How can an artist create a portrait without representing what the person looks like? That is the objective of this lesson. Create a self portrait without actually drawing or painting a self portrait.
The idea originated from a work of art created by Felix Gonzalez-Torres titled Portrait of Ross. The artwork is a giant pile of candy. The pile of candy weighs the same weight that Felix’s friend Ross had before he got sick. When you visit the artwork, you are allowed to take a piece of candy with you when you leave. Each time you take a piece away, the pile of candy weighs less and less. Unfortunately, this is what happened to Ross. When he got sick, he lost weight and eventually passed away. So the pile of candy represents and is a tribute to Ross, without it actually portraying his likeness.
I follow several art teacher Facebook groups. Whenever I share that fact with my non art teacher friends, they give me a look like, “Wow, you’re quiet the geek.” I guess to most, that would seem true. However, to the art teacher, it might seem very ordinary. Art teachers utilize Facebook groups, as well as Twitter, to share ideas, seek answers to art teacher questions, and find solutions to art teacher issues. When I put it like that, it still sounds pretty geeky, but these groups can actually be rather helpful.
Whenever someone asks an art ed question, especially if it relates to choice-based or Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB), I do my best to respond. I have no problem sharing resources. Much of the content I share is available on this website. I’ve also placed most everything I’ve learned in between the pages of The Open Art Room and Making Artists, not to mention a few years’ worth of articles for SchoolArts Magazine and The Art of Education.
All of these resources combined form a good deal of content. However, there was one issue. All of this content was floating around in different spaces. I wanted to find a way to consolidate this content into one location. That’s when the idea for the Make Artists podcast was conceived.
Make Artist is a weekly podcast where we will discuss all things choice-based. In fact, that’s how we describe the show. Make Artists, with your host Ian Sands, is the choice-based, student-directed, Teaching for Artistic Behavior high school art teacher and stuff and things... but mostly stuff.
So please consider following along. Each episode is available for download at anchor.fm/makeartists or you can find us on Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, or Spotify.
It's a new year, a new semester, and a new unit. In fact, it's our first unit of the new year of the new semester. To go along with that, we are starting out 100% virtual. That means, everyone is home and they have to start the year creating art with whatever materials they can get their hands on. That's ok. It's sort of how TAB works. So, to start the year, we are beginning with a very open project. We titled out first unit, Getting Started.
The objective of the Getting Started unit is two fold. First, to make sure students have a home studio space in which to work. This can be on the kitchen table, a desk in their room, or the garage. It's up to them where but hopefully a place where they won't be distracted and don't need to worry if they make a little mess in the process.
The second objective is to find materials they can work with. These materials can be things they already have at homes like paper, crayons, pend and pencils. Or, if they want, they can purchase materials at the local Walmart or Dollar Tree. Or, they can use found objects like sticks from the yard, nuts and bolts from the garage, or food coloring from the kitchen. Whatever works for the student, works for the unit.
So that leave the subject, what can they create? Well, we left that up to them. Anything they find interesting. Any skill or technique they want to uses. As long as they meet the first two objectives, the rest is up to them. So this post is a look at some of the artwork we received.
Art of South B
Artwork by students at
Art of South B
The Visual Arts Dept. at SBHS is like no other program in the state. Learn more, watch the Intro to South B video.
Listen to the
Make Artists Podcast
with your host Ian Sands the choice based, student directed, Teaching for Artist Behavior, high school art teacher and stuff and things... but mostly stuff.
Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) is a student-directed art education pedagogy that directs students to think and work as artists.
Making Artists picks up where The Open Art Room left off, covering issues and situations choice teachers encounter as they design their program.
The Open Art Room provides a student-centered approach to art instruction that is inspirational, practical, and classroom-tested.
Click Here to read the March SchoolArts Article, Student-Directed Answers to Five Frequently Ask Questions
Click Here to Read the April SchoolArts Magazine Article Tracking Student Progress with the Burn Book!
Click Here to Read the February SchoolArts Article, Build A Dynamic Art Program with Modular Teaching!
Art Teacher : Ian Sands