Jeana was interested in painting a landscape. So, we sat down and went over some basic tippy tappy tree techniques. She created her first one below in acrylic. Then we were like, "You should try oil paints." And she was like, "What's that?" And so we gave her some oil paints and she did the one above. Growth in the forest.
The Bulletin Board
I'm not much into decorating the bulletin board. I posted a fresh sheet of white paper, put orange border around it and walked away. I figured I do something soon, just didn't know what.
One of the students decided, without asking, to hot glue a pack of sticky notes to the board. Other students starting drawing on the sticky notes and putting them in random spots on the previously empty board. Soon, we had a fair amount of sticky notes.
Later, in the afternoon, when most students had left, the original student started grading the sticky note art. She would also leave little comments. We teachers call that assessment.
Now the board is getting filled. People keep making art and then checking back the next day to receive their assessment. Nobody knows who the assessor is.
We talked about how artists incorporate scale into their art. these students decided to recreate their favorite lollipop, large scale. WIP.
These students wanted to try light painting. They found that it was trickier than they expected. This is one of their earlier pieces. We'll keep an eye on their work and see were how it progresses.
Zonkeys are easy to draw but very hard to create in 3D. This student designed this Zonkey on the 3D printer.
What if there was an art room with No Projects?
No Lesson Plans
No Sketchbook Assignments
What if there was a classroom where Students Decided what they would create?
and picked the standard and learning target
and determined the size and scope
and set their own deadlines
What if students could Decide the Medium?
like oil paint,
What if students decided which Techniques they wanted to learn?
Without a Rubric...
What if there was a classroom
where students were allowed to experiment,
and to play
And fail, and fail, and fail
In a TAB classroom, these are Realities!
One day last week Aidan brought in a tshirt, white pants, and sneakers. He asked everyone to write or draw on these clothing items so everyone did. Later in the week, Aidan wore the outfit to school. So, that's what's happening with that.
Speaking of Aidan... he's been working on a series of small drawings and then combining the images into one large image. each squre is 7" x 7" so the finished work is rather large. The images used represent things from his life he deems important or not important. Its sort of like a self portrait.
Meanwhile, Gavin brought in a canvas and has been experimenting with paint pouring. He's been interested in the cells that one might find in a more traditional paint pour but is also interested in the drip style produced by having the canvas on the easel as opposed to having it flat on the table.
Kimber finished her sword that she had been working on. It was constructed out of cardboard and foam, then wrapped in plaster gauze to give it support. Painting added the finishing touches.
This set of photos is from a rare occurrence that only happens on special occasions. Everyone in the room was working! Lol! OK I'm half kidding but sometimes teaching art is more like herding cats. Having those rare days when all the cats are focused deserves its own post ;)
Then this happened.
South Brunswick High School Art Southport, NC
Though many artists begin the art making process with a subject, some begin by gathering materials. They may find these materials on the side of the street, at a local market, or while taking a walk in the woods.
For this unit, Artists Collect & Synthesize, we asked students to collect objects and then synthesize them into something new. First, we looked at artists who collect things to make art. Artists included Lenka Clayton. One example of her work is titled 43 Wishes which is a collection of 43 coins retrieved from a fountain. Another example is a piece titled 63 Objects Taken from my Son's Mouth which, as the title infers, is a collection of items Lenka Clayton removed from her son’s mouth when he was between the ages of 8 and 15 months old.
We also looked at artists who synthesize their collections such as Angela Haseltine Pozzi. She is the founder of Washed Ashore, an organization that creates giant sculptures of sea creatures using only the plastic found on the beach. The mission of Washed Ashore is to bring awareness to the world's growing plastic pollution problem through their art.
We kicked off the unit with a one day challenge. Small teams of students searched the school campus for items which they collected in a bag. When the groups returned with their collection of found items, we asked them to synthesize the stuff collected in their bag into a work of art.
After the one day challenge, students were given the week's concept objective. Create a work of art by collecting and synthesizing stuff. Here are some of the results.
Art of South B, South Brunswick High School, NC
Art of South B
Artwork by students at
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!