November 12, 2019
Our ceramics class began their final project today.  The assignment?  Make anything (or things) you like.  Be sure to combine two of the hand-building techniques you learned, pinch, coil, slab, slump mold and include a texture.  The students have five classes to complete their work.  We will display their work at the Winter Concert.

October 23, 2019
In India and Pakistan many truck drivers decorate their trucks with elaborate, brightly colored paintings.  Because they often have to be away from home for many days at a time some drivers want their trucks to feel as comfortable as possible and sometimes decorate the cab of the truck as well with lush fabrics, paintings, and cushions.  First grade grade students learned about this tradition as part of a unit on Indian art.  The students made drawings of either a long trip they had been on or things that remind them of home.  Then they embellished their drawings with fabric, yarn, and handmade papers.

October 14, 2019
Today the fifth grades learned three brushstrokes used in Japanese ink painting, also called Sumi-e.  After practicing the brushstrokes, the students used 'how to sumi-e' handouts that show how to combine the different brushstrokes to create natural objects often seen in traditional sumi-e.  Finally, the students created their own original ink paintings using the techniques they learned.

September 20, 2019
Katshushika Hokusai's wood cut series thirty-six views of Mt. Fugi inspired the fifth and sixth grades work with printmaking.  Students chose to create a print either of a favorite place or a design inspired by water.  We used both traditional block printing ink and marker transfer printing.  When our prints dried, the students chose a few to embellish with a variety of media including watercolor and handmade papers.

September 6, 2019
First and second grades are starting off their year in art with a look at art from India.  They began by learning about the centuries old tradition of decorating the hands and feet with henna for special occasions.  The students traced their hands onto paper and then used marker to create detailed designs.

June 3, 2019
5th and 6th grade students learned about Cyanotype photography aka ‘Sun Prints, ’ in art class, on Monday.  We first looked at work by Anna Atkins, who is widely known as the first woman photographer for her early use of cyanotype to study and catalogue plants.  The students also learned about work by contemporary cyanotype artists Liesbet Bussche and Catherine Jansen.  Then we went to the Labyrinth in front of Hargroves house and made our own cyanotypes of plants and found objects.

May 30, 2019

What does Greene Street Friends School look like on Thursday mornings?  This week fifth and sixth grade students set out with iPAds to document classrooms, offices and community spaces around the school.  To get the students thinking as documentary photographers and continue our study of Chinese art, we looked work by Ai Weiwei, China’s most outspoken artist.  We began by looking at some of his most well-know pieces COCA COLA VASE and Sunflower Seeds.  Then we looked at his documentary photographs of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake.  Our class discussion focused on two questions: Why is documentary photography important?  How is documentary photography different from other types of photography?

Click here to see our documentary photos

May 15, 2019
Kelly Brown is a fiber artist who works with Philadelphia's Center for Creative Works.  She is both blind and deaf.  She communicates using tough sign language.  Inspired by her work, first and second grades learned how to weave using straw looms.  Then the students challenged themselves to close their eyes and choose yarn based on texture rather than color.

Click Here to learn more about Kelly Brown

May 5, 2019

Congratulations Tess!
Tess, our student teacher in the art room, was honored at Tyler University with the Jane D. Bonelli Art Education Award, which is awarded to one student teacher annually.  During her semester here, Tess brought many exciting new artists to our curriculum including local fiber artist Kelly Brown with the Center for Creative Works and Chinese photographer and video game designer Cao Fei.  To cap off her student teaching, Tess curated an exhibition of selected student artwork as part of The Art of Student Teaching show on Tyler’s campus.  The show featured artwork from twenty-three schools in the Philadelphia area and was well attended by Greene Street families.  We say goodbye to Tess this week.


April 23, 2019

We made a Community Quilt at the Social Studies Expo this year.  Each student made an 8inch square, with a paper cutout of their hand as the motif.  As you can imagine, the quilt is very large.  Our squares have all been put together to form a quilt on four bulletin boards.  Come see our quilt  on the third floor of the new building.

April 10, 2019
We can't wait for Newsies!   The actors are deep into rehearsals and the set crew is making the backdrop, a 1890's news stand, come alive. 

April 9, 2019

The Art of Student Teaching


Each year Tyler School of Art’s Art Education Department hosts an exhibition called the Art of Student Teaching.  Student teachers in art programs all over the city show off their students’ work.  Tess, our wonderful student teacher here at Green Street, will select a few pieces from each grade to represent each of the different projects she did with our students this semester.  Third grade will be honored with a special book showing their Love Postcards.  The reception is Sunday, April 28th from 2-4pm at the Stella Eakins Gallery at the Tyler School of Art.  Students whose work is selected will receive an invitation, but all are welcome to attend.

March 21, 2019
Karen Singer visited the Art Room today!  As a follow up to our field trip to her tile works, Karen came to visit the third grades during their art class.  She talked to the students about their work and offered advice as they glazed their own tiles.  Inspired by Karen's donor recognition murals, each student made a tile to honor someone or something that is important to them.

March 20, 2019
The 5th and 6th grades traveled to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art today to see their special exhibition Rina Banerjee: Make me a Summery of the World which includes sculptures and installations exploring identity and tradition in diasporic communities.  Our museum educators also led us in a figure drawing session.

By the way... PAFA offers FREE Family Artmaking Workshops every Sunday.  The workshops include FREE admission to the museum. 

Click here for a full calendar of PAFA's Free offerings.

March 8, 2019

What are the benefits and consequences of engaging in alternative realities?  This is a question explored by Chinese photographer and game designer Cao Fei.  Fifth grade students discussed her Cosplay series and created costumes for their own real-life avatars with a variety of media including fabric, yarn, and cardboard.  Next week the students will use green screen photography to place themselves in their fantasy settings.

March 5, 2019

Third and fourth grades kicked off our unit on Pennsylvania artists and art traditions with a visit to the LaSalle University Art Museum.  Our museum educator, Miranda, taught us about 17th century portraiture and the beginnings of the first art school in Philadelphia.  Then she showed us some paintings and collages by contemporary Philadelphia artists.  Before we left, we spent some time working in the museum’s studio as we drew pictures of our favorite Philadelphia places.  


Looking for something fun to do with your family?  The museum is free, open to the public, and right here in Germantown. 

Click here to visit the LaSalle Univiersity Art Museum's Website

February 26, 2019
Karen Singer has operated her tileworks in Germantown for 30 years.  She works on many kinds of tile projects from custom tiles for people's homes to large scale murals for businesses.  Today, she invited the third grades to come in for a tour.  She showed us her gallery, work stations, glaze color wall, and kilns.  Then she demonstrated how to use her giant slab roller and press the clay slab into a plaster mold to form a tile.  We are going to begin our own tile project in the art room next week.

February 13, 2019
Sankofa is a Ghanian word that means 'looking to the past to move forward.'  Artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson made mixed-media books that explore family and history.  First and second grades learned about her work as part of a unit on artists who explore Home, Family, and Community.  The students made their own books that tell family stories and embellished them with fabric, yarn, and wood.

Click Here: Animah Brenda Lynn Robinson shows us her studio

February 4, 2019
A grand time was had by all at the All School Art Show.  Students enjoyed showing off their art work, making masks, and drawing on the art room tables.

January 31, 2019
Architect Michael Reynolds fought the state of New Mexico for the right to build houses with old car tires and won.  Third and fourth grades learned about his Earth Ships as part of a unit on sustainable architecture.  We talked about renewable building materials, alternative energy sources, energy efficiency, and waste water management.  The students created their own structures with recycled and salvaged materials.

January 18, 2019
Photographer Carrie May Weems set up a tripod in her kitchen table and created narrative vignettes that prompt us to think about different kinds of relationships, with family, friends, and neighbors.  Fifth and sixth grade students learned about her Kitchen Table Series, as part of a unit on photography.  Then they chose roles as either models or directors as they created their own narrative photographs for our own Conference Table Series

Click Here to hear Carrie May Weems Talk about her work

January 17, 2019
Open Studio sews up a storm!  Every Thursday fifth and sixth grade students have the option to come for Open Studio during their lunch and recess.  This week several artists tried the featured project - sewing hats and scarves with cozy fleece fabric.

January 10, 2019
How can we keep our waterways clean?  Third and fourth grades are learning the importance of keeping storm drains clear, composting, avoiding pesticides, using biodegradable cleaners, recycling, and using less plastic, as they participate in the Delaware Estuary's annual Clean Water Poster Contest.  We will learn even more about how to care for our planet as we continue with our unit on environmental art and activist artists.

Click Here for Poster Contest Details

December 20, 2018
Cats, dogs, and foxes!  Multimedia artist Sandy Skoglund sculpts a multitude of animals in clay and creates elaborate sets for them.  Then she hires human actors and photographs them in the scene.  Fifth and sixth grade students are building miniature sets for their own work with photography.  What's next?  We will take a look at role mockups can play in set design for theater.

Click here see the making of a opera set - in action

November 29, 2018
Ansel Adams is a photographer and environmental activist famous for his pictures of our National Parks.  His Moon over Half Dome inspired fifth and sixth grades' work in the Tree Lab today.  The students worked in small groups to take photos, of our urban natural space, with the iPads.  Then after editing their photos back in the art room, each student chose one photograph to print.

November 20, 2018
Fourth grade traveled across Germantown Avenue to imPerFect Gallery, today, to see a retrospective of local artist (and Greene Street Grandparent) John Philips' work.  The artist gave us a special tour of some of his favorite pieces, including Joe Bubble Gum.  Then the students had a few minutes to draw from observation and enjoy refreshments in the gallery.

November 13, 2018
First grade glazes their pottery!  Students learned about how our kiln works, what "firing" pottery means, and why you can't put glaze on the bottom of a pot.   Then they chose from fifteen glazes to finish their pinch pots, using "test tiles" to help them pick their colors.

October 30, 2018
Clay has begun in the new art room!  Fifth and sixth grades are learning about pottery traditions in Burkina Faso.  Third and fourth grades are studying amphora from ancient Greece and first and second grades are looking closely at pottery from ancient China.  Everyone is making pottery! I can't wait to fire our new kiln.

October 23, 2018
One of the most biodiverse places on earth, Tanzania is home to many different kinds of animals.  Inspired by Tinga Tinga paintings from Tanzania, 5th and 6th grades researched and painted an African animal of their choice.  The class also learned about Tinga Tinga Tales, a Kenya based cartoon which tells African folk tales.

Click Here for a Behind the Scenes look at Tinga Tinga Tales

October 11, 2018
In the Odyssey, Penelope tells her many suitors that she could not possibly get married until she finishes weaving a tapestry.  She weaves all day.  Then at night she secretly undoes her weaving, so that she will never finish.  Third and forth grades read this story together and began learning about looms from ancient Greece and around the world.  Then they learned how to weave using a cardboard loom.

October 2, 2018
Albrecht Durer's engraving Melancholia contains many symbols of science and math including, calipers, a compass, and a magic square.  Unified Arts students explored Durer's work then did some printmaking of their own.  The students had the choice between mono-printing with Gelli plates and block printing.  Then they each gathered up their prints and chose one to embellish with watercolor, colored pencil, and handmade papers.

September 11, 2018
Who would be the patron of Athens?  Athena offered an olive tree.  Poseiden offered a geyser of salty water.  An epic battle ensued.  Third and fourth grades learned this story as they examined a reproduction of the Parthenon's west pediment together.  The students then designed their own buildings.  Each student included artwork in their design to tell the story of their building.

September 7, 2018
      Across the great lake I see two old men.  Their disheveled sidelocks brave the frost and wind.  Their fishing poles lie neglected; books alone they hold dear in this world

First and second grades began the year with a unit on Chinese Art.  We looked closely at a scroll painting featuring this poem, written in Chinese characters and talked about the mood of the painting.  Then the students used shading pencils to create their own landscapes in tones of grey.  I asked the students to think about places they have been that they really enjoyed.

June 7, 2018
5th and 6th grades celebrated their last art classes of the school year with stop motion animation.  Contemporary animator PES' Human Skateboard inspired their work in the art room, hallways, and stairwells.

May 30, 2018
Don a costume, strike a pose, and choose a background.  A master of disguise, photographer Cindy Sherman is famous for her self-portraits.  The twist is that she looks like a different person in each one of them.  Third grade learned about her work.  Then, working in small groups they had a blast with green screen photography. 

May 15, 2018
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama largs scale installations are featured at some of the world's most prominent contemporary art museums.   Infinity Mirrors at the Hirshhorn inspired the third and fourth grades' work with paper mache. 

April 30, 2018
The Art of Student Teaching Exhibition at Tyler School of Art was well attended by Greene Street families.  The students loved showing off their work and seeing what students at other schools were working on.  Third grade's origami installation attracted many oohs and aahs.  Congratulations to Maria on a beautful end to her semester of student teaching!

April 26, 2018
First and second grades learn to sew! Inspired by the intricate embroideries of Bangladesh and India, students learned the running stitch and the solid satin stitch.  Some students chose to draw their design out with marker first.  Others practiced freestyle stitching.

April 17, 2018
The Art of Student Teaching Exhibition at Tyler is right around the corner.  Our third grades are working on a collaborative installation that will be on exhibit in the gallery.  After a class of practicing origami with copy paper, the students each made origami forms on their own hand-printed paper.  Then they worked in small groups to make a giant background to hang with their origami pieces.

April 12, 2018
Our teaching associates gathered in the art room yesterday for a professional development on Arts Integration.  After a discussion of Kehinde Wiley's Portrait of President Obama, the group broke into activities.  Teachers could choose from a science connected lesson in botanical illustration, a math based lesson on tile design, a language arts based comic book illustration, or a life skills lesson using green screen photography.

April 10, 2018
Set design time is here.  We have had a great crew of artists working after school to paint the backdrop and twist paper into vines for our middle school musical Once On This Island.

April 4, 2018
First and second grade students learned how to weave with paper in study of Mayan Weaving.  Today the students embellished their weavings with drawing and collage.

March 22, 2018
Yesterday's big snowfall almost delayed our trip to the Art Museum today, but we made it!  The 5th and 6th grades visited the museum with a focus on religious art.  We compared a Chinese Buddhist temple with a Japanese Buddhist Temple.  We also learned the story of the Hindu God Ganesha and discussed a renaissance painting of the Christian Madonna and Child.  This trip complemented the learning that we did about the art of five world religions that we did earlier in the year.

March 12, 2018
Kamishibai is a form of Japanese storytelling which utilizes a small stage housing picture cards.  The storyteller reveals the pictures one at a time as they tell the story.  Before television was invented, Kamishibai was very popular.  Storytellers would travel to different neighborhoods and villages by bicycle.  The storyteller would sell candy and kids would gather around to hear the story.  Today Kamishibai is making a comeback in schools and parks around Japan.  With the guidance of student teacher, Maria Chambers, 5th and 6th graders worked in small groups to illustrate and tell stories.  Some groups wrote their own stories and others adapted well-known tales.

February 27, 2018
The Native American peoples of the Pacific Northwest make Totem Poles for many purposes.  Third and fourth grades learned about funerary poles, house poles, shame poles, and commemorative poles as part of a unit on Native American art traditions.  Each student made an animal that is special to them with cut paper.  Then the students worked together to put their animals together to make a Commemorative Class Totem Pole.

Click here to watch a traditional totem pole raising ceremony

February 21, 2018
Legend has it that if you tell your worry to a worry doll before you go to sleep and place it under your pillow, your worry will be gone in the morning.  First grades learned about Mayan weaving as part of a unit on Central and South American art.  We made worry dolls with yarn scraps.

February 12, 2018
Sixth grade tried their hand at sumi-e (ink painting) as part of a unit on Japanese art.  They learned three different brush stokes and had time to practice and experiment before beginning a formal composition.

Click here to learn more about Sumi-e

February 1, 2018
Carved from shells, wampum beads were strung to make belts by Native American groups in the League of Five Nations.  The belts were used as a guide to tell stories of traditions and history.  Third grade worked with beads to make small pennants.  They thought about how color could be used symbolically to express things that are important to them. 

January 29, 2018
This Saturday we celebrated the work of our young artists at the All School Art Show.  Guests chatted with the artists about their wok, enjoyed cookies and lemonade, and had the opportunity to make a beautiful carp windsock at the craft table. 

January 19, 2018
The All School Art Show is right around the corner.  The theme for this year is Open Studio.  Each class students compared two works of art and chose from two creative prompts for their artmaking.  Watercolor, tempera paint, and oil pastel were just a few of the media available for students to use.

Anna's third grade tells us about their work for the exhibition in this video.

December 9, 2017
Wire, plaster, pose, and proportion...  Fifth and sixth grades are making figurative sculpture inspired by Hindu sculptures from India as part of a unit on religious art.  As they began bending the wire to form an armature, the students were asked to think about times that they feel calm, confident, or engaged. 

November 17, 2017
Third and fourth grades went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art today to celebrate the end of a unit on Pop Art.  Our museum educators showed us around the modern and contemporary art wing.  We looked together at large-scale paintings by Picasso, Leger, and Johns.  We also had a lively debate about whether or not Duchamp's 'Ready Mades' deserved a place in the museum.

November 15, 2017
Harlem Renaissance artist Elizabeth Catlett and contemporary artist Willie Cole inspired Unified Arts work with silkscreen printing.  Their works Black is Beautiful II and American Domestic got us thinking about how symbols can help convey big ideas.  Students created symbols to represent things that are important to them and translated their designs into cut-paper stencils.

November 8, 2017
Japan,  Puerto Rico, Ghana, and Australia...  Masks from around the world inspired the first and second grades work with found materials.

October 30, 2017
Clause Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen made monumental sculpture that make us look at everyday objects in new ways.  Inspired by Clothespin, Paint Brush, and BLT, third and fourth grades made their own sculptures with found materials.

Click here to watch curators at the Whitney install BLT

October 19, 2017
India, China, Japan, and back to the United States all in one day!  The first and second grades traveled the world at the Philadelphia Museum of Art today.   The trip kicked off learning about artwork from each of the countries that the students will study later this year in their art classes.

October 11, 2017
Andy Warhol's silkscreen series Campbells Soup inspired the third and fourth grades' work with printmaking.  The students designed packages for their favorite products (real or imagined) and then transferred their designs onto styrofoam printmaking plates.  Students experimented with different combinations of colored inks and papers as they made their prints.

October 5, 2017
What do art teachers do when they are not teaching?  Make art!  I recently joined Prints Link Philadelphia, a group of art educators who are passionate about printmaking.  This past Sunday we led a printmaking workshop for art teachers from our region at Tyler School of Art in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Art Education Association.  We had a lot of fun experimenting with the materials and making collaborative prints.

Click Here to learn more about Prints Link

October 4, 2017
From cutting a pattern to threading a needle, embroidery, and using a sewing machine our sewing choices group tried them all as we created our own 'ugly' dolls.

September 25, 2017
The Hajj is a pilgrimage that Muslims make to Mecca to join with other Muslims, at the great Mosque, in prayer.  Fifth and sixth grade learned about the symbolism in Hajj paintings, from Egypt, as part of a unit on religious art.  The students drew and painted pictures of trips they made that felt special to them.

September 22, 2017
Flowers everywhere!  First and second grades are reading My Name is Georgia, a biography about painter Georgia O'Keeffe.  The students looked very closely and tried to notice tiny details as they practiced drawing flowers from observation.

September 8, 2017
We just finished our first week of classes in our newly remodeled Art Room!  First and second grades created paintings with shapes like Pablo Picasso did in his Three Musicians.   Third and fourth grades created 'One Word Poems' inspired by Robert Indiana's Love Sculpture.  Fifth and sixth grades began a study of religious art and created tile designs inspired by the Dome of the Rock.  Finally seventh and eighth grades began learning Photoshop as the explored Romare Bearden's The Block.