Last September, Melissa Purtee (co-author of the book, The Open Art Room) and I were fortunate enough to be offered a monthly column in SchoolArts Magazine. Each issue of SchoolArts is dedicated to delivering outstanding content to art teachers, internationally.
Our monthly column, also titled The Open Art Room, addresses the concerns of with working in a choice-based classroom at the high school level.
The February issue (pictured above) offers suggestions on helping students move beyond good work and move towards great work. Below are the other articles I've written since last September. Click here to read the February column.
January 2017: Seeking Authentic Growth
November 2016: Caught in the Middle
September 2016: What to Expect When You Change to Choice
March 2017: Let the Student Be the Artist
I was offered the opportunity to write for Arts & Activities Magazine, Choice Based Art column
AP Art? What's that? Well, I'm glad you asked. AP Studio Art 2D Design, which will be offered next year for the first time in Brunswick County is just what it sounds like. It's a college level course which presents students with the opportunity to receive AP credit in art.
Instead of a written text, AP Art requires students submit a portfolio of 24 pieces. That might sound like a lot (cause it its!) but students who select to take AP art will have a year to complete their portfolio. Some will have even a little longer as we have already started by getting a jump on the year ahead.
Students enrolled in this semester's Proficient/Advanced class are given the option of either working on Artistic Behavior assignments or developing alternative projects that align with the Breadth section of the AP portfolio. Breadth pieces should demonstrate a mastery of varied media, techniques and subject matter.
For these works, we are trying to steer clear of Internet images and instead relying on our on photography or better yet, drawing from observation. If an internet image is used, we are learning how to move beyond duplication to illustrate an original idea.
Students interested in AP Studio Art 2D Design should sign up for Advanced Art Fall 2017 and AP Studio Art 2D Design Spring 2018. Here we go!
As part of our Artists Observe unit, we spent a day drawing objects from nature. There were three centers; the deer table, the shell table and the squirrel tail table. Each student had 15 minutes to spend at each table before rotating to the next.
Along with the different nature object, there was also a selection of media including different types of pencils, colored pencils, and charcoal pencils. Here's a look -->
Today, we took a bus into the big city of Southport for the annual Woman's Club Art Show. 36 students attended the luncheon we even more participating in the juried exhibit.
After checking out the show and seeing who won, we sat down for lunch provided by the Club. Yum! Afterwards, they announced the winners and distributed certificates, ribbons and cash prizes. Hey kids, don't forget to tip your art teacher! ... (just kidding ;)
Here's a look at some photos from the event.
There's a new skeleton in town... her name is Chick and as part of our first unit on observation, we are drawing her twice.
We drew her day one, in fact, it was the first thing we did. The rest of the week, we are drawing a bone or two each day as a warm up. At the end of the week, we will draw her again and I'm pretty sure the results will be remarkable... but more on that later.
Meanwhile, as a mini-lesson, each student drew a cartoon character of their choice. They didn't know that today I would ask them to draw that character again but this time creating a skeleton for it. A little imagination mixed in with a little observation and here are the results in progress...
In general, I like to organize blog posts by units of study the artists at South B are entertaining. However, by this time of year there are so many different things happening that it’s easier to just write about all the stuff that's happening. So here is a post dedicated to stuff and things... but mostly stuff.
Above: A pet portrait of her dog.
Working on their first ever stop motion animation
We introduced figure drawing and proportion.
She is doing a reverse drawing in color pencil. A photo is taken and a reverse filter is applied to display realistic colors.
One of the hand turkeys from our Hand turkey Tuesday contest. This one took longer than Tuesday to complete.
Working in series, this student decided to explore apples in pastel.
"I don't know what to do."
"Go make a giant hamburger."
Portrait in coffee. Smells good too.
"I want to do a screen print"
"We don't have any screen printing stuff"
(Whines) "But I want to doo a screeeeen printttt."
Students actually whines screen printing into existence
Portait work in marker
For this unit we took a look at how artists often create work in a series. Examples included Monet and the haystack, Kehinde Wiley and his portraits, and Tara Donovan and the plastic cup. Artists create these series by either using a common medium, a common theme, style or even a common pallete.
The artists at South b were asked to create (at least) three works of art to create a series. Here are a few of the works in progress.
This post is a showcase of the many art happenings in block two. So many different approaches in concept, technique and media are being explored, from watercolor to etching, perspective to collage. Take a look!
For this unit, we took a look at a few contemporary concepts that are explored by today's artists. These postmodern ideas such as juxtaposition, using text as an element, and incorporating unique materials allow the artist to explore avenues beyond the traditional.
Here are a few of the works produced by the artists at South B in response to this unit.
Above: Juxtaposition: Fiberglass Cotton Candyndy
Juxtaposition: The Baby Mobile
Yes and No
"When I received my blind portrait I was amazed at how well someone was able to capture me within a drawing, it showed how I had a big heart, that was often hurt by the little things, it had my favorite flowers (daisies) on it, and the designs all over it made me feel like it showed how out going and off the wall I am. I absolutely loved it." ~McKaylah
The Blind Portrait
How do you draw a portrait when you have no idea who you are drawing or what they look like? Well, that was the assignment given to these students.
To kick off this unit, we watched an episode of Work of Art: Exile on Main Street. In this episode, the artists travel to Cold Spring, NY (a town I'm rather familiar with) to meet people and develop a work of art that reflects their personalty. After the video, we took a look at how other artists have created portraits, both representational such as Van Gogh as well as more abstract ideas such as (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
Next, each student filled out a questionnaire about themselves. There were four questions: What are your strengths, your weakness, your passions and your dislikes. No names were placed on the questionnaires though I did keep track of them by using numbers. The questionnaires were then distributed randomly. Thee idea was that no one would know which classmate's questionnaire they had.
Using only the questionnaire, each student was tasked with developing a work of art that captured the identity of the person who filled out the responses. At first there was push back. They didn't like the idea of not knowing which student they were drawing. Some tried to figure it out, but hey, that's cheating!
Last Friday we had a party with cupcakes and soda. Then each student presented to the class the reason they designed their work the way they did. One by one, I revealed the secrete identities (though some students had figured it out ;) Then they presented their finished artwork as a gift to the person whose portrait they created.
Below, are the words of the artists describing the reasons behind the imagery.
"The things that stood out to me on the blank portrait paper i received were that this person likes to be challenged, and that she was not good at drawing mouths and hands. The personality I pictured gave me the image of the popular "we can do it" propaganda. I purposefully messed up the hand and mouth to show this persons weaknesses. " ~ JD
"The person I had didn't really feel too sure of herself as a social person. But in her depiction of her strengths which happens to be kindness, helpfulness, and leadership I imagine the qualities of a superhero." ~ Malcom
"The person was open minded, loved to challenge his mind, body, and game." ~Walker
"The reason I used Pizza, two sub sandwiches. and black olives is because my person hates pizza and black olives. The reason I used the sub sandwiches is because she works at subway. One things she was super passionate about was music and that is why all of the things she hates and the one thing she did like makes a music note." ~ Drew
"Unfinished. This person listed many condiments that he didn't like, I took it upon myself to have something he doesn't like come after him. He says hes a football player so hes in his uniform and he said hes good at art so the palette is protecting him from the evil mayo container with beans and his evil ketchup and mustard minions." ~Madison
"For this art work I painted my person handing out bunch of ice creams at once to show how he likes selling things. Since he worked at tropical treats, Ithought it was fitting to draw ice cream and the logo. I used watercolor to make it colorful and lively." ~Kirsten
"For this art work I drew a person facing what she did not like which was pizza. I tried to portray her facing what she does not like. I used colored pencils and shaded in the color using a white colored pencil to make it more smooth." ~Shannon
"The person I had for the blind portrait had described herself as a forgiving and eccentric person, although others didn't deserve her forgiveness. She had also said her favorite flower was daisies. I decided to capture that eccentricity with the zentangle and the willingness to forgive with the daisies, patches, and band-aids to show that she still has a good heart when people take advantage of it." ~Jelonnie
Art of South B
This blog contains the work of Visual Artists, Computer Graphic Designers, Animators, and Street Artists from South Brunswick HS, NC