Thursday, May 23, 2013

Never Assume...

I posted this sculpture a while ago. I had assumed that this boy had completed his work and that he was ready to move on. The next week he found his robot and proceeded to add a whole manner of embellishments. This is the joy of allowing children to take charge of their own creations; they will exceed your expectations time and again. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

More Sculptural Creations

These are some of the sculptures that students created which were showcased in the end of the year art show. 

3rd grade tent

6th grade view from a submarine

"Fancy Pagoda" 3rd rade

"Bird's Nest with Eggs" 1st grade

"Hotel in Tropical Resort" 5th grade

"Little Girl" 2nd Grade

"BFF'S" 3rd Grade

An alien creature, 3rd Grade

Friday, May 17, 2013

Art Ideas

This year I have posed a question to my students. Where do art ideas come from? I started a bulletin board where children could write an answer and tack it up for all to see. At first most of the answers were things like "my imagination," "school," "my art teacher".... I started to ask them to be more specific. Are there things in your life, your own unique experience, that would be good ideas for art projects? After they cleaned up their work at the end of class the children began to flock to the board to see how many creative sources they could come up with. It only took a few more specific comments to set the display ablaze with creative thoughts. Now things like "milkshakes," "dinosaur roars," "mermaids," and "the Empire State Building" have found their way into our art room. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Children and Series

The more that I work in the classroom, the more I realize that children naturally work in series. Working in a repetitive and experimental fashion is necessary for learning and discovery to happen. Once a students finds an activity or process that they enjoy, they have no qualms about repeating the activity in various fashions until they have mastered it. Interestingly, this behavior is also present in the processes of professional artists. It is a wonderful thing to camp out on an idea for an extended time, such as Picasso's infatuation with a single color during his blue period, or Lee Bonticou's fascination with black holes...

Under the leadership of one first grade student, three boys create a series of thumbprint and stamp drawings. The subject is, of course, aliens. The variety of forms invented by these young artists is marvelous. 

This is another small series by a 5th grade students who got her inspiration from Japanese writing she found in a book. She responded be creating works with her own made up symbols. She also requested that the three works be displayed together since she saw such an important correlation between all of them. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


21st Century Learning Skills emphasize the need for communication and collaboration. Students in a Choice-Based art class have the opportunity to do this every day. Collaboration groups pop up when students see that they can benefit with the help or skills of others. Their creative efforts also benefit from the ideas of their collaborative partners and the work develops. 

Playing with 2D

These students found a new way to create 2D work by incorporating 3D elements from the Sculpture Center.

The latest developments from the 3D Sculpture Center include a dog with moveable joints, a lifeboat with detachable floatation devices, a king's crown, a mohawk bow tie hat, wind-chimes, and sunday headwear. What a variety of great ideas!

Persevering Through Mistakes, Part 2

Students who are encouraged to persevere through a work learn skills that allow them to experience success the next time around. This dog-lover learned from past decisions and mishaps and is now happily on her way to completing another painting.