High School CREATE: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
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Murals can make a powerful difference in students’ daily interaction with school.
or the past 10 years, I have focused on introducing my students to a wide variety of contemporary artists. I feel that doing so can make the content of my art curriculum more relevant and engaging for my students. Kids want to see how what they are learning and experimenting with in class is being applied by creative professionals in today’s world. Seeing how students respond to the works of living focus artists has led me to incorporate more local artists into my curriculum because it ups their engagement and excitement even more. In particular, I’ve been tapping into the work of the growing local San Diego mural artist community to illustrate concepts like unity and variety, organizing visual compositions, changes in color value to create volume and depth, and how, in turn, these elements all go into works that beautify and activate community spaces in positive ways. This turn toward the local art community has afforded me opportunities to bring artists on to campus for site visits with students, so the kids can interact with the creative role models that have inspired them and by Don informed their classroom visual-arts experiments. I have found that these upclose experiences are extremely powerful for the students, our school community, and the artists themselves. THIS FALL, I WAS AWARDED a San Diego Unified School District VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) Foundation grant that allowed me to provide stipends for two local artists to create murals with student assistance on our campus. The work of these two artists, Gloria Muriel and Maxx Moses, ser ved as inspiration for lessons on color value and symmetr y with grades 3 and 5. Both artists completed their murals on campus the last week of Januar y this year.
Students who assist the artists are rewarded with opportunities to paint and participate in the creation of a lasting work of art on campus.
Experiences like this, as I mentioned earlier, are incredibly powerful for ever yone involved. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why. FIRST, the student participation angle increases engagement and citizenship in class because those selected to assist the artists must demonstrate excellent citizenship and creativity/effort in classes leading up to the Masse on campus mural project. Student focus and behavior is exceptionally on point while they are auditioning for the assistant muralist roles. Those selected to assist the artists are rewarded with the opportunity to paint and take part in the creation of a lasting work of art with a real artist on our campus. This experience can create a lasting positive memory that can boost a child’s self-esteem immensely. SECOND, such experiences allow students to see how art-
ists move from the ideation/planning stage, to laying in the
E S O L C P U S T S ARTI
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While assisting or simply watching artists create on-campus murals, students truly see the amount of work that is involved in creating a completed image on a large scale.
basics, on through to the final product. The classroom processes students go through to develop images are being applied by artists right before their eyes over the course of the week they’re on campus. I can share the artists’ plans in class with students, and they can see how the piece evolves over time. Too often, students only experience the artists’ final products, so this opens their eyes to the amount of work involved in creating a completed image on a large scale. The artists work during the school day and classes are highly encouraged to do multiple mural visits while the artists are working. Maxx and Gloria (and previous visiting artists Santos Orellana and Monty Montgomery) were always open to answering questions from students and the community while they were working. At recess, there were always groups of students getting close to the process, quietly observing the artists at work. How awesome is that?! Personally, I was a bit jealous of the kids, wishing I could’ve spent more time observing the artists at work, too.
Finished mural by Gloria Muriel, with student assistance.
FROM A VISITING ARTIST’S perspective, Maxx said this about this aspect of the experience: “There were so many questions and narratives created on the spot about the concept of the mural. The interaction was the most powFinished mural by Maxx Moses, with student assistance. erful for me. Hearing the way students think and internalize what they see amazes me.” I think you’d hear similar comments from most artists In class, I am always talking about adding more detail involved in such experiences, and I love how the different or making changes to their work if they aren’t totally sucelements of the visit resonate with not just the students and cessful scaling up preliminary work, and this served as a school community, but with the artists as well. great example of an artist going through the same revision/ These glimpses into the creative process also give stu- adjustment process … and modeling how to get through the dents opportunities to see how the artists are thinking revision in a calm, positive manner. critically while working through issues or problems they encounter. For example, both artists provided sketches and ANOTHER GREAT THING about bringing in artists to work plans before starting the murals; when Maxx started on the on campus is that it can be done in a meaningful, intentional actual wall, his central image was smaller than he originally way to provide positive role models for diverse school popuplanned. He talked to me about that and I was able to share lations. It reinforces that, with hard work and perseverance, that info with classes I was working with during the week. everyone can become a professional creative. Kids soak 24
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“The interaction was powerful for me. Hearing the way students think and internalize what they see amazes me.”
things up when their ethnicity, culture and/or gender are included in their learning. It lifts them and makes them feel valued and respected. And, in the political climate of today, we need to offer these opportunities more than ever. About the importance of these experiences, Gloria Muriel said, “Having a mural at school is powerful therapy for kids. Having them observe, talk and participate with artists can be mind blowing. It opens up a whole world of opportunities for a child to look forward to as adults. Having passionate art teachers is what all schools need. They make it happen. Kids are happier with art surrounding them.” So true! This gets at a bigger picture: having color www.ar tsandactivities.com
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As he worked, artist Maxx Moses was always willing to take the time to answer questions from students and the community. Glimpses into the creative processes of working artists also give students opportunities to see how the artists are thinking critically while working through issues or problems they encounter.
and beauty around a school is going to lift up the kids—and the community in general. I think it’s so important that communities come together and activate school spaces in a positive way and murals can make such a powerful difference in a child’s daily interaction with school. Let the school grounds be an active part of nurturing the children that are part of the learning community. I encourage everyone to do everything you can to make mural experiences with visiting artists happen at your own school sites. Start developing connections with the community of artists in your area. When you can get them on campus working with your school community, beautiful things happen for everyone involved. n Arts & Activities Contributing Editor, Don Masse, is a K–5 visual arts teacher at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy in San Diego, California. 25
by Eva K. Esrum
s Esrum! There’s a bull butt on the roof!” In this unexpected and rather undignified manner, my student effectively got his class interested in a project that would probably be the most absurd and profound in the history of Hillcrest High School’s art department. Where did I find that bull and the idea for the project? It all began in Naperville, Illinois, where I’d been visiting relatives. We toured the downtown area where it looked as if there had been a giraffe invasion. Eight-foot fiberglass giraffes situated in front of buildings looked like a spin-off of “Cows on Parade.” Many of you are probably familiar with this community event where businesses sponsor life-size fiberglass cows. Different styles and techniques of art are used to paint and embellish the cows, which are later auctioned for charity. While on display throughout the city, the cows create an excellent method of bringing art out of museums and onto sidewalks, thus increasing art appreciation and awareness. Displays such as these promote increased traffic in a community and thus increase commerce. As I flew back home from Illinois, I imagined my students painting a fiberglass giraffe and wondered where on earth I could find—much less afford—a fiberglass anything. TWO WEEKS LATER, I stopped at Bill Willis’ vegetable stand
along the highway. While chatting about his tomatoes, he led me to the backyard where he grew them staked in old tractor tires filled with soil. He directed my attention to a life-size sculpture of a cow on the side of his yard. “That, little lady, is a Bi-Lo bull,” he said. “It used to stand on the top of a Bi-Lo grocery store. I bought three of them 10 years ago. Would you like to borrow one?” Flummoxed, I almost declined his offer. Fortunately, I came out of my Saturday-morning haze and realized I had just found my fiberglass anything! Though I preferred to borrow a giraffe, I accepted the offer to borrow the bull and contacted our maintenance engineer, Martinez Durrant, who agreed to transport it to school in his pick-up truck. When the bull arrived at school, we discovered it was too wide to fit through most doors. Until a way to get the bull into the art room was established, Martinez decided to With a chain around its neck, the bull bring it over the roof of was slowly and carefully lowered into the school courtyard. the school and lower it 26
into our enclosed courtyard, where it would be safe. When he told me that the “bull raising” was about to start, I sent one of my students out into the courtyard and told him to “wait for something cool to happen.” Then we heard it: “Ms Esrum! There’s a bull butt on the roof!” I signaled for the rest of the class to join us in the courtyard, and that bull was steered over the edge of the roof by three custodians who lowered it by a chain wrapped around its neck. Once the bull landed safely, I announced that students who were finished with their art projects would be allowed to paint the bull. (Three students cleaned and primed the bull to create a decent bovine canvas for my students to paint.) Unbeknownst to me, the bull’s fascinating and absurd arrival had a cross curricular effect. I began to get word that students in an English class were writing stories about it and those in a business class were creating brochures about it. THIS WAS IN 2006, a time when the world was experiencing many violent man-made and natural disasters. My students were proud of America’s active role in sending aid and how its citizens opened their wallets to offer support to those who were suffering. This concept became the theme for the bull and would evolve into a political commentary, as the young painters discussed how America even gave to some countries that don’t support the U.S. Thus, we had the name for our project, “America, the Big Cash Cow.” During the coming days, students received permission from their other teachers to participate. While I taught my classes, they walked in quietly, grabbed what they needed and joined students already gathered around the bull. We discovered that music wasn’t the only universal language— creating art was too, as kids from different backgrounds worked together with a shared talent and interest. Images of disasters around the world were painted on the bull in the shape of the state or country where they occurred. There was a scene from the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Indonesia. The area between these sections was filled with depictions of American currency. The underside of the bull became a boat floating in polluted Hurricane Katrina floodwaters. Its legs were firefighter’s boots, and the nose was a fist full of cash. Coin tears fell from its eyes, surrounded by eyes of hurricanes. The front of the ears were rear view mirrors reflecting a stop sign in front of money, and the backs of them were money-filled wallets. The tail was a coin-spitting tornado, and an American flag was painted diagonally across the bull’s back. m a y 2 0 1 9 • 86 Y E A R S
9/11 by Lauren Garner. Here, Courtney Blue refines a $5 bill. “Before and after” appear within the shape of New York.
A close-up of the bull’s head: It shows a fist full of cash as the snout, a crying coin eye, and rear view– mirror ears.
One student painted a fireman receiving comfort from his search and rescue dog after the Oklahoma City bombing. The remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building appear behind them.
Students worked on different sections of the bull throughout the day.
Senior Lauren Garner painted the tsunami.
Go to artsandactivities.com and click on this button for resources related to this article.
student volunteers worked on the bull during the South Greenville Fair. Present in the crowd was the chairman of Greenville County Council, Butch Kirven, who recognized the subject being illustrated on the bull and invited us to present the bull to County Council and allow it to be displayed for two weeks at Greenville County Square. Later, when I told him we had received permission from school administrators, Kir ven contacted newspapers, TV stations and The Board of Trustees of Greenville County Schools to request their attendance at Greenville County Council on October 3, 2006. I received word that CBS affiliate WSPA TV7, was sending a reporter to interview my students at school. When see www.ar tsandactivities.com
86 Y E A R S •
Full side view of the bull.
on page 31
y students and I were asked to create an auction piece for the annual fundraiser for our local education foundation. The foundation hosts an annual fundraiser and it’s a big gala event. They get sponsors and have a large auction to raise money to support the local pubic school district. Normally, the middle school does this piece so it was a big honor to have our elementary students asked to complete an art piece. The piece is usually very large in size and includes innovative techniques or skills. One year, the middle school teacher used beads and made a replica of one of Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers paintings. The entire piece was also covered in resin, so it had texture and was very shiny. It stood out in the crowd of auction pieces. In other words, the bar and expectation was set very high. Since I teach elementary level art, my students don’t have as many developed skills as the older students. Ele-
Up for by Jennifer Hamilton
mentary students are talented but their knowledge base of materials and techniques isn’t as developed as a middleschooler. (I also can’t work with resin in an elementary art room!) So, we had to work on a smaller scale. I kept going back to the thought that, if they work small, the pieces could be put together and it would make the overall piece really big. I just couldn’t get it out of my head. EVENTUALLY, I DECIDED TO WORK with
a historical photograph of our town. Each student would get a small piece of the picture and, when they were completed, all of these small pieces would come together to create a larger picture. This made painting such a large photograph less intimidating and, no matter what the ability level of the student, they could be successful. To make the project go smoother and a bit faster, I pre-drew the photo on the panels, since we didn’t have much
Grid of the inspiration photograph, with spaces numbered to correlate with the numbers on the backs of the canvas tiles.
time. I used Fredrix cut-edge mini canvases, which measured 2.75" x 2.75". These canvas panels come in packages of 60 and I ordered two. The totally piece used all 120 canvas panels. One weekend, I came to school to draw on the canvas panels. It took me about 5 hours to get the perspective right and decide which details to include. I chose to leave some out because they were just too tiny to translate well in a painting, such as a theater’s marquee sign with the title of the current film. (The movie playing was A Tank on the Burma Road, which dates the photo to the early 1940s.) BEFORE STUDENTS STARTED PAINTING, we discussed value scales, shad-
ows, highlights and mixing black and white to create shades and tints. Normally, I would say that using only
Once completed, the mural was glued down to a cut piece of black foam board, using E6000 glue. 28
m a y 2 0 1 9 • 86 Y E A R S
At the auction, our artwork sold for $1,000! Everyone was thrilled that our mural sold for so much.
Students started painting panels and I finished the drawing. In total, the drawing took about 4 hours to draw.
The tiles were organized into piles of easy, medium and difficult. The sky and road tiles were marked easy, tiles of buildings with only one window were medium, and all other tiles were marked difficult.
Students worked with brown, black and gray acrylic paint. Many of them painted more than one tile and others worked together.
blacks, whites and browns for these concepts isn’t the best idea for students in fifth grade, but they were so receptive to the learning. I think it was because they knew that the artwork was important to the auction. We were also all ver y excited about being asked to create the piece. The students enjoyed working on the panels, because we don’t get a huge budget for the art room at the elementary level. So, participating in this fundraiser was a special treat because it meant we got to buy new supplies! Plus, painting on the small panels was almost like painting on a real canvas. Each student painted at least one and, if interested, they could help someone else finish his or hers. Some students chose to just paint one, while others loved the challenge and painted multiples. In total, we worked on this project for four 45-minute class periods. www.ar tsandactivities.com
To help with the distribution of the tiles, I made a grid of our inspiration photograph. Each space on the grid was numbered and it correlated with the same number on the back of the pre-drawn canvas panel tile. I then put the tiles into piles of easy, medium and difficult. The sky and road tiles were placed into the easy piles, building tiles with only one window were put into the medium, and all other tiles placed into the difficult pile. THE ENTIRE PIECE became a huge collabo-
ration among the fifth-grade students. They would work together to help finish someone else’s tile or to add small details. I had groups of kids with consecutive numbers sitting next to each other, working together to make sure their tiles matched. It was an art teacher’s dream! The mural was nearly finished when Mother Nature gave us an entire week of snow days. So, I took the canvas
86 Y E A R S •
Five consecutive snow days allowed me to work on the unfinished tiles at home in order to complete the mural in time for the auction.
tiles, paint and paint supplies home with me and ended up finishing the last of the tiles myself. I also did some outlining and adding historically accurate writing to the storefront signs. The tiles were glued onto black foam board. The final piece measured 21" x 44". The auction was ver y successful and our artwork sold for $1,000! Ever yone was thrilled and so excited that our mural sold for so much. The artwork was professionally framed and hangs prominently in the local business with the winning bid. There is already talk about what the collaborative mural will be for next year. I have started searching historical photographs for inspiration that we can turn into our next mural! n Jennifer Hamilton teaches K-5 Visual Arts at Tomek-Eastern Elementary School in Fenton, Michigan. 29
PAINTING. Once the
artwork is dry, the last step of the project involves painting. I prefer to use acrylic paint, as tempera sometimes chips, cracks or flakes off. Students can choose whatever colors they would like. They are reminded that mixing colors is acceptable. I have color wheel handout charts available. Small amounts of paint are poured on large paper plate palettes. There are a variety of different-sized brushes, plastic water cups and paper towels for rinsing, available. Painting this artwork can be challenging. The surface has texture and the three dimensional form sometimes make covering the spots difficult and painting neatly. A second coat of paint might be needed in some areas. Students also used glitter paint for details on stars, lava and sparks from erupting volcanoes. continued from page 11
AFTER PROJECTS WERE COMPLETE, we
had a discussion on what students had learned. Aside from the skills, there was a lot of laughter concerning the “yucky” “gooey” papier-mâché mixture. The essential question posed
Proud of their dinosaurs (left to right): Kain, Berlyn, Aubrey, Derek, Nathan, and Matthew.
was “How does art help us understand the lives of people of different times, places and culture?” Some answers: “By looking at the pictures you gave us, we could tell what they look like. Someone had to draw those…” and “if an artist didn’t make pictures of dinosaurs we might not know they existed, because it was a long time ago.” The final artwork was really spectacular. Several students told me that they were able to hang them on their
bedroom walls. This is a great project for a classroom display, hallway display or science/art room. Contact your local library and if they have a children’s area, they might be interested in exhibiting this type of artwork. n Suzanne Dionne teaches visual art at Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School in Waterbury, Connecticut. She is also the current past-president of the Connecticut Art Education Association.
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m a y 2 0 1 9 • 86 Y E A R S
the reporter and cameraman arrived, they asked my students several questions. I was proud to see how confident they were on camera. On the evening of our presentation at County Council, cameras hovered and flashed blinding lights. My students were standing on the left side of the stage as I began our presentation. I shared the stor y of the project’s theme and rotated the bull as I explained its painted sections. Student speakers then stepped for ward and passionately explained what the project and its theme had meant to them. At the end of our presentation, I received a proclamation that October 3, 2006 was “Hillcrest High School Art Department Day” in Greenville County. I knew what the project had meant to
continued from page 27
The bull on display at Greenville County Square. On the easel is a framed copy of the proclamation that designated October 3, 2006 “Hillcrest High School Art Department Day” in the county.
my students, but we had no idea how what we had said that evening would affect those in the audience. As we walked off stage, I glanced over at the audience, where I saw nothing but tearstained faces. Sometimes the unplanned can be the most valuable par t of a lesson. Students had learned about histor y, ar t, patriotism, collaboration and dedication during this project. But, perhaps the most impor tant discover y they made was that their ar t and their words can have a profound ef fect on others. n
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m a y 2 0 1 9 • 86 Y E A R S
STUDIO THINKING FROM THE START: The K-8 Art Educator’s Handbook, by Jillian Hogan, Lois Hetland, Diane B. Jaquith, and Ellen Winner. Teachers College Press, $34.95. Ten years ago Hetland, Winner and two others wrote the prequel to this thought-provoking title. Subtitled “The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education,” that book helped to bring about positive change. An expanded edition was released later. This fresh, new work focuses on the development of younger minds. The NAEA has recognized its worth by concurrently publishing Studio Thinking from the Start along with Teachers College Press. The four authors’ bios should tell us something about their substantial expertise. They have combined considerable knowledge of psychology, art, assessment, and education to put forth this paperback. Organized into three main parts, the book begins with insight into the eight studio habits that bolster artistic learning. Next come definitions for what is termed “studio structures,” actions with which proficient art teachers are well-aware. You know, displaying art, circulating the room, discussing art. Those procedures alone make this book an excellent recommendation for teachers-to-be, but there’s so much more. The second section of the book concerns the execution of the structures while students practice good mind-habits. This next may sound a tad regimented, but don’t worry, we have a disclaimer. Each of the eight habits have three parts: Can she do it? Will she do it? And does she know when and why to do it? Too, consider that studio habits rarely work alone—they cluster, like grapes or bees. It’s not as structured or as complicated as it might seem, because the habits and their parts www.ar tsandactivities.com
BOOKS • DVDs • PRINTS • RESOURCES Jerome J. Hausman • Paula Guhin
become internalized over time. Part III deals with determining whether students are cultivating the necessary habits. Most experienced educators probably believe that they can distinguish between compliance and engagement, but this book clarifies the difference and provides the tools for meaningful assessment. Finally, the authors emphasize the importance of educating administrators, parents, fellow teachers and the community regarding the art program. And that “so much more” we mentioned earlier? You’ll discover quotations and numerous text boxes about
86 Y E A R S •
artists (both historical and contemporary) and their methods. Moreover, there are six appendices with tables, examples, guidelines, a lesson plan, a workbook and a rubric. The book’s photos are smallish and black-andwhite, but eight bright, full-size pages can be color-copied and/or enlarged for personal use if one wishes to keep the book intact. These last are perfect to post in any classroom. Studio Thinking from the Star t is designed for any teacher regardless of discipline, especially novices. Find it at TCPress.com or wherever books are sold.–P.G.
Visit our website and find even more inspiration ... Order Individual Articles*
artsandactivities.com/issues/article-archives covER 1 JUNE pp.2-2
Chalk 1 JUNE pp.2-2
by Steve Lappe
E CHALK RECIP SIDEWALK
such as stamps, warm water lated, either as a group, tubes peppers or fruit, Toilet-tissue pencils, Indian corn, of Paris together, 11⁄2 cups plaster powdered tempera paints or things that seemed to fit ons through repeti2–3 tablespo even if it was simply mixing example, Container for
enlarge g as the artist of the drawin lk for visual impact. halls bear the onto the sidewa through the used to achieve students passing evolving images. The m As for the chalk little. The the we cheat a blue and cadmiu to s’ faces as witness to vivid colors, for a means on the student rd at the ed violet, cobaltthe surface of an raise funds expressions dents first money is used over the courtya yellow cover with intense ends. The us they look out is telling—their expreste terrace our creative that supply day open-air concrelk chalk. Children and hard pastels end of the feeling of surto the to purchase a pleasant hues. Added hues of sidewahere are immediately sions convey rich colored ent. their with everyw chalk,” which plying adults e is all the “straightline prise and amazem of all ages is nors pastel is to our audienc organizaof sizes and drawn to artists the outdoor surface Unknown and in a variety on work skills comes hard creative the muralpreliminary summer day. point in ary to create during a warm ber at some tion necess all vivid color. on in All of us remem down sized images may choose to hunched s our lives being away at the rough Some student ’s work, while ing fours, scrubb sidewalk with intense copy a master to create their the images surface of others choose Either trying to create t l drawing. colors of chalk, characters, abstrac own origina is the prepar ation of comic-book or scenes of faraway creway the of lk artists first swirls of colors like to visit. Some on a same. Sidewa would and study in pencil This places we successful ate a value1 were quite paper. our efforts of 8 ⁄2" x 11" also sheet not. map, which organization others were is the value for drawing and with a little ues, it However, . grid drawing techniqlarge has a grid on Miserables The classic y. from Les few in accurac and a ent Cossette amazing art proportion map for placem you can create s at our school create acts as the student chalk Art lk scale. scale, sidewa fantastic, large in annual ly drawin gs, of courtyard the center school buildthe circular remar kable ing. The be seen from images can floor and both the first corridors second floor d the courtthat surroun possibly yard and quite es landd. from the airplan airport. to the courtyar the rooftop ing at O’Hare day, stu- A view from the hout Throug
owhere in the history of art do all aspects of cultural life so neatly dovetail as in the murals that come to us from early civilization. A student of this ancient art is simultaneously a student of man’s first civilized records, belief systems, habits of worship, laws, social structure, the development of writing, and of course...the lives of the greatest rulers of early empires. Among these latter, none stand out quite so emphatically as the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the most stunning of ancient art patrons. History and social-stud ies teachers obviously appreciate the way this ancient art form lends itself MATERIALS to the study of cultures and belief and planning systems. sketches When the art department • Newsprint for preliminary turns to similar historical periods • Pencils and erasers for no surface texture), Canson (little orinspiration, paper drawing using Black art • forms—such as murals—common to the time, • Prismacolor pencils the result on campus can be dynamic. • Colorless blenders create a still life, or clean • Objects with which to When students participate in be used for detail photographs that could painting a mural inspired by ancient murals, it bonds S them to history and LEARNING OBJECTIVE
… of Students will tation process nd the represen art. • understa public-space large-format, work. master-artist of a master• copy a e a values study reference. • reproduc for a value work in pencil y of the grid on a photocop . • place a study for reference drawing student value a masters’ grid. and transfer ly using the • enlarge accurate to a onto a sidewalk r colors of pastels • apply particula concrete surface.
Chalk Masterpieces in
my tion of color. In showing to see that very my aim was for them space was used, little “paper” negative layer of the employing instead, another
Students will... • compose space. up from dense black. • build and blend color and texture of objects. • learn to assimilate color
. colors together a rag to blend Kirsten using mer u n e •s u m arts
Only individual articles * from 2003-2010 are available.
by Julia Simpson-Akin
INITIATING A MURAL AT YOUR SCHOOL
t Walter Colton Middle School, the mural project was part of the Star program. The word “STAR” represented the terms ‘science,’ ‘talent,’ ‘arts’ and ‘recreation.’ It had to do with a block schedule wherein on two days of the week, classes were allotted over 80 minutes, so that teachers would be given enough time to accomplish class projects. This scheduling left one free block period a week for STAR. Teachers were encouraged to suggest enrichment courses that they were particularly suited to teach. Joyce Mathers suggested the mural project for her STAR class. The mural was accomplished during one block session per week, over the course of a semester. Since the class was the last period in the day, enthusiastic students often stayed after school for about a half hour to finish up that day’s work. While a mural project could be part of a block program, it might also be an extracurricular after-school project, with extra-credit points awarded for history class, given that the mural pertained to the subject taught that year.
At Walter Colton Middle School in Monterey, Calif., art teacher Joyce Mathers consistently turns to ancient Egypt for inspiration. She does so not on principle, but due to the enthusiasm it sparks in her students. While she has given time to other artistic themes, the learning process swells to fever pitch whenever focus reverts to the ancient Near East. This has a lot to do with the energy of other teachers on campus, who begin entry-level sixth-graders with the study of hieroglyphics, pyramid
LEARNING OBJECTIV ES
Students will ...
• become familiar with
oTheR MURAL ToPICS • Any ancient culture that created murals— Greek, Minoan, Mycenaean, Aztec, Mayan or the cave paintings of early europeans.
• Manuscripts and tapestries—ottoman, Medieval, Islamic, etc. • Important Jill Allaway historical events of one’s community. • history of the American Indian cultures of one’s state or community.
• recognize approaches
Students will... • develop an understanding and appreciation of the art of an ancient culture. • learn how a culture’s art teaches us about daily activities and practices of that culture. • jointly produce a large-scale mural. • understand scale and learn methods of creating a to-scale drawing/painting. • learn the importance of cooperation and learn how to work cooperatively. • learn about delegation of responsibilities. • learn to appreciate each other’s strengths. • develop research and planning skills pertaining to a large, long-term project.
and techniques in dramatic portraiture. • utilize computer photo-enhan cement program/tools. • utilize the language of art vocabulary. • actively participate in artistic processes. • Recognize and enjoy the artistic creative processes.
• study and be encouraged
to apply the principle of utilizing various resources and techniques to produce a work of art. of artistic techniques and apply them to new artistic challenges.
• use prior knowledge
• use “metacognition” in problem solving.
• recognize the beauty
in the everyday
and field trips to the nearby San Jose pharaonic exhibition. By the timeMATERIA Joyce encounters the LS same children, • Digital camera they can read and write hieroglyphics, • Overhead transparency know their pharaohs, and • Laser areprinter highly receptive to Egyptian • 18" x 24" Masonite board art forms. • White primer Thanks gesso toorthis passion, paint there now • Tempera paint exists at Colton Middle School a mural • White and black charcoal that startles pencils No mere • Kneaded eraserand engages. whimsically decorated wall, this one • Watercolor paints has a haunting quality that pulls the viewer closer, inspiring to historical AnnieAll >quest. Sam this is done without words... Dinh Lai unless you count the hieroglyphics. The project began in the fall of 2000, when Joyce Mathers conceived the idea of a mural for her elective “STAR” class, encouraging the students to brainstorm for themes. The previous year had succeeded with stunning Egyptian-style death masks, which were proudly displayed for a full semester in the administrative offices. It seemed feasible, however, to give
prior civilizations in an emotional way, and gives them a memorable learning experience. Basing a school mural project on historical murals can help cement what students are learning in history classes and create an aura of mystery and excitement for incoming students, who will be studying the same subjects. It helps bring history alive.
world around us. construction
G rea t Por tra its
The Fires of
related object. sketches, as I had the students do objects or impromise. is showing a form of arranging the hard work were all satisfied Students’ ages. Then when we they drew the with the composition, newsprint. Evensize they wanted on their sketch tually, they transferred lighter chalk with paper black to the of the sketch. rubbed on the back paper, which (This protects the black in that erasures is especially important universe. color.) view of the affect its surface and An abstract local color, The students started with was drawing accuup color with layers. I a built then and in keeping the complewill assist will work inadamant about using the color’s . organized objects rate. Being out the process as a way to dull out those ment through by starting artists’ favor rather than using straight in shadow, accomplished g and workin and to work up to the lights— This can be e. black, of the grid to room, complet at the top as well. Van Gogh’s This will help avoiding straight white other end. ng the work. students experienced some diftoward the The ng or damagi made smeari be avoid paper with objects drawings can ficulty for on the black Sidewalk chalk are a great project several layand that were white or yellow; in any size because they needed to be laid in or groups. this forers the individuals inspir ation rather greenish against Kurt The true named appeared an artist black paper. enner/ projec t is vardodger .com/w incorchoices of subject were Wenne r (www. images Their Wenner’s is or vegetables were popular, that fruit together to gallery.htm). phic geometry ied, choice, Sara work thefeathers were a beautiful ’ Nick and while porate anamor represents Edward Hoppers that they and of copy icated goes very challenging, in start a though very sophist Lisa Modelevsky skill that tanding of r temNight Hawks. linear and delicate. were great unders art, whethe of piece into any fine ok lover. ent. it > The comic-bo the rain do porary or perman ter’s simple—let students Cleanup is using a carpen washer. Many grids are created lines are a carpen or use a power spend so much time Chalk lines in constraight we chalk line. to create chalk lay wash away. wonder why to create long mally used s use it to that will only ter’s tool used erased when needed The student you General Paton artwork be struction. color. If ■ se is to quote lines that can ly straight when proareas of My respon medifleeting.” down large by Geri isGreenman and are perfect your own pastel ton, “All glory ly. the the choose to make lities are endless and duced correct been itlaid, Leyden rendering,” in that I have has “box West a possibi at grid the had art thestudents um, le online. y advancedOnce drawing teaches often drawing intomake a composition, up Lappe are availab in Steve as- astudents freehand the many recipes tools to assist them finished ob-Ill. mixed-media onal ke, coloringartistsacan ally, with just School in Northla at least one Highthree-dimensi g, essenti 21 . For this Artists need grays creatinwhite, The grid down in a small box. In doing ale imagessignmenttoin mostly place black, scale. ject, glued in large to get are used creating large-sc image for them stay in position booktime measures brown. and It was andnes it this way, the objects to reason, tape areas. Guideli art abstraction their to fit on colorful and move from and are small enough measure large om These students had completed e s . crealism. shelves in between classes. ctiviti course and a was to tsanda www.ar the requisite introductory The object of this assignment so they were tonality, colbeginning drawing class, visually capture the scale, with working objects of chosen up for the challenge or and textures of the ® and achievstudents possibly their Prismacolor pencils, as realistically as the This semester, ing photographic realism. could in this rendering. their artisblack paper and Students often measure I had decided to use can duplicate to the highlights. tic skills by how well they have them work up all, most of us less dauntsubject matter. After Black paper is oftentimes when we have it already has a have experienced praise ing than white, in that using color or it and it appears accomplished a likeness sensation of mass to simplifying, disis somewhat space negative texture, as opposed to that the a subject as a torting or exaggerating suggested. on some way of abstracting it. I had the students decide before— that are reI have done this assignment sort of collection of objects graphite—calling ties x february arts & activi though usually in
their During this I was very pleased with a built the assignment, choices, and the way they art with my stucouple ofa my stronger color. I was unpopular rts & activities their abstracjanuary 2004 Prismacolor the www.artsandactiviti dents when I challenged students discovered es.com as this was part of This colorless, tion of scale and size, Colorless Blender. by Len Mathes We spent about and blended the actual assignment. creamy “pencil” moved on them, but once we all ended up three and a half weeks colors so beautifully, pencils like on the piece. they were buffed up (colored somewhere it using cloudy when lay“zoom in” these sometimes seem By having the students his multi-media project were stunning! makes began as a whim see the detail thatdents ered), then matted, they really and to get my stu“out of the box” matted pieces we focused on these mediums (my classroom), On a few of the finished, ronment that might objects what they are, up at every opportunit and into an envitheir actual drawrendering not be considered y. I continue to make and the colorful I had the kids protect objects to “arty.” the the school’s So all levels of my ... it was off n cafetorium (cafeteria/ black mat board, their prior artistic art students rely ing and the face of their auditorium). of our subjects. I had a wonderful knowledge and on of the mat board I challenge them bunch of advanced opportunity to be and then color the bevel up of juniors&and at every art students made creative in their seniors. Besides Arts color pencil (the approach to every presented to them. teaching, being artistically in a complementing they were also—and project Recently retired from talented, beveled). This more Geri GreenEditor With most projects points of which had been tive. They of all eager importantly—artistically inquisiActivities Contributing I introduce to my eye into the a lesson of historical to attempt any artistic students, I begin departmentwere art threw served to pull the viewer’s with at them. relevance and an man was head of the challenge I of the drawing introduction to the ious artists whom in Villa Park, I must admit with frame, while pulling some might be significant varWillowbrook High School occasions, they were concerned a slight chuckle, on many to particular this lesson. with the artistic project, however, down which 15 out to the viewer. avenues I took them. They I elected to do things With this I grabbed a couple were well-steepe backwards. many and various of boldly patterned d in the art mediums—but always fabric have lying around, samples I I enjoy(ed) mixing my digital camera, 34 announced to my and class we were about to go on a mini-artis-
Ou t of the
B lu e
tic field trip. Although they were surprised appointed when and a little diswe arrived at our With my students’ destination within minutes—the experience help, we located five a classic English-typ wing chair used was very pleasant. We had previously in a past production e completed a very . Our fabric was over the chair identifying and draped and allowed to emphasizing shadows successful project “drape” across pointed out how the floor. I pus, and I wanted found around cam“perfect” the natural to follow-up on lighting was being ated by our skylights, the aspect of how ows, light and dark, creand shadvalues, and contrast advantage of positioning how the students should take situation—but in full themselves to capture particular, portraiture add drama to any dramatic effect of the most . At the rear of our the sunlight. Each cafeteria is our student posed first pose of his or her where our drama complete stage in a choosing, and then area department performs me. I alerted them a pose suggested wonderful plays. to make sure their by face was both in ow and highlighte shadd by the light. The pose was to be natural, casual, reflective of their personality, and not silly or pretentious. Each student took two or three digital pictures of each other. I took advantage of this situaEgypt a rest. tion by emphasizin g to The class at first opted for the my photographers idea how of an underwater Monterey Bay their point-of-vie scene, w might but things did not go well. Despite heighten the “drama” the grid drawn up in the classroom, with either an extremely it was difficult for the young high or low point artists of view to get their sea creatures to-scale or an unusual angle. I with each other. Even when trying also informed to them to circumvent these to-scale difficulties totally ignore the backby showing various creatures up ground. All they close should or farther away, the result did be interested in was their not subject/center inspire confidence. Interest flagged of interest, the drapery, in the project, and Joyce realized and the it drama. I also told would have to change course in them order not to “crop in to succeed. the camera.” Cropping was In her early projector and slide to be done later in the displays of murals, Joyce had process. shown For the pas pharaonic examples to her class. t few Now years, my students have she wondered if her STAR students used Masonite wouldn’t find fuel for inspiration panels by for the execution veering east. There was still of their just projects. They enough time, if Joyce were to abandon are inexManuel Enriquez see BLUE on page the tedious grid system. 50 see FIRES on page 20 19
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Tomasa Tolentino 35
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Kurt Schwitters (German; 1887–1948) and Theo van Doesburg (Dutch; 1883–1931). Kleine Dada Soirée (Small Dada Evening), 1922. Lithographic poster/program, printed in red and black on wove paper. Sheet: (11.875" x 11.875". National Gallery of Art, / Public domain. Washington, D.C. Gift of the Collectors Committee. ©
“I don't like to say I have given my life to art. I prefer to say art has given me my life.”—Frank Stella
t’s May, and almost the end of another school year. This is the time I start looking around the art room to see what supplies I have left and figure out how I’m going to use them. This is also the time to stop and start reflecting upon the year. What have I done right, what didn’t work, and how can I make it better next year? Since I, like many of you, don’t have a lot of storage, I usually have my kids work on 3D projects this time of the year. This month we will concentrate on 3D designs, murals and collaborative projects. We will also celebrate AsianPacific American Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, National Teacher Appreciation Week, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day.
This project can be done individually, in pairs, small groups, or as a major collaborative project. And, it’s just three steps: (1) Think of a theme. (2) Get your materials; corrugated cardboard, scissors and glue. (3) Create. Have students sketch out the design on regular or corrugated card-
The first step is for you or another adult (for safety reasons) to cut off the bottom of the bottle; I use a utility knife for this. The top piece is used for the center of the flower. Next, it’s time to paint, using acrylics. If you want dots or lines in your design, paint them first, then paint a solid color on top of them. Using acrylics, paint the whole bottle. You can paint in layers too. Cut the petals by making five or six cuts from the bottom to the neck —I have my students round them off. The petals are made by just bending back the plastic—the petals (the inside of the bottle) will now look shiny. My students think that they look more like flowers when one bottle is placed inside the other. The bottles are hot glued together and then placed on a recycled cone from yarn or thread. A hole gets drilled in the middle of the bottom part of the bottle and then attached to the flower using a pipe cleaner. These make beautiful centerpieces.
RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE—THE IDEAS ARE ENDLESS. By this time of the
school year, your classroom will likely be filled with all kinds of recycled materials. Now is the time to use them up and start cleaning up your room for
Art Gives Life board. Have them cut or tear other pieces of cardboard and layer pieces to create the design. The murals can be as small as 9" x 12" or as large as 3 feet x 6 feet—or even larger. I think they look great when you leave them the natural cardboard color, especially when you have the different textures of the corrugation.
the end of the year. A great recycle 3D project is to make totem-pole inspired sculptures from cans, containers, caps and anything else you can find. Have your students make the pole about themselves or a special cause they personally care about. If you have and cardboard, wood scraps or anything that can handle spray paint, have students create an assemblage in the style of Louise Nevelson. You can make it an ongo-
FLOWER POWER. Recycled plastic bot-
tles—big, small, clear or colored—are great for making single flowers or a whole bouquet. This is a great recycling project, especially since there are always empty water bottles hanging around school. 38
ATTENTION READERS If you would like to share some of your teaching tips, email them to: email@example.com
ing collaborative project by doing it in shoeboxes and just adding to the construction. (In next month’s issue, Debi West will be sharing her Nevelsoninspired collaborative mural lesson in her “3D Intro Art“ series.—Editor) Leftover old books? Not a problem! Make them into sculptures, tunnel books, or any kind of altered book. A good source that I have used is Sculptural Booking, by Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan. (And, be sure to check out “Recycling Renaissance: Books as Art,” on page 12.—Editor) Another great project is to use cardboard to create a cubist sculpture in the style of Alexander Archipenko. Do you have a lot of paint that needs to be recycled or recycled paint that has been given to you? Have your students come up with an appropriate theme for a mural for your school. Once you have an idea and design, it’s time get approval from the “powers that be.” Bring sketches, a budget plan, a long-term goal, and a vision statement including who, what, where, when and why! (For more on murals, see “Alive and Kicking: Artists Up Close” on page 23, and “Creative Collaboration: Up for Auction” on page 28—Editor) HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Keith Haring (May 4, 1958), Salvador Dali (May 11, 1904), Frank Stella (May 12, 1936), Tamara de Lempicka (May 16, 1898), Mary Cassatt, May 22, 1844), Georges Rouault (May 27, 1871). n
Arts & Activities Contributing Editor Glenda Lubiner (NBCT) teaches art at Franklin Academy Charter School in Pembroke Pines, Fla. She is also an adjunct professor at Broward College.
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Posterized Clay Portraits Lesson Plan for Grades 5–12
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“Paint” with clay and create a modern selfie-style portrait with the look of ancient pottery. A very painterly approach to decorating pottery is to use a liquid clay body known as slip. In ancient cultures, slip painting was the primary technique used for decoration and was limited to a color spectrum of red, cream, and black. If ancient potters were working in today’s selfie culture, they might come up with a project like this one.
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MURAL EXPERIENCES AT SCHOOL