Sunday, May 12, 2013

Grade 1: For the Love of Nevelson

Every artist has a process that they go through to create art and materials that they are drawn to. My process, unfortunately, deals with collecting, using difficult materials, bulk and committing my studio environment to the materials in the art making process. Anyone that knows me well knows that I love green art and recyclables, installation art and have a passion for mosaics. 
So I was grumbling to myself as I took out these bulky materials to let my 1st graders dig through and explore to create a found objects sculpture after we discussed Louise Nevelson's work. I knew as I pulled all of these assorted supplies out that they had the potential to end up all over the place and unsorted but that it was all for the love of Nevelson (and a deeper love for my students).

See exhibit A. 

Exhibit A: Messy table

Louise Nevelson is one of my favorite female artists and one of my very favorite sculptors. I love her use of found objects and the use of monochromatic color. The first art lesson that I ever saw taught on Nevelson was by Donna Cariola, art teacher extraordinaire at our local middle school. She teaches her lesson using a shoebox that the kids build in. Makes sense. Nevelson's sculptures tend to be built inside of square and rectangular structures.
 See exhibit B and C
Exhibit B

Exhibit C... love, love, love.

I wanted to capture just a little of Nevelson without using too much of Mrs. Cariola's project so I decided to have the kids search for objects, mostly all wooden and build with those objects on a piece of small cardboard. Here we are after about 35 minutes of building. The kids had a lot of fun. Next week they will continue to add pieces and then they will select a single color to paint their work. Check back next weekend for results. You will be amazed at how much more the kids add and how a single color unifies the piece.

And the first grade cell phones. 
 A few kids managed to sneak in these cell phones. Little flip phones. My gosh, they were so excited by this simple paper with the little numbers they added to them. 
When I was in 1st grade cell phones didn't even exist. When I was in high school they were just being introduced. Well, as long as they are happy creating!

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