Just about wrapping up our last Artistic Behavior Unit, Artists Collect & Synthesize. We took a look at a few artists that collect stuff and synthesize it together including Tara Donovan, Mae Chevrette, Andy Goldsworthy and the Washed Ashore Project.
We considered things that people collect and things that are collected sometimes not even on purpose. For example, we collect a spork every time we eat lunch in the cafeteria and we collect a receipt every time we shop at the Food Lion. What could we do with these collections if we didn't throw them away?
We also talked about how things can be synthesize. What is Synthesizing? What are methods for Synthesizing? How can artists synthesize their collections? We did a little brainstorming and then the students got to work. Most choose to collaborate with others to create a work of art.
The collections could be anything. Some students choose to use found objects and trash while others, like this group, decided on natural objects, at least as a starting point.
Bottle caps, pencils, and scrap fabric were all in the mix. Below, students at various stages in their artistic process.
A link to the Google Slide unit plan for Artists Collect & Synthesize.
the Art of South Brunswick High School, NC
This week's Table complimented the Artistic Behavior Unit we we exploring this week, Artists Collect and Synthesize. If you're not familiar with the concept of the Table, you can check it our here. We took a look at the work of Environmental Artist Bryant Holsenbeck. She creates creatures out of trash and recycled materials. It wasn't to hard to load up the Table with this type of material.
Students who selected to work at the Table began by creating wire frameworks which they wrapped in grocery store plastic bags. Once the basic form was in place, the students had a selection of yearn, string and fabric to add to their creations.
We opened the tool box to make sure we had the right tools for the job.
For the finishing touches, we dove into the junk draw where we found googly eyes, feathers and other types of cool stuff. Below are a few of the results.
For next week's Table, we will be taking a look at altered books!
the Art of South Brunswick High School, NC
The Open Art Room provides opportunities to discover things about both art and yourself. One of the best ways to engage in these discoveries is to try something new for the first time. Perhaps there is a technique that hasn't been explored yet. Or maybe there is a medium that is totally new. Maybe you'll be good at it! You never know till you try. Here's a look at a few Firsts happening this week. Several of these works are still in progress.
Above: This is her first attempt at using Oil Paints.
She never tried Digital Art before so we lent her an iPad.
After she drew this image, she asked if she could try Screen Printing it onto a t-shirt.
Carving into a block of Plaster is a first not only for him but also the first time we've introduced this medium in class.
A first attempt at Paper Quilling.
Uhm...... It's the first time we've had a ceiling tile with a hand hanging out of it holding a lunchbox
First time using Multi Stencils with spray paint.
Last year we sat together and worked through a few water color tutorials. This week she brought this into my class and said, "Look Mr Sands, I did a water color on my own". She's not even in my class :)
We kicked off our new unit, Artists Collect & Synthesize, with a one day challenge. Groups of students had 15 minutes to go into the world and collect stuff in a bag. They didn't know why they were collecting stuff, just told to get stuff.
Upon returning, the students were given the challenge. Create a work of art using the stuff you collect. And you have one day in which to do so. Each group got straight to work, first planning and agreeing on what to make and then constructing their project.
The group above found a wire fence, a beach umbrella and other interesting objects. They decided to construct a dog cage including self feeding and drinking tubes. they even found a wolf pup to go into the cage.
Seen above: The team assembling their dog cage artwork.
Meet Sylvia. single mom, recently widowed. This team wrote out a whole story to go along with Sylvia. In fact, the reason her husband is dead is because he became the paper that they used to write the story on.
Putting the finishing touches on Sylvia.
The Skate Broom received a lot of attention. Poorly constructed out of several rocks, sticks, and a wheel, it still was one of the hottest items in the art room.
Kick flips and ollies!! Actually, none of that happened. Its rocks attached to a broom.
Ready for the Hot Seat?
An island complete with sewer drainage pipe draining sewerage into the beautiful blue sea.
Wrapped up our last part of our first animation unit with a walk cycle tutorial. Instead of going completely digital, we took a walk back to the art room to create some traditional drawings. Students had the option to either draw the eight frames necessary to complete the walk cycle or the could create a movable puppet.
An art teacher asked the question, "What are Some Art Skills you wish your students had, coming in to high school?"
Send me students who understand the art room is a laboratory that has every tool they could ever need to build anything they can imagine. All they need to do is Bring an Idea and we can help them with the tools, techniques or materials to bring their idea to fruition.
A student in our beginner art class noticed that the back of her pen and ink drawing was picking up color off a page behind it. She decided to experiment with her discovery by creating colored sheets, placing blank paper on top and drawing with ink on top of that.
As art teachers, we can and should teach art skills but we also need to leave room for students to create their own techniques.
Above: The first image is the pen drawing. The second image shows the colored page. The third image is the result of the transfer.
Our Open Art Room is student directed. That means, students decide which direction they want to take the art they are creating. Many students come to class with ideas and are ready to jump in. However, some students are looking for new ideas, new opportunities, new techniques that they might not have known or thought about.
That's where The Tables come in.
For this week's Table, we explored plaster of paris. We mixed and poured plaster into boxes then waited for it to dry over night. The next day, we began the process of carving wit ha variety of different tools. There is a learning curve involved when try to carve a square into a 3D object. We had a few fails, but also a few successes.
Meanwhile back in the beginning class, we open an ugly doll Table. Other students were exploring non-representational art, while others took a look at juxtaposition. In the second image above, the student is working on a combination of the two concepts working with both non representational images and images that demonstrate juxtaposition.
Maybe Not Every Tool...
Even though our art room is fairly well stocked with supplies, it's not uncommon for student's to bring their own art supplies to class. Usually they bring their own set of prisma colors or copic markers but some have even better toys. When I said the art room was a factory that had every tool I was lying. We don't have some of the advanced technology so we have no problem with students BYOD.
In an open art room there need not be a separation between traditional and digital art. Rather, there can be a seamless merge between the two.
For example, the image of the sunflowers at the top of the page started with the student designing the sun flower stencil in Photoshop. It was then created with a non digital can of spray paint.
The crow image above started as a traditional acrylic painting. Then the student imported the image into Photoshop to see how her work would be affected by the application of different modes and filters.
Bring an Idea and we can help with the tools, techniques or materials to Bring Your Idea to Fruition.
We started our first unit in animation in our Computer Art & Animation class here at South Brunswick High School. Then we had a hurricane. We were out of school for a few days (19 to be exact). Then we regrouped and restarted our unit in animation in our Computer Art & Animation class here at South Brunswick High School... then we had another hurricane!
So here we are, back at South Brunswick High School in the Computer Art & Animation class completing our first week of our animation unit! Let's take a look at where we are so far...
To begin our unit, we learned about the Photoshop timeline and frame animation. This first project was to create a simple frame by frame animation to show evidence in understanding the concept by demonstrate the technique.
Our second animation project was to incorporate some of the previous learned skills from the 2D photo manipulation techniques into a frame by frame animation. To do this, we created cinemagraphs. The concept of the cinemagraph is that one part of the image moves while the rest remains still.
Next steps, we will be taking a look at the walk cycle (ha, that was a pun!). From there we intend to incorporate sound... as long as there aren't any more hurricanes!
I sat down with our AP for my pre-observation conference. He asked me, "When I come for the observation, which of the standards will you be covering?"
"I am the standards", was my response.
Actually, I didn't say that. I thought it. But then I answered to the best of my ability. "All of them."
That wasn't the answer he was looking for so he asked again, "But which one, specifically?"
Well now, that was a good question. As an admin, he wanted to know what he should be looking for when he did the observation. This got me thinking, did we actually cover all the standards in one class? Or at least, in one unit? I decided to take a longer look at the Standards, in this case, the NAEA National Visual Arts Standards, and see if we indeed, did cover all of them. I made a surprising discovery.
My first impression of the Standards is how disjointed they appear. There are four Anchor Standards representing Creating, Presenting, Responding, Connecting. Creating and Presenting are rather obvious. Making art and presenting art at at the core of every art program.
The other two anchor standards, Responding and Connecting seemed separated. Almost a throwback to the DBAE days. Looking at art, interpreting art, connecting at some level with art... I imagined an art teacher is a room holding up a poster of Van Gogh's Sunflowers and asking her students to look, analyze, interpret and judge the art.
Visions of Robin Williams addressing his class filled my brain...
"Gentlemen, open your text to page twenty-one... Understanding Poetry, by Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D."
"To fully understand poetry, we must first be fluent with its meter, rhyme, and figures of speech. Then ask two questions: One, how artfully has the objective of the poem been rendered, and two, how important is that objective. If the poem's score for perfection is plotted along the horizontal of a graph, and its importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness."
Out of Order
However, I made one very importantly but seemly overlooked observation about the Standards.. they are out of order. One doesn't make art, present art and then look at art for inspiration and meaning. Rather, we look at art, are inspired by art, and then create and present art. instead of Creating, Presenting, Responding, Connecting consider this:
Responding, Connecting, Creating, Presenting
When we consider the standards in this order we notice how well they align with the artistic process for creating art. Through the artistic process we are first inspired by art, we then develop and idea to convey meaning, we then plan and create, and finally we reflect and present.
To be clear, these are the anchor standards and more concise learning targets can and would be addressed through the unit or on an individual basis. However, in this manner, every student that is inspired, designs, creates and reflects on a work of art should be meeting all the standards.
The Final Word
One of the first parts of the process where we began looking at alignment with the standards was actually the last part of the process. That is to say, the final reflection. One of our goals this year was to increase student participation in written reflection. Earlier in the year, as part of the Art of South B Tool Kit, we updated our list of Question Prompts which students use when completing written reflection on Seesaw.
To complete our alignment between the artistic process and the standards, we rewrote our List of Prompts one more time, and arranged them, including color coding, by the standard's categories.
the Art of South Brunswick High School, NC
Imagine an entire high school art program, fully ingrained in the TAB philosophy, scaffolded to explore the same artistic behaviors. That's what we're working on here at the Art of South B. To kick off the year, each class will be exploring the concept of observation. Here's a look at how we're approaching that at each level.
Art One: The beginner students are starting with the first of The Nine subject-based themes, the Object. Through this theme, the art student will explore how artists use observation as a source for creating a work of art.
We will throw in a few technique tutorial mini lessons so students gain a basic understanding of how to utilize some of the media available to them. We'll also present a few challenges to help students gain a better understanding of the concept of observation.
For example, day one we challenged the Beginner students with creating a work of art that was tantamount to an actual object. Observation at its best and a lot of fun too!
Art Two: Our intermediate students are kicking off the year with the Artistic Behavior Unit, Artists Observe. We'll be taking a look at artists and artworks that explore this foundational concept.
However, this isn't your mamma's observational unit that only explores still life's. Sure, we'll check out nature artists such as local NC wildlife artist Ryan Kirby as well as the pastel genius of Zaria Forman but we will also see how contemporary artists such as Nathalie Miebach and Lenka Clayton handle this same subject.
Above: A collection of texts sent turned into sculpture
Advanced & AP: Everything returns full circle as our Advanced/AP students begin work on their first Breadth piece, playing off the subject based theme, The Object. Of course what they decide to create is entirely up to them but we're reviewing some of the basics; creating high contrast, black and white images and taking into consideration magnification.
Observational sketch of a Christmas light
These three words show up rather often in the art room. It's the basis of artistic thinking, but how do we help students work through the process? Moreover, what tools can we provide to ensure students are successful? Furthermore, how can we present these tools to not just the singular art class, but to every student throughout their high school art career? Here at the Art of South B, we have a few ideas...
Most teachers can appreciate having their students document the design phase. We already know the "what". Sure, we're going to present new artists, skill and techniques to our students. It also wouldn't hurt if they found a way to visually plan their ideas before they start development.
The "how" on the other hand, can be a bit more tricky. Sketchbooks, notebooks and even altered books are all considered when trying to decide how students should keep track of this information. We took all this into consideration this year at the Art of South B and, with the help of the printshop, developed the Art Journal.
The Art Journal, free to each student, is a spiral bond 40 page book with art history, skill development, and planning pages built in. We're even printing out thumbnail images of the art we show so the students have a visual reminder to go with the notes they scribe.
Since we are running a TAB program, we believe the student is the artists and the art room is their studio. However, this doesn't mean the student is alone in their artistic journey. We are here to present the student a full range of choice while presenting artists, ideas and concepts the student may have never heard of.
For the Beginner, it's the Nine. These are subject based themes to get the wheels turning. The intermediate students will explore Artistic Behavior Units. These units cover the way artists think and work. For our Advanced students, we'll layout a framework to guide them successfully through the Breadth and Concentration sections of the AP Portfolio. As teachers, we present the information. At that point, its up to the student to decide what they're going to do with it. We're here to help facilitate their vision.
John Dewey said, "We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience. Obviously reflection is important but it's got to be more than simply capturing artwork and posting it to an online portfolio. However, that's a great start. That's why every student at the Art of South B post weekly to Seesaw. It's a great way for the teacher to see what the student has accomplished but more importantly, it's a great way for the student to see what they'd have accomplished.
Now what about reflection? We're helping out here too. This year, each student at the Art of South B has been provided a list of question prompts they can consider when writing a caption for their Seesaw post. In fact, the questions are printed right their in their Art Journals! How tight is that? They can also find the prompts online here and we also had them printed out in poster form that are hung up in each art room. Sweet!
The Open Art Room provides a student-centered approach to art instruction that is inspirational, practical, and classroom-tested.
Art of South B
This blog contains the work of Visual Artists, Computer Graphic Designers, Animators, and Street Artists from South Brunswick High School, NC