Sunday, November 11, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
In a press release issued for an art exhibition of the Builders series in 2011, DC Moore Gallery wrote: "Jacob Lawrence: Builders features paintings, drawings, and prints that communicate the artist’s belief in the possibility of building a better world through skill, ingenuity, hard work, and collaboration. For the last three decades of his life, Lawrence (1917-2000) consistently pursued the Builders theme, creating a sequence of vibrant modernist images that highlight his pervasive humanist vision. The Builders concept first appeared in Lawrence’s work in the mid-1940s, but assumed greater importance in the late 1960s and soon became a major focus. His subjects were carpenters, cabinetmakers, bricklayers, and construction workers in a variety of workaday and family situations. Overall, they came to symbolize some of his larger ideas about American culture, hope, persistence, and the shared responsibility for transforming society, inspired, as he once said, by his 'own observations of the human condition.'"
Jacob Lawrence wrote: "I like the symbolism. … I think of it as man’s aspiration, as a constructive tool— man building. "
We, in turn, think about his work and discuss what it means to build a collaborative environment where we are safe to create and exchange ideas. That is what the Fine Arts Studio aims to be.
As an extension of the conversation, and to learn more about Jacob Lawrence and his work, take a look at this Artsology online art game, comparing two images of Lawrence's Builders. The website is a great resource about art history, as well. Click here: Artsology Jacob Lawrence art gameImage source: http://www.harding.edu/gclayton/2DDesign/Crits/Crit004_LawrenceBuilders.html
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
We began the second session by discussing what we thought would happen if we shared with other artists: exchanging parts of our own work with others. We had experienced collaboration via TASK (see Oliver Herring) and watched Janine Antoni's "Moor" where she integrated others' contributions to her work. They then were instructed to cut out the heart and divide it into quarters. Some were horrified that they were expected to take their work apart. Others were excited to share with specific individuals in the class. Other students decided the work was most important and judged which works were to be part of the final work. It had to fit artistically for them and they were ready to influence or beg to get the parts they wanted. It was fascinating. As the students worked through the problem of exchanging the quarters to form the heart, they also became aesthetically critical, deciding how to transform the collage into their own once more using color sticks on the background. Their artist statement, which they shared on the back of their work, focused on one of the following prompts:
What surprised you by using someone else's work in your own work of art?
How did you feel about sharing your work with another artist?
How did you integrate other artists' work into your original art?
I think the process caused my students to evaluate their connection to their own work. As they continue to develop a relationship to their art making and with other artists, I wonder how they will grow as artists.
What are some ways you push your students to re-evaluate their process?
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Here are the rules:
1- Choose FIVE up and coming blogs to which you award the Liebster. Blogs must have less than 200 followers.
2- Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3-Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites
Here are my nominees:
1. Atelierista Blog at http://atelierista-anna.blogspot.com/ for her Reggio approach to teaching
2. New City Arts at http://newcityarts.blogspot.com/ for Shannah's wonderful ideas and her creative approach integrating the multiple intelligences
3. Artful Artsy Amy at http://artfulartsyamy.blogspot.com/ for sharing her middle school art class "life" and the realities of teaching
4. Modern Art 4 Kids http://modernart4kids.blogspot.com/ shares exploration in art in a homeschool setting
5. Art Class Works with Lori in NJ http://artclassworks.blogspot.com/ Lori shares advocacy, and interdisciplinary projects.
I can't wait to read more from you all. Which blogs will you nominate?
Sunday, February 26, 2012
In preparation for the institute, we were asked to read Olivia Gude's article, Postmodern Principles, featured in Art Education, January 2004, and here published on her Digication portfolio. We then just recently had the opportunity to visit with Gude as part of our online sessions, and this is where I heard about her work entitled Principles of Possibility. I was excited to read her article, as it dealt in part with raising the bar for individual student's connection to their own works of art. While I maintain that a broad understanding of art history, that includes artists from a variety of periods and styles, where students can also develop beginning technical skill in a variety of media is important (especially at the formative elementary level) I see her point. She refers to Terry Barrett's "Principles of Interpretation" as an excellent framework by which teachers:
can organize instruction and students can search for meaning within artworks. Principles such as "Artworks are always about something" and "Artworks attract multiple interpretations and it is not the goal of interpretation to arrive at a single, grand, unified, composite interpretation" focus students on making thoughtful evidence-based investigations of the meanings generated by visual images, including theartworks they themselves make. (Barrett,2003, p. 198)
Engaging students in the conversation about themes and the big ideas behind art encourages them to be involved with their artwork. The understanding of how the work evolved would be purely superficial if the whole discussion dealt only with the elements of art, like line and color, that were used to create the work. Why did the artist create? What story is the artist trying to tell? What point is the artist trying to make about what is happening in society? What is the reason for the work? What does it mean?
This year, with my integration of Art:21 materials as well as other resources, I am focusing on the big idea of "Art is relationships." In coming face to face with contemporary art, we reason with ourselves to understand the meaning behind the artist's work. What does it connect to and why? A lot of our work in the studio evolves through a collaborative engagement in the medium. We are all part of the work: we learn from each other, we share our ideas, we grow and develop as artists. Oliver Herring's art work: TASK, is decidedly the best example of "Art is relationships." that I can find. I am excited to participate in the NAEA Task Party, as it will take TASK to a whole new level. Gude writes: "Artists create social spaces -temporary and permanent opportunities for people to connect and interact." TASK is an artistic experience in creating an evolving, creative, interactive social space.
Have you ever been a part of TASK? What was your experience?
Photo taken at Oliver Herring's studio with "Gloria" by Oliver Herring. Summer 2011
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
My students took their enthusiasm from reading The Sixty-Eight Rooms, by Marianne Malone, and created their own peephole dioramas. We referred to the Otherworldly exhibit held at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City, which I saw with my Art21 colleagues. We had created our own dioramas using a variety of materials, and showcased our finished work at the museum. Each had a unique perspective and engaged the viewer in a narrative informed by the design. My students each determined the look they wanted by adapting cardboard, paper, paint, designer fabric remnants, and Model Magic for furniture and accessories. Each had to determine which aspects and details of an interior space would define the person who lived there. Which details would be omitted and why?
“First we shape our buildings, then they shape us” --Winston Churchill, 1943
Or do they? As my students explored interior spaces and the view from their space, they also had to consider what interests and needs this individual had. What was happening at that moment for this character when time stood still?
Each student created the diorama and wrote a story about the character. They recorded these last week, perhaps a podcast of these stories will come next. What I thought fascinating was that these characters were not defined by the space in which they lived... That was just a part of the story. The rest was "out of the box."
The peephole dioramas are on display on our Artsonia Gallery.
If your students have read The Sixty-Eight Rooms, I encourage you to give Escape from Thorne Mansion Interactive by the Art Institute of Chicago a try. You'll find a review by the Teaching Palette here: Escape from Thorne Mansion Interactive. I found it was good to allow students to partner with each other. Also, be sure your school filters don't block the pop-ups! You need those for the clues!