Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Our Year, So Far... (part 1)

Oh, geeze! It has been WAY too long since I have updated this blog. I will try make up for my absence with this behemoth of a post.

I am lucky enough that I get to teach my students all year long (a lot of JH art classes last only a semester). I wouldn't want it any other way because we get to explore so many different mediums, techniques, and concepts!

Here are just some of the highlights of our year so far!

Our first major project in 7th grade was all about line, pattern and Op(tical) art! 

Early on, 7th graders studied the Japanese art of Notan designs. We also learned that a good balance of positive and negative space helps to create a strong composition.

Meanwhile, 8th graders were reviewing grid method and the observational drawing techniques they learned last year. They then tried out a whole bunch of new value and shading techniques that they could use throughout the year. 

After a short unit on drawing from observation, 7th graders were ready to dive in the world of color theory. They started by learning all about the color wheel, the different schemes, and practiced how to mix all those colors! We then learned about monochromatic color schemes and Picasso's famous monochrome periods. Here are all their tints, shades, and tones!

I had so many awesome options to choose from for this project! There are so many more!

8th graders were also concerned with color. Specifically, with the natural color spectrum and how the brain perceives warm and cool colors. Cool colors recede, while warm colors come forward. We used this knowledge to create depth in bright, bold paintings. 

7th grade made paintings in the style of Oaxacan amate bark paintings; to honor Hispanic Heritage Month and Mexican folk art.

That wraps up part 1 of this post! Stay tuned for part 2! I promise to get around to it before the Summer!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

UIL Creative Arts 2015

It was another successful year for NJHS students at the UIL Creative Arts competition! Students worked hard, for weeks, to transform their original ideas into works of art. Below are the place winners in each category...

8th Grade Drawing

1st place Alana A.

Krystal R.

5th place Kendall C.

8th grade Painting

1st place Jennifer P.

6th place Anissa V.

8th Grade 3-D

4th place Hope E.

6th place Cole D.

7th Grade Drawing
2nd place Ty M.

 7th grade Painting

2nd place Kaylee L.

7th Grade 3-D 

4th place Logan S.

7th grade Mixed Media

4th place Crystal R.

5th place Elijah A.

 The other students who entered but didn't place deserve a shout-out because their work was awesome! Here they are: 


I really feel that this year, our artwork stood out as having a lot of deep and conceptual ideas behind the subject matter. The imaginations and minds of (pre)teens! What will they think of next?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The 2nd Annual Empty Bowls Project

In November, the advanced art students and our after-school art club hosted our 2nd Empty Bowls event. After last year's smashing success we had high hopes and expectations. While we didn't have as good of a turn-out, we were able to raise a good amount to send to our local food bank. This is in conjunction with the school-wide food drive we hold each holiday season. Together, we were able to make an impact in the daily lives of people in our community.  Better yet, students created beautiful and artistic ceramic bowls and were able to experience selling their creations for a greater purpose than themselves. Which is really what it's all about, right?

Students photographed the bowls since most have new homes.

To learn more about The Empty Bowls Project go here, or to check out last year's event go here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bully Prevention Month & Kindness in Chalk

This week, Art Club was on a mission. A mission to remind students, staff, and visitors that kindness is important. It all started when I saw the Kindness in Chalk campaign. The Kindness in Chalk event is the brain-child of teachers in the Twin Cities. I found their idea inspiring and a great way to acknowledge October as Bully-Prevention Month. So, we joined in! 

On Tuesday, we chalk-bombed the sidewalk right in front of the junior high campus. First, we discussed some frightening statistics on how bullying affects students and what can be defined as bullying. We then discussed why promoting a message of kindness, tolerance, and inner-strength was so important (compared to chanting don't be a bully or no bullying). Students brain-stormed, in groups, about their message and aesthetic choices (color, lettering, etc.). Then, we got down to business! Here is what they came up with. 
"We rise by lifting others"

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" "Love each other"
"No act of kindness is ever wasted"

"Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out"

"Be kind"

"Work hard,  be kind, and great things will happen!"
 They did a lovely job. Which is why I was so disappointed and discouraged when the same students came to me the next day to say that kids were purposefully shuffling along their work to destroy it. 
Our chalk art didn't even last 24 hours. 
I guess it just proves our point. 
Kindness, love, tolerance and inner-strength need to be reenforced for everyone.