After some research on fair use, appropriation, parody and remix, painting students are well on their way to creating artworks based on art of famous artists. Subjects, styles, messages and moods vary greatly - neon "Starry Night," SpongeBob and Plankton in Edvard Munch's "The Scream," puppies growing from sunflowers, a Day of the Dead Marilyn Monroe, dark twist on one of Salvador Dali's lesser known works, remix of Roy Lichtenstein, ninjas replacing Edgar Degas' dancers and others. Exciting to watch student progress!
More to come! Watch for updates.
After some media exploration, Intro to 3D art is working on their next project. The theme is "Figure" with emphasis on Sculpture in the Round and Proportion. We spent some time looking at examples of figure sculptures throughout history starting with the Venus of Hohle Fels (the earliest example of human figure sculpture), Michelangelo's and Donatello's "David" sculptures (both examples of Renaissance sculpture, totally different!), sculptures by Impressionism artists, and finally a look at contemporary figure sculpture.
Next, students did a little research on human body measurements and ratios.
First, they made some estimates of body measurements - length of face, width of eye, length of foot, height, wing span... and then looked at concepts of ratio and proportion as they relate to features of the human body.
From here, students will brainstorm ideas for media, an idea, feeling or meaning to express, and will seek inspiration from famous artists as well as collaborate with classmates. More to come!
UPDATE ON FIGURES!
Figures are in progress! Students using a variety of materials, subjects and messages. Materials include wire armature with plaster or paper towel and Mod Podge, floral foam, clay, papier mâché, cardboard, Task board and other materials. Subjects were mainly human figures but there were a few animals, humaniods and even a zombie (or would that fit in the "human" category?). The best was hearing students meanings and messages behind their works - so much feeling! Each class brings different discoveries and challenges.
Here are some photos of works in progress:
What is TASK? TASK is an improvisational event with a few simple rules and basic structure. First, a location - the art room! Second, a variety of props and materials - cardboard, plastic bags, pencils, cling wrap, tape, markers... Third, a group of participants who are willing to collaborate and problem solve through a series of pre-written "tasks." There are two simple, procedural rules: pull a task from that pool and interpret it any which way he or she wants, using whatever materials or props are on hand. When a task is completed, a participant writes a new task and add it to a designated “TASK pool.” Repeat!
The open-ended structure offers so many opportunities for students to interact with one another and their environment. The flow of the event depends on the students and selected TASKS. In theory anything becomes possible. The result is both chaotic and purpose driven. It's a great way for students to express and test their own ideas in an environment without fear of failure!
Here are some photos of our TASK:
Painting students moved on from OBSERVATION to THEFT today in class. Well, not actually stealing things, just taking ideas from another artist and making it our own. We started with some Blackout Poetry, ruthlessly stole from writer and artist Austin Kleon.
It was fun; we had some laughs, but, of course, we had some learning in there - we learned that "stealing" is ok in certain types of uses, but mostly we learned that we should stick to art!
As an introduction to sculpture, 8th grade artists had the opportunity to practice a variety of sculpture techniques. Stations included both group and individual artworks. Group projects included a "Dr. Seuss" cardboard construction house and a kinetic sculpture/mobile. Individual sculptures were mini monster, tin foil relief, and wire figure. Day one of Sculpt Around the Room took place on Homecoming - if you look closely, you'll see some unique attire and hair colors! Go Sports!
The next few days we placed dishes of gum and candy around the school to see how students would respond - again, some were very excited and took one, or two or a handful. Others were skeptical, even asking assistant principal, Mr. Stifter, if they were safe to take! A few were like greedy vultures flocking on a fresh kill! Our "observation" was that people like free candy.
Finally, we had to get on to the real art - observational drawing. We spent days in class making drawings of the same object. Quick sketches, gesture drawings, positive/negative space drawings, breaking the object down into geometric shapes, and finally one long detailed drawing.
Next, students were to choose a subject for their observational painting. Subjects ranged from animals to still life, figure paintings and portraits to social commentary. Well done for our first unit!
Art 8 students started the semester with Draw Around the Room, Paint around the room and Collage Around the Room. That's a lot of moving around! So for our next unit, we decided to sit down for a while and look at the basics. The Elements of Art are the most basic building blocks of art. As young artists progress, we won't focus as much on the Elements, but it's a good place for beginning artists. Eighth graders started by "researching" one of the seven elements (line, value, color, texture, shape, form, space) with a partner and creating a poster that defined the element verbally and visually. Top posters will be selected to decorate the art room. Once students had a little more understanding, individuals created artworks based on a single element. Students understood that most artworks would use more than one element, but their focus was on that one. Here are some photos of their work on posters and art in progress.
Sometimes you've gotta just make art. It's a feeling that you get. It washes over you. Consumes you. It's powerful. I overheard one student telling a peer how great it must be to be "good" at art. The other sort of sighed. No, it's more like a curse at times. But, to be able to make something unique, when the creative juices are flowing is incredible!
Other times, Mrs. Underhill gives you 20 minutes of class, tells you that you have to make SOMETHING, give it a title and put it on display for the whole WORLD to see! Well, maybe just the whole school...
Yep, that happened. A few students finished experiments that they had been working on, some came up with something totally new, several worked in pairs or small groups, one first grader even ended up with an artwork on display. At the end of the class, an amazing thing happened. Twenty-some high school students became artists.
Play has a vital role in the art room. Young artists should be allowed to explore materials and themes without the pressure to produce fully finished artworks. Yes, we will come to those later, but why not create and not have to worry about failure? So, we look toward the Studio Habits of Mind - Stretch & Explore:
Learn to reach beyond one's supposed limitations, to explore playfully without a preconceived plan and to embrace the opportunity to learn from mistakes and accidents.
Sounds pretty good to me! What does play look like in the art room? Students trying out a variety of materials, laughing at attempts, starting projects and then abandoning them only to come back to them later with new purpose. It looks like a mess covered in smiles. Here are some images of Healy artists at play.
Eighth grade art is meant to be an introduction to art. An exploratory class, if you will. In the past, Art 8, like all the others, was very teacher lead. It still is, in some ways, you have to start somewhere, right? Now, however, the teacher instruction is more open ended - the "Around the Room" activities ("stolen" from Cynthia Gaub's ArtTechTivity website) are one such example.
In this activity, students were given a variety of collage materials (colored construction paper, tissue paper, magazines and a mixed media box) and were allowed to explore the collage process and vocabulary in their own way. Students learned about themes, geometric and organic shapes, symmetrical and asymmetrical balance, layering, focal point, warm and cool colors, and other ideas in art. Finished works were expressive, colorful and fun! Mrs. Underhill thoroughly enjoyed the mixed media box!