Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Art in the Park: Lighthouses

It's my 7th summer of Art in the Park and we're having a fun time.
This week, the other two guest artists are Mrs. Schlette and Mrs. G. Johnson.
My unofficial name this week is "Ms. JJ" which they got a kick out of. What else are we to do with two Mrs. Johnsons in Kunkle Park?!
Great group. This first week is for 5-7 year olds. Next week we go from ages 7-12.
My first project for the week is this lighthouse painting.

We talked about the history of lighthouses for a bit and the kids impressed me with their knowledge and creative thinking.
On Monday, we set to drawing a lighthouse and used watercolors for the backgrounds.
Today, we added some of the details in and started our second project. 
Tomorrow will be more details and work on the background of the second project (giraffe painting).

I am enjoying being outside in the mornings and seeing all of the art in progress. We have all sorts of projects happening and I look forward to sharing the art show images with you later in the week.
So far, I've seen two Bear Tavern students this week (yay!). Gavin is in the camp with me and Aldo happened to be biking by with his family and stopped to say hello and chat for a bit.
Over and out until later in the week.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Year in Review: Grounds for Sculpture Exhibit!

On Tuesday I drove over to Grounds for Sculpture to pick up the work from our solo exhibit in the education gallery titled "Reflections in the Classroom".
The exhibit was meaningful on so many levels. First off, I felt extremely sentimental packing up my car with the 5th graders work because they are moving on to middle school now. I placed each framed piece in the car and thought about how great the past 5 years of knowing these kids and their families has been. As I looked again at the talent from these 10 and 11 year olds, I felt really proud to see what strong creative minds each has become and what lovely people. 

The exhibit was one of the best in my professional teaching career. We journeyed to GFS a couple of times to soak up the immense beauty of the landscape and when we visited in November 2014, each student went with a mission to capture inspiration in many ways: via sketches, photographs, writings, etc. Back in the art room, we discussed ideas and materials. 

Above: Art ready to be hung for the exhibit; Below: Two students working on projects during Art Enrichment.

Here's the whole group before the art left for GFS in April.

The day of our opening was really special. GFS gave each Artist a special name tag and had a lovely spread of finger foods for everyone to eat. It was an honor to have our Superintendent of schools, Dr. Smith, Interim Principal, Mr. Welsh, District Elementary Coordinator, Mr. Umstead and Secretary, Ms. Kopcow along with their families attend the opening.

Later in the month, for our annual fourth grade field trip, it was especially meaningful to see Bear Tavern students view the exhibit. They were really impressed by the work and that kids that they know "are famous artists".

Congratulations to my students on a job well done.

Visit Grounds for Sculpture this summer for an experience like no other: www.groundsforsculpture.org

Sunday, June 21, 2015

2015 Summer Drawing Challenge

It's summertime! For this year's summer drawing challenge, instead of a custom designed page like you've received the past few years, I'm giving you three drawing challenges that I found on the web. Choose 30 or more of the drawing prompts across all three pages! Please check your email for my letter home that detailed the specifics of the challenge this summer!
I hope you have a fun, creative, relaxing summer and hopefully I'll see many of you!
I will be at Art in the Park the first couple of weeks of the summer and hope to see some of you. 
Thanks for an incredible year!
Mrs. Johnson

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Random Mumble: I'm Sorry Mother Earth

I found myself outside, by the dumpsters at Bear Tavern today spray painting frames for our upcoming exhibition. How terrible- spray painting on Earth Day. 
The grass had black outlines. Those that know me know that I love Earth Day. 

Every year we do a huge project at school related to using recyclables in our collaborative murals. This year, we had to hold off on our garden mosaics for Earth 
Day due to PARCC test prep and testing. Fortunately, we will be able to get some mosaic time in tomorrow as the numbers will be lower at school for Take Your Child to Work Day.
The third grade teachers who are quite artsy offered the idea to work on the murals during this "lower number day" So, we will be beautifying our garden space tomorrow for a bit. Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

April Tots on Tour

What a busy weekend at GFS! Usually the parking lot isn't packed when I pull in but it seemed as though the grounds had been open for hours when in reality, it had been only 10-15 minutes. 
Tomorrow will be another busy day as it is the annual 'Day at the Fair'(grounds)
The flowers are in full bloom and fed with the GFS super power plant food for the most amazing petal sizes.

One of the things I've cherished at GFS are the volunteers that help out with my Class. They are instrumental in making every single Tots run so easily for mall of these years.

Today, we set up for a printmaking/collage lesson using bubble wrap and painted papers... a project that I saw on Pinterest and saved for the perfect day.

The kids had a fun time painting the bubble wrap in sea colors. Then they painted warm colored papers to use for the fish. We sold out in the 11am class, as usual, and had decent numbers for the 1pm.
All in all, a great morning/afternoon.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

HVRSD Art Exhibit @ Capital Health- Hopewell

This afternoon we had a small opening event at Capital Health for the HVRSD art exhibit.
It was nice to see some of my favorite art colleagues and my students with their families. 
Below are the 6 boards for Bear Tavern that I filled up as much as I could.

Art in the Park 2015

It's registration time for Art in the Park- one of the most amazing local art camps!
Held in Kunkle Park, Pennington, campers can take a week of morning art and leave with a TON of fantastic projects taught by guest artists. 
This is my 8th year as a guest artist.... Goodness time flies! Email me if you would like to know which weeks I am teaching this year. 

Here's the link for registration. Get it in ASAP, Art in the Park always sells out!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Grade 4: Clay Castles

Clay castles are a project that we haven't been able to do each year due to time constraints, but I am happy that I could add this project in this year for my 4th graders (4B, 4V, 4M).
Below are a few pictures that I took on Monday. The school schedule has been so irregular recently, I am amazed we got this project in and it feels as though some classes took ages to complete it due to so many missed days!

We began by viewing a slideshow that detailed parts of a castle and using the iPads to look at different types of castles and their towers. Next was to create a sketch to follow. 
We discussed different methods of handbuilding in clay and students chose the best method for themselves. 
I really love the details that many students put on their castles.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Random Mumble: Best Part of the Day

Today had many good moments, teaching and otherwise. 
Actually, as I think about it, each and every class impressed me in some unique way today. 
With Mrs. Finnegan's 3rd grade class, it felt as though we could just spend the class period talking about Van Gogh and Lego Sculptures. With Van Gogh, I was impressed at how much my lovelies remembered from last year but moreso how great it was to analyze The Starry Night with them. We discussed line and color and the night sky on the French countryside. While I know a lot about Van Gogh, I feel personal fulfillment when a student asks me a question that I can't answer with 100% certainty. Why? Well, because the question must have been a great one and it requires me to learn more and think about my favorite artist in a new way. We explored making marks to indicate movement via charcoal and natural colored paper in honor of Van Gogh's beautiful preliminary sketches that ended up becoming the famous painting.
Here are a few photos of my students working. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Art of the Brick= A Must See!

One of the best parts of spring break was spending the day in Philly taking in the joy of the city, the warm spring air and checking out "The Art of Brick" exhibit at the Franklin Institute. 
I know that words like "awesome" and "amazing" and "cherish" and "adore" and "fantastic", "love", inspired", etc, etc. are a huge part of my vocabulary but seriously, this exhibit was all of these things. The price isn't cheap for a family of 4 but we went anyway and made a full day of the city. The exhibit was worth every penny in inspiration and looks amazement on our faces. Nathan Sawaya is the man behind the phenomenal sculptures all created from Legos. Thing is, he not only creates famous art reproductions in Legos but he creates the most outstanding figurative sculptures using anywhere from 1,700 Lego bricks up to 80,000. Without spoiling the exhibit, lets just say his work takes you on a journey. Curated beautifully, we traveled from room to room soaking up the creative and technical genius of Sawaya. 

'Yellow" is the iconic Sawaya sculpture on all of the advertisements. It's fantastic to see the sculpture of a chest being torn open with Legos spilling out. 

Below are a few more pictures from the exhibit. I took dozens of pictures but here are a few. 

Tree Hugger
Sawaya does public installations of tree huggers. Here I am at the photo op "station" hugging a fake tree.

I truly hope that you can take the time this spring or summer to visit this exhibit. You will not regret it.