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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Picasso Faces, Many Many Masks, and a Cozy Fireplace! Oh my!

As usual, there are many things going on in the art room...maybe we should call it a creative frenzy. 
Preschoolers have been learning about the warm colors--red, orange, and yellow. Inspired by this idea, we used the warm colors to create a very warm looking (and chilly weather appropriate) representation of a fireplace. Children used collage techniques to add tissue paper to the fire and crayon rubbing to add texture to the bricks. 
Here you can see some warm "kitties" lounging and enjoying the cozy ambiance. 
Kindergarten students have been creating ripped paper self portraits. We discussed the definition of a self-portrait--a picture you make of yourself--and we have been focusing on all the different important parts of ourselves that we need to make sure to include in our pictures to add realism. 
First and second grade students have been learning about the Cubist movement and, specifically, about artist Pablo Picasso. We viewed and made observations of several of Picasso's "mixed up" faces. Students noticed that he often portrays faces from two angles at once!  
Using this idea, the students were very cooperative as I traced each of their faces. We, then, created our own mixed up faces with the actual silhouette of each student right in the center.
In other news, the art room is being taken over by animal and solar system masks. The third graders have been working hard to create representations of the animals they had studied in their biome unit. Meanwhile, the fourth graders have been creating masks of differing celestial bodies. 
Students began the project by considering the idea of form in 3D art. I.e. What 3D materials can I add to my mask in order to make it the shape of my animal/celestial body? Then, each child had to come up with a plan (written or drawn) to make their ideas a reality.
Student used various 3D building materials to change or add to the form of the mask. Afterwards, these details were secured to the mask using papier mache. 
Students then had to consider the use of color and texture. What colors is my animal/planet? What textures do I notice? AND what paint techniques could I try to imitate that texture?
Lastly, we have been doing all this hard work in a "standing" classroom. In other words, we have not been using chairs. Mr Spence very kindly raised the heights of several tables to accommodate. 
Many students seem to prefer doing artwork standing and a great deal of research has proven that our brains like movement, so standing it is!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tea with the Queen

Kindergarten students were lucky enough to have Tea with the "Queen" in art! Our very fancy tea party was the grand finale of our teacup making clay project. Each student was able to actually use their very own handmade teacup!
Kindergarten students began the project by learning all about clay. What it is, where it comes from, and what kinds of things we use each day that are made from clay. Students were also able to play and experiment with the fun 3D media. 
The next week, the children learned the pinch pot technique to make the base of the teacup and rolled a "snake" into a "snail" for a spiral handle. After the teacups were fired in the kiln, the children very carefully glazed their cups using three coats of glaze.


To kick off our tea party, we read the children's book "Tea with the Queen" by Sarah Ferguson the Duchess of York. Her majesty, the Queen (Mrs. Gilbar) was able to join us and wear a very fancy paper crown. In Mrs. Mumford's class I was lucky enough to be the Queen for a day! 
While the children sipped their tea they each decorated a fancy plate and drew what foods they would like to be eating at our tea party. There were a lot of cupcakes, but also a few carrots.

It was meaningful for the students to be able to utilize a piece of their art and it was so much fun to have a Kindergarten Tea Party.