October 2018

Persistence

The lessons in this issue require time and persistence for students to develop essential skills and expand meaning and concepts. Young students build a temporary cellophane installation; a middle-school student documents his experience building a mixed-media body sculpture; high-school students re-imagine the large-scale works of contemporary artist Heather Hansen; and more.

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Highlights From This Issue

Editor's Letter
Editor's Letter

Editor's Letter

Persistence. Does that concept play a part in your teaching? For your students? For yourself? Persistence is the ability to stick with something, to continue working, to try harder, to not give up. I see persistence as an incredibly important trait for your students to develop in approaching their artwork.

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Cellograffiti
Early Childhood

Cellograffiti

My students always love a chance to mix familiar techniques and unexpected materials. They got that chance when we spent a week creating a cellograffiti fort in our pre-K art studio. Cellograffiti, or cellograff, utilizes clear, plastic cellophane stretched between poles, trees, or other structures to create a temporary canvas.

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The Many Faces of Giuseppe Arcimboldo
Elementary

The Many Faces of Giuseppe Arcimboldo

I have always been inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s work. Arcimboldo (1526–1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portraits made entirely of unexpected objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books. He was someone who thought outside the box during a time when many artists were focused on the realist and religious qualities of an art piece.

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Aspects of Architecture
Elementary

Aspects of Architecture

Art can open doors to the world for our students. My fifth-grade class recently took a virtual tour of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow. This unique onion-domed structure is actually eight churches built around a central ninth. My students’ immediate reaction to the colorful and unusual architecture of St. Basil’s was to relate the spiraled and patterned globes to the shape of hot-air balloons.

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Boxed Humans
Middle School

Boxed Humans

I collaborated with my student Harrison Dodge, who wrote most of this article. When planning this Boxed Humans project, I wanted to give my students freedom to create pieces that reflected their own developing styles. The goal for this project was for students to explore drawing different parts of the human body with a sculptural presence.

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Mix It Up
Middle School

Mix It Up

Just what is the creative process? I asked my seventh- and eighth-grade students to consider this overarching Essential Question in Mix It Up, a trimester-long master class involving a series of three mixed-media visual art projects. Identifying the phases of the creative process and tracking their own experiences as we journeyed through printmaking, sculpture, and painting, students became aware of their own artistic process and the challenges and successes common to all innovative creators.

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Reimagining Heather Hansen
High School

Reimagining Heather Hansen

When developing lessons based on artists I admire, I try my best to find different ways to approach their work and offer divergent outcomes for students. Instead of finding an artist and repeating the same medium or look or outcome as the artist of note, we look to the process adapted by that artist and figure out ways we can use that as a springboard for our own creations as we dive into better understandings of media, methods, and concepts.

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Face Your Fears
High School

Face Your Fears

After overhearing a student talking about how she thinks she is ugly, I got to wondering if I could create a lesson that would tackle body image and self-esteem face to face. Zap! A light bulb went off and I thought: caricatures! Comical characterizations. What better way to face your fears than by staring at them face to face?

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Let's Play
Advocacy

Let's Play

When Santa Clarita Valley’s Education Foundation asked me to act as art director on their annual Children’s Literature and Arts Festival commit- tee, my first thought was, “How fun!” I saw an exciting opportunity to share my students’ creativity with the community. The festival was to be held at our city’s brand-new library. What better place to celebrate children’s art and literature?

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Oscar Oiwa: Cityscape, Traditional Landscape and Installation
Looking & Learning

Oscar Oiwa: Cityscape, Traditional Landscape and Installation

Oscar Oiwa creates gallery-filled, panoramic landscapes inspired by traditional Japanese ink landscapes and urban cityscapes. Originally trained as an architect, Oiwa's work references architectural design, contemporary art, and his background as the child of Japanese immigrants living in Brazil.

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