Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jae Ko @ GFS

I am looking forward to the opening of Installation Artist Jae Ko's exhibit at Grounds for Sculpture this spring. 
I took a peek in at the installation in progress this weekend and it is spectacular. I walked around with my hand over my heart looking at the rolls of heavy, gorgeous recycled paper that she unrolls and sculpts into her wall installations. Just last month my Tots class was in the spectacular East Gallery- now, Jae Ko's work is slowly making the walls incredible.
I took some really great pictures and will post more after the exhibit is open to the public at the end of March. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Grade 3: Chinese Dragons

This picture is why I love being a teacher... And this one too...

I began blogging several years ago as a means of communicating our days in the art room with Bear Tavern families but found comfort in talking about projects just as much. There's SO much going on related to education right now but these pictures are my goal for each day. Despite paperwork and meetings and this and that... it's these smiles that keep me alive. I guess any mom reading those knows exactly what I mean and on a higher level of thought that we share. We do what we need to do for our children's smiles. 

If you have stopped by the room in the patsy few weeks, you know that we have major sculptural projects going on with 8 classes. I accidentally slipped and told my 3rd graders we would be creating clay dragons for Chinese New Year. Well, they have perfect memories for anything clay. So, although a neater, 2D project would have been easier, I couldn't go back on my word. So, out came the clay. And the rest became a magical moment. 
We tend to talk a lot and all sorts of conversations can come up while creating art but the conversation about our dragons as we created them were incredible. By the time class was over, the ownership of these dragons was through the roof and we had a clear idea of the personality of each dragon, storylines, fantasy thinking about where the dragons came from and where they are headed... When they say "get lost in your art" we definitely were there today 200%.

The process was an easy one. Begin with a body and let your imagination go wild! Some kids had wings, others had powerful tails. We added scales for texture on most but it was up to each artist to determine what their dragon needed. 

(Love the idea for spikes on this guy... They will have to be added back in after bisque firing in the kiln)
The kids are doing a writing piece with their homeroom teacher about their dragons. I can't wait to read them.

Hope you're all having a great week. Happy Chinese New Year!

Kindergarten Pandas

A few weeks ago, the kindergarteners returned to the art room to create an Eric Carle inspired piece of art. Every year at this time, I sneak in Asian inspired art, when possible, to pay tribute to Chinese New Year. 
There are so many wonderful books by Carle. I decided not to focus on a particular book and to focus on just parts of his style instead and facts about panda bears (slowly becoming one of my favorite animals). They are reading a TON of Carle books in their classroom.
We made these panda scrolls happily together. Since I last saw the KG classes in the Fall, they've already grown so much!
We began with drawing and painting a cute panda bear face. 
Then on to the collages bamboo forest! We altered, layered, and experimented with tissue paper and assorted paper to create these fantastic backgrounds and then glued the panda face down.
Look at those cute faces! 

Check out the display of the pandas when you're at BT for the Book Fair kick-off on Friday evening!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Grade 2: Clay Hearts

We found some time to make a little Valentine's Day gift this year. Here are some sweet clay textured hearts that my second graders made. 

Ok, so as a mom, these pictures just hit a very sentimental button!

The hearts were made out of clay, fired and decorated with color. 
A string or magnet was added to the back.

Random Mumble: Art and Sports

One of the conversations that I find myself having with parents (especially those of former students who are now in middle school or high school) is how special I think it is when kids take a strong interest in both art and athletics.
A self-proclaimed "art jock" in high school, sports have been and always will be a very important part of my formative years and current interests. 
Looking back, I'm not sure of who I would be as a person without soccer, lacrosse and art in my life.

Both taught me a degree of discipline, working hard, enjoying being playful and exploring creativity.
In as much as I had a sketchbook, camera, lanyard strings or cool pencil on hand, I always... Always, always, always had my shin guards and cleats right there with me.
It's exciting to me that we don't have to be just "one thing" and that my students are able to value both sports and art without feeling as though the two conflict.
It warms my heart to hear students talking about how much they love both and a special place goes to my students who take extra art after-school and then change clothes for basketball or soccer practice.
Thinking out loud.
Mrs. Johnson