Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stop Motion Video Project

A few weeks ago, I attended a stop-motion video workshop that was taught by video artist Jenn Deafenbaugh of Itty Bitty Studios.  Mrs. Luker and I thought stop-motion videos would be a perfect project for our 4th grade Art Enrichment students.  I connected with Jenn and we discussed possible themes.  We decided to go with holiday greetings, which we thought had some really fun possibilities.  So, last week we got started brainstorming ideas.  The students divided themselves into four groups, as Jenn had 4 platforms to shoot videos on.  Each group came up with a message and concept, using letters and other props.

This week, we began shooting.  Jenn told the kids how stop motion works and how to take pictures using the Droid Galaxy's stop motion app.

Jenn Deafenbaugh demonstrating how the Droid Galaxy takes photos

Stop motion is a somewhat labor intensive process.  You can't move your objects too much, or they'll look like they are jumping around.  The idea is to make the objects look like they are moving on their own.  Jenn brought refrigerator magnet letters for the students to create messages and the students brought in items from home, such as small toys, ornaments, and pictures.  

Each time you take a picture, that creates a frame for the stop motion movie.  Students learned to wait for a "click" sound on the Droid Galaxy to know that a photo was taken.  

Students practicing taking photos and moving objects.

A student group working through the animation process.

Mrs. Luker looks on as students create their stop motion video

The students did a great job of working together on this project.  They had to take turns moving objects and taking the photos.  This project took a lot of patience, cooperation and of course, creativity.  I'll post the finished videos as soon as they are edited together.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A New Year!

I'm a bit behind on posting for this year's art enrichment classes.  We began in early November and we've made a few changes this year.  In order to accomodate more students, we have split Art Enrichment up into two groups.  The first group will meet from November through January and the second group will meet from February through April.  Mrs. Luker and I are thrilled that there is such an interest in Art Enrichment, now that we are entering our fourth year of this after school program.  Breaking the students into two groups has allowed us to serve 46 students over the course of five months.

For our first class, we completed a getting to know you exercise.  I had students fill out a questionnaire that included questions such as, "What is your favorite artist?"  The students mentioned Vincent Van Gogh more than any other artist.

Our first project, is an altered puzzle which will hang in the art room at Plain City Elementary.

A student creating three-dimensional cut paper butterflies

Paint, paper, and other found objects working together.

Working through composition ideas and color choices.

Just like a regular puzzle, no two pieces are alike. 

We talked about artists who alter books and other media to create works of art.  Many of these artists take an unwanted or discarded book and creatively "upcycle" using paint and collage.  Each art enrichment student is creating a work of art using a giant puzzle piece, which will fit together to form a collaborative work.  I plan to photograph the finished puzzle and hope to have a printed copy for each student to hang at home.  More on that soon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Anti Bullying Poster Campaign Live

Over the past couple of weeks, we finished our anti-bullying campaign posters.  
After taking our photographs, it was time to download them to the computers and crop them.  

Mrs. Frambes had our posters printed to 18 x 24 size at the local Kinkos.  The following week, we laid out the slogans on our posters.  We created our text in Word, and printed out the blocks of type.  Then, we cut out our type.  Some of the designs worked better with letters cut out one by one. 

Some of them looked better by cutting out each word and pasting it on to the poster.  

We kept the look and feel of Barbara Kruger's artwork, but also created our own personalized anti-bullying messages for Kindergarten through fourth grade.  We hung the posters in the halls and in the cafeteria.  

This morning, two students presented the posters to the school in the morning announcements to make the rest of the students aware of our campaign.  I went around the school to take photographs of the posters and Mrs. Carother's class was taking a walking tour of the posters to talk about each one.  I thought that was pretty cool!  I got lots of compliments from other teachers about the posters.  The whole idea behind an advertising campaign, is to have it noticed and for it to have an impact.  These really do have impact!!

If you'd like to take a tour of the photos, please click HERE.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Taking Photographs

This week, we took photographs for our Anti-Bullying Poster Campaign.  We reviewed the slogans we came up with last week, and used them as a guide for our photographs.  Students broke up into groups, as we to share three digital cameras.  Mrs. Luker and I went over what makes a good photograph.  We don't want to take "snapshots".  We are looking for interesting angles, closeups, and good compositions.  This allowed each of the students to take a turn using the camera and learning how to take good pictures and take turns being in the photographs themselves.

Mrs. Luker helping students with a photograph

Students taking a photograph in the school hall
Next week, we'll print out 8x10 copies of these photographs to help us decide which photographs we want to use, where and if they need to be cropped, where the text will go.  See you then!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Anti-Bullying Advertising Campaign

Barbar Kruger
We started a new digital/graphic design project this week.  To begin, we viewed a PowerPoint presentation to give us an overview of the artist we are studying as well as some student examples from Oliva Gude's Spiral Curriculum for high school age students.  Olivia Gude is an art educator in the Chicago area and was recently in Columbus.  Mrs. Luker and I attended a lecture of hers at Ohio State a few weeks ago and this was one of the projects that she talked about.  We both thought it would be a great project for the Art Enrichment students.  Obviously our demographics are different from inner city Chicago so we are making this project our own by coming up with an anti-bullying campaign for K-4th graders.  When completed, we will hang our posters in the halls of the school.

Student Work from Olivia Gude's Spiral Curriculum

We also talked about the work of Barbara Kruger, as we plan on making our posters in the style of her work.  Big, bold black and white photographs along with red and white type.  Short statements for big impact.

We began by talking about everyday advertisements and how they are designed.  Large pictures or graphics grab the attention of the viewer.  We talked about slogans and how they are usually short statements, no longer than 4 or 5 words.  To begin, we wrote sentences about bullying.  We wanted our message to be a positive one.  Not "Don't ____" but instead, giving the viewer something they can DO.  Here are some of the slogans that we've come up with so far: 

Be a friend (not a bully)
Stand up for yourself
Be peaceful
Tell somebody
Talk (it through)
Need a helping hand
Make a new friend
(Everyone) join together
Don't exclude... INCLUDE
Help a friend
Play with everyone
We're all friends
Everyone plays
Nobody's perfect
Let in not out

Aren't those great?  Once we got going, the slogans seemed to get better and better. 

Next time we meet, we'll start taking photographs to use with those slogans.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We Finished the Sculptures!

Last week, most of us stayed a bit late and finished our labor intensive sculptures.  It was a lot of hard work, but I think they look great!  Here are a few examples.  All of the sculptures will be on display in the cases in the school hallway.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sculptures...They Are Time Consuming!

I can't believe it, but it's been a month since I last posted here!  Long story short, we've been working on our found object sculptures which turned out to be a much more time consuming project than we anticipated.  After we built the wire armature, we covered our sculptures with foil to give them form.

Some students were ready to start painting their sculptures with acrylic black or bronze paint.

We used paint as a way to cover the foil with a solid color and also give our sculptures a way to bond the glue to the found objects we are gluing on.

Once the paint was dry, it was time to start adding objects:

So.... the kids are gluing objects on their sculptures... what are they learning? And what does it mean?

 Well, for one thing we've been talking about the human impact on our earth and how much "stuff" we all have and how much we throw away.  We've been discussed some artists who deal with what is called "post consumer art".   These artists don't just throw a bunch of junk together and call it art.  There is intent behind the objects they've chosen.  Each of these objects has a color, form, shape, and/or representation from its context.  All of these things bring meaning and aesthetics to these sculptures.  

We've told students not to buy anything for their sculptures. These objects are things that would be thrown out or are extra things you've had lying around the house.  We are going to work on these projects for one more week, and then move on to something different:  a digital graphic design poster project.

Art Enrichments Students Art Walk!

The Art Enrichment Students have been hard at work over the past few months.  Now the fruits of their labor is on display for the public right here in Plain City!  

Our snowmen collages are on display in the window of MainStreet Treasures:

And, our watercolor landscape paintings are at the Plain City Public Library:

Special thanks to both MainStreet Treasures and the Plain City Public Library for allowing us to show the Art Enrichment student work there!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Found Object Sculpture

Robert Bradford
Yesterday, we started a new project.  I began by presenting a powerpoint.  We discussed how artists began to push the boundaries of what was considered art at the time of the early 20th Century.  The 1918 Armory Show changed everything.  Marcel Duchamp rocked the art world by presenting The Fountain, which as a urinal at the Alfred Stegleiz's gallery, 291.  I wanted the students to start thinking about pushing boundaries of their own.  I moved on to talk about artists like Andy Warhol and Natalie Viecili who use themes of consumerism in their work.  They elevate common objects such as Campbell's Tomato Soup cans and McDonald's french fry containers as art.  What message are they sending?

Art often reflects what is going on in contemporary culture.  These artists were challenging ideas about art and also making a commentary of American consumerism.  We also talked about artists using found objects in their work.  I also showed them a slide of HA Schult's work, Trash People which is a travelling installation consisting of figures composed of trash.  I asked the students if they had ever been to see the dancing rabbit sculptures in Dublin.  Most had seen it and could describe the many objects they saw enmeshed in the cast iron.

Then we moved on to talk about Robert Bradford, a British artist who created sculptures created from small plastic objects and toys.  We looked at his sculptures in detail to see how the different parts made up the whole composition.  Color, texture, and object choice are intentional in his work.

Then, we started on the wire base or armature of our sculptures:

We'll continue working on the bases for these sculptures next week.  Additionally, you should have received an email from Mrs. Luker asking for small plastic items to be brought in for these sculptures.  See you next week!

Colorful Snowmen

I know... this winter has pretty much been a dud snow-wise!  Last week we did a short in between project so that some kids could finish up their watercolor paintings and the ones that were finished would have something creative to do.  I gave each student a white snowman cutout and materials such as decorative paper, magazines, pastels and watercolor to create an artwork.  

The challenge was, not to make it look like a traditional snowman.  Instead, it had to be an original mixed media collage.  

Instead of looking at the magazine pages as photos, we looked at them as color and texture.  Some kids were drawn to the photos as well, and I thought they integrated well into the finished collages. 

Look for these in the window of MainStreet Treasures in the next week!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finishing our Landscape Paintings

This week, we finished up our landscape paintings.  We introduced a few new techniques.  I did a short demonstration of layering pastels and watercolor pencil over watercolor.  Adding another medium gave our paintings more interest and depth.  The kids had a lot of fun adding to their landscape paintings.

Here they all are, finished.  I hope to hang them up at the Plain City Library soon.

Here are a couple of details of some of the students' work that I think was particularly successful.  I love the variety of colors and textures portrayed here...  

Some of them took on etherreal and abstract qualities:   

Next week, we'll work on a short one week project that will be displayed in the window of Mainstreet Treasures in downtown Plain City.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Continuing to Paint our Landscapes

This week we continued to work on our landscape paintings.  These paintings are fairly large, so it will take more than one or two weeks to complete.

We are putting our watercolor techniques into action by layering washes.

We are paying attention to detail and composition.

And finally, we are using some interesting techniques such as blotting wet paint with paper towels to build interest and depth in our paintings.  

Next week, we'll work on our paintings further and maybe even introduce a layer of pastels or watercolor pencils for more detail.  See you then!