Friday, March 18, 2011

Exhibit Q

Georgia O'Keeffe Flowers- MS Far left: Chess board by Cooper Cardone-UE (so sorry I didn't get a better picture!)
Bottom: Totem Poles-UE
Guitar by Cooper Cardone, UE
Musical performances by students from Lower El. to Upper El.
Warhol Soup Cans-LE
Last week, the music teacher (Kelly House), woodworking teacher (Margery Bradshaw) and I (the art teacher!) held a music and arts night at Quest. There was artwork on the walls, beautifully crafted wood pieces and fun performances by the students. I was so encouraged to see so many parents! I loved showing off the students' work and seeing the many other artistic abilities they had. Thank you teachers for helping us put this event together and the parents for supporting the arts at Quest.

Friday, March 4, 2011

MS: Lichtenstein Portraits

Middle School students drew self-portraits in the style of American Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. They learned that by isolating and enlarging a comic strip panel, Lichtenstein was both making a parody of comic books while also elevating mass-produced visual commodities to fine art. Before the lesson, I had students bring in props and take pictures for them to trace. For their skin and hair, they colored over a sheet of Ben-Day dots, a printing process seen in old comic books. Lastly, students adjusted their facial features to look more stylized and traced everything with black marker.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

UE: Totem Poles

I was always intrigued by totem poles for their beautiful craftsmanship and storytelling. Students are so great at coming up with stories so I was excited to do this lesson with them. They first learned that totem poles are carved out of large trees by indigenous people of North America. Some totem poles tell legends, celebratory events or unpleasant events, while others symbolize a tribe or a family. Animals play an important part in totem pole mythology. I looked up their symbolism, typed up the information and had students write a short legend using three of the animals according to their attributes. Since we couldn't carve wood, I used recycled paper as the next best thing. Students divided up their paper into thirds, drew an animal in each section and also designed the back. Then they colored their totem poles and I helped them cut small slits for bird wings and beak. Love how they're turning out!

LE: Aboriginal Dot Painting

Lower Elementary students are studying different cultures around the world. Artist and traveler, Brendan Burns, visited the class and shared about his experience in Australia and how he fell in love with the didgeridoo. Didgeridoos are hollow wooden wind instruments carved by indigenous people of Northern Australia and often decorated with dot painting. To prepare students for this visit, I had them learn about Aboriginal Dot Painting. There is a lot of mystery behind the precise meanings of these paintings because clans imparted secrets into them; the dots cover up the secrets about the location of water holes and sacred ceremonies only revealed to the people in the clan. Aboriginal Dot paintings also have an underlying reference to the Dreamtime or the Dreaming, a sacred and complex set of beliefs of how the earth and all of its creation came to be. We chose to draw a lizard since it is an Australian animal prevalent in many dot paintings along with water holes, which you need for survival in the desert. Using q-tips and paint, students applied dots along the contour of the objects. Having Brendan show us the didgeridoos with the beautiful dot paintings on them really completed this lesson for the students. I could hear their brains click! I also included photos of Brendan playing the digeridoo and students dancing along to its deep resonant sounds. Thank you Brendan!!