ART BLOG!

October 20, 2020
Adire cloth is a batik fabric made by creating designs with wax (or vegetable starch) which then acts as a resist to the deep blue indigo dye.  Fifth and sixth grade students learned about Adire cloth as part of their unit on African art.  The students made their own batik designs on paper with a choice of materials.  Each design was required to have a central image, a border design, and a corner motif.


Click here to see how you can make your own batik inspired designs




October 13, 2020

Legend has it that the first Kente weavers learned their craft by watching a spider weave its web.  Ghana is famous for its textiles including Kente which is hand-woven in long strips.  Fifth and sixth grades learned about the colors and symbols of Kente as part of a unit on African art.  The students practiced their weaving skills on small cardboard looms.

Click here to see how Kente is made


September 22, 2020
Hand held fans have a ling history in China.  In fact, many historians believe that the Chinese invented the fan.  The first fans were made with feathers.  Exquisitely painted fans have been cherished and given a special gifts for centuries.  First and second grade students learned about this tradition and the made their own accordion-style folded fans.


September 17, 2020

Graphic Design students began their journey by learning about pictograms, simple pictures that convey messages that are easily “read’ and understood.   We examined several road signs which use pictograms.  Then we learned how to use the shape and selection tools in PIXLR to make our own Funny Road Signs.

Click Here to Try PIXLR

Click here to learn how to make your own road sign



September 11, 2020

First week back!  First and second grades have begun a unit on art from China.  We began by learning about Chinese characters and traditional scroll paintings.  Third and fourth grades are learning all about art from Pennsylvania from hex signs to Philadelphia’s Magic Garden.  The art of Africa is inspiring fifth and sixth grades.  We began with ancient Egyptian wall paintings and will learn about tradition textiles and contemporary artists from many African countries. Finally, seventh and eighth grade Arts Electives students have embarked on a graphic design journey using PIXLR, a free online photo-editing program.

 
May 20, 2020
Famous art recreations have been blowing up on social media.  Here in the virtual art room, at Greene Street we decided to get in the game with the Famous Art Challenge!

Click here to see a video of all of our recreations
Click here to see the Video lesson

April 28, 2020

We have some exciting things happening in the Virtual Art Room.  Third and fourth grade students honored special people and pets with place settings inspired by Judy Chicago’s landmark feminist artwork The Dinner Party.  Using dinner wear from their cupboards with hand-made place cards, the students documented their work with photography.  They thought carefully about lighting and framing their work in the camera.

Click Here to see the Full Lesson

Click Here to see the Students’ Work

 

During the Great Depression, our federal government sponsored a massive poster campaign as part of the New Deal and Works Progress Association (WPA).  The WPA sponsored print shops and paid artists to design posters to encourage public health, work-place safety, the arts, civic pride, and later the war effort.  Fifth and sixth grade students used a free photo editing program, PIXLR to create posters to help people in our current times. 

Click Here to see the Full Lesson
Click Here to see the Students’ Work
Click Here to try PIXLR

 

April 2, 2020
The Virtual Art Room is happening!  Third and fourth graders learned about photographer Cindy Sherman as part of our unit on Contemporary Artists.  Their at-home assignment was to dress up in a costume and take have someone take their photo in a setting that matched their costume.




March 6, 2020

Sixth grade students created their own utopias as an interdisciplinary project in their language arts, science, and visual arts classes.  They began by reading The Giver, and City of Ember.  After discussing what makes a perfect society the students worked in small groups to design and conceptualize their own utopian societies, including how success is measured in their utopia.  In science class, the students learned about genetics and each group decided which genetic technologies they will allow in their utopia and which ones might be unethical.  In art class, the students learned about the work of architects who design for people’s and environmental well-being.  The groups designed homes or public spaces for their utopias and built small models in cardboard. Today the sixth grades presented their projects to their teachers and the seventh grades.


March 5, 2020

Our new Arts Elective, Painting and Drawing Intensive, began on Tuesday.  We got warmed up by practicing shading three-dimensional forms in our sketchbooks.  Then the students worked together to build structures with blocks and challenged themselves to draw those structures using perspective and shading to show form.



February 6, 2020

Inspired by Hindu sculptures, Shiva Nataraja and Dancing Ganesha, sixth grade students are making figurative sculpture.  I asked them to think about times when they feel happy and peaceful.  Students learned how to sculpt a basic figure and make a supportive base.  We engaged in this work as part of our unit on religious art.  They will add the finishing touches on Tuesday.



February 5, 2020
If you have a worry you can tell it to your worry doll before you go to sleep and in the morning your worry will be gone.  I don’t know if it true or not, but many people have told me it works.  Worry dolls are made in Guatemala often with scraps from weaving and embroidery.  First grade students made worry dolls today as part of unit of art traditions of Central and South America.


February 2, 2020
Everyone who attended the All School Art Show reception on Saturday was treated to amazing artwork, refreshments, mandala coloring, and Valentine card making.  Weren’t able to make it?  You can still stop by…  The exhibit will be up in the Armat Buildings through February 14th.  You will find first grade work in the lobby on the first floor, Pre-K and K on the second floor, and work by students second grade and up on the third floor.   


January 16, 2020
Teaching Associates took over the art room today for a TA Workshop, "An Introduction to Basic Art Supplies."  We had five stations with a different lesson and media at each.  Teachers could immerse themselves in one media or move around and try them all.  Pottery, printmaking, and batik were the favorites!



January 15, 2020
Inspired by Alebrijes  from Mexico City, first grade students used mixed media to create creatures the world has never seen before.  We are taking an art tour of Central and South America, finding each on the map as we go and learning about different traditions.





January 9, 2020
My article, "Don't Be Afraid of Religious Art: Thinking Through and Resources for Art Educators" was published in this month's Art Education: The Journal of the National Art Education Association.  You  can download the PDF below.