8th Grade students created portraits of animals to accompany their community project to support the Humane League. After learning about using art for advocacy, they used the math and grid method to measure and get accurate proportions in their work. They chose materials like watercolor, oil pastel, colored pencil, or acrylic paint to make their portraits. They also created posters on their computers to accompany their chosen pets, some of which were actual animals available for adoption!
Andy Warhol would be proud of these 8th graders who created interesting oversized compositions from basic candy wrappers. What is your favorite candy?
After weeks of hanging artwork and preparation, this past week was the middle school art show. This night of art is usually paired with the vocal ensemble and bands; however, this year that was not to be so. In its place rose the idea of a poetry slam. It was a great night where the students were able to express themselves through their original poetry and visual art. This night was just another example of how important the arts are in our school.
There is nothing more exciting for the students than seeing their work on display. Today we had the pleasure of participating in the end of semester reception featuring all the student’s wonderful work. It was such a delight for me to meet their parents and listen as the students proudly explained their work. I was pleased that they felt like real artists and owned their work. No two were the same and there were smiles all around.
With this class being over, I will certainly miss our students and hope that they will continue to appreciate and push forward with their own work. It is always an honor to be a part of their creative journey. I am already looking forward to and planning for my next adventure in the art classroom. I am going to go from teaching junior high students back to K through 4th graders. Stay tuned!
Students were required to pick an animal they felt best represented them. We talked about the symbolism of animals in art throughout history, their own character traits and how they would apply them in a hybrid drawing of themselves as the animal. Emphasis is placed upon their animal character. We had noticed how some of them are very interested in manga drawings so we allowed them to use that style if they wanted. We also had my daughter (who is in high school) visit and do a demonstration on Manga drawing. They seemed to really enjoy this project. Some students had never worked on black paper or the pastels so this really pushed them out of their comfort level. After a brief demonstration with the materials they were inspired to get to it.
Materials: Heavy black drawing paper, oil pastels, prismacolors
This week the students created a vessel from self-hardening clay using the coil and/or slab method that represents their interpretation of the settings in which they live or dream of living in. Shape, texture, and architectural details were emphasized. After a brief slideshow, they were given worksheets that they could reference for architectural details, then spent some times working out their creations in their sketchbooks.
The vessels will be painted with tempera and sealed with glossy modge podge next week. They seemed to really enjoy working with the materials and each piece was very different. I very much enjoyed hearing their stories as to why they included certain things.
Materials: Self-hardening clay, various clay hand building tools, trays, paint, brushes, mod podge.
Time: 2 sessions
For this project, students designed a weaving using materials that describe them as a person. During the first class, we had the opportunity to view the works of artist Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia who was having a show in the gallery. The school also arranged for the students to meet with him for a Q&A. After learning about his creative process and symbolic meanings in his weavings we moved into the classroom where the students wove materials onto looms that symbolized things that are important to them.
Much like the artist, they started by creating a watercolor using colors that meant something to them. Some were inspired by music, their pets, their favorite colors, what they were feeling at that moment. We let the watercolors dry and sliced them down to 1/4″ strips in the papercutter.
They used the paper along with other materials we provided or items they brought from home. Each weaving became a unique personal statement for each of the students. We were very pleased with the results!
Another alternative to this project is having them only weave the strips of paper they created.
Materials: Mat board for loom, heavy thread, plastic weaving needles, beads, raffia, various strings and papers.