As the winter ebbs (very slowly, I might add), our student artists are either finishing up or starting new projects.
First grade is currently making a collage portrait in the style of 16th. century Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who depicted his subjects' faces as combinations of fruits and/or vegetables! Previously, I pointed out the new (rather boring looking) communications tower near our school to the students and then read them a book on the magnificent Watts towers built by Simon Rodia in Los Angeles. The class then created their own crazy towers with paper towel tubes.
Second grade made "Watts"-inspired towers as well. They then learned how to make a basic collograph print and currently - to dovetail with Black History Month- are making a collage with a "neighborhood" theme in the style of the great Romare Bearden. They will use parts of a collograph and magazine pictures together for this project. In art history class, the students did a "mini" science experiment with popsicle sticks , sand and water that showed them what a Roman "cofferdam" was and what it did. Messy? -yes! Fun? -yes!
Third grade also made a basic collograph, learned about a cofferdam and are working on the Bearden-inspired collage as well.
Fourth and Fifth grades are making landscapes in the style of Canada's most famous woman artist, Emily Carr. Each landscape will include a totem pole with characters indigenous to the native populations of the Pacific Northwest. Canada is one of the countries we are studying as a school this year.
These two grades are also staging an occasional "mock courtroom" in art history class this month - where legal issues in the arts are "argued". The ideas to be addressed come from the "Debate" section of their Scholastic Art magazine and hopefully- by the end of the year- each student will get a chance to be one of the "lawyers". It should be interesting to see what the verdicts of these young juries will be!
In Friendship,Teacher Chris
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