Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spring Arts Show

A couple of weeks ago, we had our annual Spring Arts Show for third and fourth graders.  (The kindergarten through second grade show was a couple of weeks earlier.)  Art Enrichment student work from both groups was everywhere!  We had our hand and bug prints inside one of the glass cases and our Modigliani pastel drawings on the wall above the case.  Group One's holiday greeting videos were played on a loop on a computer monitor across the hall, along with still shots from the past year in art enrichment and the insect sculptures in the natural world.

As if all of this wasn't enough, Mrs. Luker and I also revealed an 8 panel mural that was installed in the lobby that evening, which featured the paper circles that both groups of Art Enrichment students worked on a in the prior weeks.  

Mrs. Luker and I love how the panels sort of mirror the windows underneath the balcony.  And, the circles sort of seem to look like balloons being released into the sky.  The quote reflects this idea, that life is a journey and students' school lives are a big part of that. 

Watercolor Hands

I can't believe how quickly this year went by!  This is the last project for Group Two of Art Enrichment.  For this project, each student had to draw his or her own non-dominant hand from life on 5" x 5" sheets tracing paper .  They could pose their hand any way they wanted... school friendly, of course.  ;)  We also asked the students to do a color study in marker on the tracing paper, as sort of a way to experiment with color choices and plan ahead for the final piece.

The following week, we transfered the hand drawings to 5" x 5" sheets Aquabord.  The we began painting the boards with watercolor.  As you can see, watercolor on Aquabord is very vivid.  It looks a lot more like acrylic paint than watercolor.  The board allows an artist to apply color much more opaquely, to use more layers of color, and even to remove color... which is something that is difficult if not impossible to do with traditional watercolor paper.  Here are some of the completed watercolors after this week.  

During the last week for this project, we finished working on our hand paintings.  What I loved about this project, was the way that students experimented with a new painting surface. Since most of the students had their boards covered in paint at this point, we encouraged them to try removing paint in places.  I brought some Q-Tips so that they could removed paint strategically.  One student used a bunched up wet paper towel to remove paint, which is something Mrs. Luker and I hadn't even through of!  A couple of other students tried this idea as well, with wonderful results.  

Since we were going to let the students take their hand paintings home at the end of the year, Mrs. Luker and I thought that this project might make a nice print as a group as a permanent piece in the school.  I took a photo of the hands in a vertical format and created a matching border around the group of hands and added a title at the bottom, just like you'd see on a real museum print or poster.  
I was thrilled to present this framed print to the school last week at our end of the year Art Enrichment Party.

Creepy Crawly Critters

Mrs. Luker and I were very pleased with the results of the Creepy Crawly Critter Sculptures.  Each student took their insect concept and brought it to life in three dimensions.  We used recyclable materials such as paper towels and scrap paper wrapped around a wire armature or base.  We then began wrapping the base sculpture in plaster.

We also added other elements such as pipe cleaners for legs.  Once the plaster was dry the following week, we began painting them with vibrant acrylic paints.  

As often happens in artmaking, sometimes the creative process can take a turn or two.  Originally Mrs. Luker and I thought we might make a book out of the resulting sculptures.  The idea was to include all of the insects in a story that built upon one another sort of like the The Napping House by Audrey Wood.  We had a lot of characters for our story, which made creating the storyline a bit of a challenge.    So, we went with another idea.  With spring approaching, we thought it might be interesting to see what these insect sculptures would look like in the natural world.  We picked a nice afternoon to photograph our sculptures outside.  Each student chose a place and setting for his/her insect.  Here is a slideshow of the photographs from that day...