Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bear Tavern PTO Auction Masterpieces

The Bear Tavern PTO is an amazing group of dedicated parents. Below are the painted masterpieces that my students collaboratively painted between December and March. It took us forever to multi-task this project but was well worth it. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Grade 5: Gargoyles

We started sculpting gargoyles in 5th grade at Bear Tavern. At Toll Gate the 5th graders are happily working on their tiles. 
Using cardboard coffee carriers, we cut them apart and are using them as a foundation for scary gargoyle faces. Above are the first 2 steps. The kids have used wire, paper and cardboard to build up many more features (tongue, antlers, you name it!)
We will use plaster gauze (one of my top favorite art materials) to make the gargoyles look realistic. 
We looked at European Gargoyles and discussed their symbolism on the sides of churches as well as their function as a water spout. Check back for more pictures as we make progress.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grade 4: Giacometti Wire and Plaster Sculptures

Today at Toll Gate and starting tomorrow at Bear Tavern we are finally using the tuna cans we brought in as the base for a figurative sculpture using wire and plaster.
Sculpture rocks. It's another way of allowing kids to express themselves and utilize materials that spark a different interest.
If you would like to make a sculpture like this at home:

1. Take a round can (tuna fish, cat food, etc) and hammer 2 holes into the base. I used a thick nail and a hammer to make the holes as I couldn't find my awl.
2. Make the legs from 2 seperate pieces of wire by foldong them in half and twisting to make stronger.
3. Secure the legs to the inside of the can by feeding the wire through the holes and securing with tape.
4. Twist the legs together to make the torso and the extra wires makes the arms
5. Small piece of looped wire for the head. Wrap the ends to the torso and secure with tape.
Put figure into a favorite or interesting pose!
6. Wrap Plaster gauze dipped in water around the wires. The kids started at the bottom and began to work their way up so that the sculpture isn't top heavy.

We will finish these in week 2 and cover with a metallic paint the week after.

We talked about Swiss Sculptor Alberto Giacometti and his Surreal sculptures that depict a mood. 'Man Walking' sold for over $100 million dollars not too long ago. The bronze sculpture is skinny and quite tall.

Grade 1: Monet Bridge

Day one of Monet's Japanese Bridge at Giverny paintings= sponges only!

We painted tons of colors all over our canvas boards to create a blurry backdrop for out paintings. It was difficult to visual at times without the bridge in place and the flowers in detail but we really had fun mixing colors and creating texture with the sponges. Next week we will add our bridge in and create clear details on the flowers in the foreground.

Grade 3: Getting set for Empty Bowls

It's almost time for our 2nd Annual Empty Bowls event at Bear Tavern! 
3rd graders have been crafting their slab bowls and glazing them beautiful colors. They have also been working hard to learn songs  on one of the greatest instruments of all time..the recorder (I still have mine from 3rd grade) to perform at the Empty Bowls event on Thursday 3/29.
The event raises money for local food banks to fight hunger. We are focusing on domestic hunger awareness and sending food donations and the money raised by selling the bowls to the Mercer Street Friends food bank in Princeton. 

We talked about what it means to be a hungry child (consistent lack of proper foods in adequate  proportions) and some of the reasons why a family might not be able to provide adequate meals. 
3 Hulme Bowls loaded in the kiln ready for firing

We discussed food banks and how they can be used by qualifying families to boost their food supply until they are stable again. 

Last year, the 3rd graders raised over $1,000 in 45 minutes which was sent to the Crisis Ministry of Princeton/Trenton's food pantry and to the American Red Cross for hunger efforts in Japan after the tsunami hit. 

I will post more pics sometime next week!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Doodle 4 Google

Dear 4th and 5th graders,
YOU ARE SO AWESOME!!! Mailing out your Doodle 4 Google entries was a very proud moment for me. You all worked so hard to answer the question "If I could travel in time, I'd visit..."via a clear and direct illustration.
I can't wait to post a sample of your entries to my blog as we near May and the State Finalists are announced.
Win or lose, you all are terrific and I appreciate your hard work. Mailing your entries, I knew each of you won in your own personal way.
Keep up the great work. I love ya!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Van Gogh Exhibit @ The Philadelphia Museum of Art and a fun day in Philly

Van Gogh has been a long running favorite artist of mine and quite likely my favorite "Master" artist.
I had attempted to see the exhibit several weeks ago, had a tough time parking and did not pre-purchase tickets. Result: my family was in a long line and ended up at the nearby Franklin Institute instead.

Yesterday, refusing to pay an extra $3.50 per ticket to buy ticket in advance, we purchased tickets in person at the museum (10:30 this time) for a later afternoon tour. *Great*

We explored Philly for most of the afternoon in the Rittenhouse area and ate at a great restaurant called Marathon. The weather was beautiful and Philly was fairly quiet but with a comfortable bustle.
St. Patrick's Day the day before was most likely the culprit.

The Van Gogh: Up Close exhibit was incredible. Showcased were paintings focusing on landscapes that he created over a four year period.
His famous 'Sunflowers' took a backseat to numerous other paintings that were so alive with color and his incredible brushstrokes. The paint on those canvasses was so thick in places I wish that I could have seen him painting them.

Here's the personal bonus: My FAVORITE Asian artist, HIROSHIGE, had several of his woodcuts on display inside the Van Gogh exhibit because Van Gogh was a collector of his work. Oh my, they were soooo beautiful!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dr. Seuss is fun

March is Literacy Awareness month and we begin this special month by celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2, which is also Read Across America Day. 

We read "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" in class and created these imaginary characters inspired by Dr. Seuss, his incredible rhyming and favorite colors to use in illustrations (red, yellow, blue and green)