Wednesday, October 22, 2014

masks from around the world.

Tonight at Zamo we held our annual arts and crafts around the world event and since we are so close to  Halloween, the focus was naturally on masks from around the world. 

Teachers and staff members led 9 different hands on mask activities on our campus. Zamorano has a diverse student population, so masks were inspired by many different regions/places- America, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Mexico, Pacific Islands, Philippines, and South America. It was a wonderfully well attended event. So many kids and family members working together to create masks together. 

Our teachers did such a great job facilitating the activities. As an organizer, this was one of the smoothest, well run events that we have done in recent memory. Everything came together seamlessly to provide our school community with an engaging and fun art making experience.

Thank you to all our staff that stepped up and pitched in and thank you to all of our families that came out to spend quality time with their children!
Thank you to Ms. Vance for being a great organizing partner for this event!
Thank you to Mr. Barck for making some great signs and the awesome paper mache greeter for the event!
Thanks also goes out to our PTF for being there to recruit parents and raise money for our art program by selling t-shirts and refreshments to our attendees!

Go Zamo!

 organized chaos- typical (in a great way) this evening:)

Mr. Kasarda's Pacific Islander mask greeter:)

Mr. Barck's paper mache handiwork:)

Friday, October 17, 2014

drawing like dalek.

This week the 4th graders continued their line unit. I introduced them to the work of James Marshall (aka Dalek), a painter and designer that works in a geometric abstract style. I wanted the kids to see how his work and the work of Sandra Willard shared similarities even though their artwork looks totally different. Working together, we were able to identify that line had similar responsibilities in each body of work- to make shapes, to create patterns, and to create (or help create) a variety of values.

We looked at a few of Dalek's paintings from 2010 and noticed that he used line to create only geometric looking shapes. Afterwards, I shared a brief video about a mural Dalek created in Boulder, Colorado. Students noticed how he created the whole painting by repeating and altering the shape, color, and value of one geometric shape. They LOVED the video:)

(I also love his take on public art, especially since we do legacy murals at Zamo every year. This wets the kids' appetite for what they will do with me next year.)

We started the drawing together by adding a vertical, a horizontal, and a diagonal line to their paper. I reviewed how to hold a ruler. We added a couple more lines together and I reviewed what it means for line to intersect. I then asked students to add 7-10 more lines going in any direction they chose, intersecting other lines or not. They then needed to add line patterns to most of the shapes they made.

All their lines got traced with black sharpies and then they added color patterns to most areas. I emphasized pressing hard and soft to create color value patterns and alternating colors to create patterns.

Once kids finished, their exit slip was to craft a letter to Mr. Marshall that used a minimum of 3 vocabulary words from the lesson word bank in the front of the room. Many kids have been coming in at recess to put the finishing touches on their drawings and those that wrote letters are curious to see if Mr. Marshall responds to their letters:)

A few years ago, I shared Dalek's work with students for the first time. The kids loved his work and their projects then, too:)

Also- This is a great interview with the artist about his process and history.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

opposites together.

LAst week the 1st graders did their first line project with me. We focused on contour lines and recognizing opposites- dark & light and thick & thin. I shared a few paintings by Australian designer Rachel Castle with them and identified her use of opposites. I love her use of repeated shape and transparent veils of color in places. As we looked and identified, I added key words to the white board, so they could be used in reflection sentences at the end of the project.

Students could use any colors they wanted, as long as they gained practice pressing softly for light colors and hard for dark colors. We also talked about "medium" and added flower shapes by pressing with medium pressure as well.

I had the students rotate their paper, so that they could fill the space more and mimic how Rachel places her shapes around her compositions. We also drew flowers on  transparent paper at the end to add a little more color variety and composition interest to the pieces.

Students wrote a reflection sentence at the end of the lesson... and then got busy over at the monster block center;)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

scratching away.

Last week the 4th graders started working with line. We looked at the work of artist Sandra Willard, who uses scratchboard to create many works of art. We focused on how she uses line to do a variety of things- she creates shapes with contour lines, creates patterns, and creates different values.

Using her website portfolio as a reference, students identified these elements in a few of her pieces. Then we got started with ours. We softly drew out our landscapes with a pencil and then I modeled how to create thick and thin lines with the scratch tools. We worked out way through the landscape, creating different values by changing the number of lines and the amount of space in between lines.

At the end of the activity, my classes at the beginning of the week did exit slips reflecting on the project. With my last few classes of the week, I tried something new- letters to the artist. I asked students to write a letter to Sandra that used at least 3 of our art vocab words of the day. This wasn't as dry as the straightforward exit slip and there was some interesting variety in the kids' writings.