Thursday, May 24, 2018

Courbet's Realism: TAB Art History

I love art history. I really, truly do. So often art teachers fall into the trap of thinking students need to imitate an artist's style or a famous piece in order to show a connection. I've done this at times in the past, but what I most like to do is look for the BIG IDEA with the artist's work, and move forward from there.

I graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney's online Master's program in Art Education in 2016. I really enjoyed all the coursework and how I was able to make the work I was doing in the classes fit my teaching style. When I took the art history class, my goal was to create the lessons inspired by the unit we'd covered fit in with my TAB-Choice teaching. Some previous examples I've shared were American Regionalism & Contemporary Communities and Monet & Impressionism: Drawing from Memory v. Drawing from Life, which became part of our drawing boot camp. Courbet was introduced on Art History Thursday so students had time to absorb his ideas of what is REAL and to take photos from their own lives before jumping in to a studio project the following week.

The most important idea I wanted students to get is that their own lives are worthy of representation in their artwork! You can see the full lesson plan on the smARTteacher.

We had lots of representations of pets, places that are meaningful, friends, and even favorite candies. I love the range of subject matter created!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Franz Marc Discussion for National Standards

Last year I developed a one day lesson at the beginning of a unit on color to knock out several of the Respond and Connect National Visual Arts Standards for 7th grade. I wanted to choose an image with a subject that was familiar to the students in my rural school, but presented in a way they might not be familiar with- many of my students are very concrete in their views on art and prefer realism. Franz Marc was a good choice with the bright colors in his German Expressionist paintings of horses and cows- animals my farm living students see on a daily basis.

We started with a Visual Thinking Strategies style discussion and then moved into questions specifically connecting to the standards. 

You can get the complete lesson plan on The smARTteacher!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Digital Op Art

I can't believe I haven't posted this project before! I tried it for the first time with my Computer Graphics class this year and it was a keeper. We covered art history, graphic design, and practiced some new skills in photoshop.
When I show the first slide without the Op Art title, I ask the students if they know what that style of artwork is called or if it reminds them of anything to gauge their prior knowledge. We talk about the "mother" and "father" of Op Art and what we can learn to apply to graphic design.

Next, I demonstrate some techniques in photoshop that the students can try out but ultimately they choose what style of Op Art they want to use. We talk about color combinations, grid/ruler tools, gradient tools, distortion filters, etc.
The technique that the most students want to use is to put text into their Op Art. I recorded a quick video this afternoon of the steps we use. I obviously need to practice screen recording since I flubbed the beginning and end, but at least it will be handy to direct students to that video when they've forgotten a step!

Here are some of the student examples!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Mardi Gras Prom

I posted a little while ago about being a prom sponsor and the very first prom I planned inspired by Back to the Future. The second prom we worked on was a Mardi Gras theme. I started collecting ideas and inspiration on a Pinterest board and added anything that the committees sent me. If you ever do this prom theme, was the cheapest place I could find to order throw beads, and we ordered a bunch! 
Here are some pictures of our set up.

We made chandeliers out of tomato cages and a hula hoop for the large one. The throw beads were strung with loops of fishing line. The largest chandelier had purple, green, and gold ball ornaments I bought 50% off after Christmas. I can't find the picture now but the chandeliers looked really cool on the big night.

Centerpieces were small glass globes from Dollar Tree- you can order a case and get it shipped to the store for free- filled with purple water beads and glittery floral picks I also bought really cheap after Christmas. The table numbers are gold vinyl on green glitter paper sandwiched around a gold spray painted bamboo skewers. The water beads looked really cool, but I don't know if I'll use them again as the students were REALLY in to bouncing them across the floor and I was afraid someone would slip.

We alternated purple, green, and gold 19" gossamer as a table runner with a thinner gold mylar ribbon down the center. We used the same gold ribbon between wider purple gossamer to decorate the ceiling.

We had Mardi Gras beads around each set of flatware and extras in an old suitcase. There were still a ton leftover after prom. Thankfully our school colors are green and gold so they are serving as spirit items and I was able to sell the leftover purple necklaces to another school so they can use them as a fundraiser.
And here is a picture of me with my forever prom date. He makes supervising prom a lot more enjoyable.