Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Award Winning Artist

I've had my young artists enter competitions every now and then. It is important for artists (and their teachers) to be recognized by the art world. And sharing our art is so important! The greatest painting hasn't reached its potential until it is given the chance to be viewed and shared. Well I was just notified that one of my students was chosen as an honorable mention by the World Awareness Children's Museum. Congratulations to Caraid! Her art will be part of a world youth art exchange and be exhibited in schools across the country, and possibly the world.

I am so proud of all of the kids. They are all so talented, and it is such a mature thing to make a piece of art and to let it go. Here are all the entries created with cray pas and other media.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My First Cupcake!

During one of my last days subbing in the art room, I was given my first cupcake. In our district children can bring in a small treat for their birthday, and they sometimes are allowed to pick one or two staff outside of the classroom to visit and share their treats with. I had a girl in the art room earlier in the day, who decided to visit me with her treat in the afternoon. I asked her if she remembered that her art teacher was absent, and she said " I know, I brought it for you." It totally made my day! I know there are many of you who have had their fill of cupcakes, but it's not the cake really. It's the thought! I was very thankful and told her that I would let her teacher know that she visited. And that I would eat the cupcake on her behalf--Yummy!

Here are some cupcake sculptures inspired by Wayne Thiebaud made using model magic. I can't remember which blog I saw them on specifically. The bottoms were made with flexible cupcake molds, and the icing was a basic coil. Then the children got to add cherries, sprinkles etc. to top them off. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Navajo Storyteller Figures

The children and I learned about the importance of storytelling as tradition in the Navajo culture. Storyteller figures in terracotta clay depict that tradition. Each student created a storyteller of their own in terracotta air-dry clay, and decorated it with acrylic paint. Some distinctive features of the figures are the round open mouth, closed eyes, and traditional Navajo dress. 

Standing figure forms were shaped like a bell, and then head, hair, and arms were added using score and slip method. For seated figures, children formed a thick coil, bent it into an 'L' shape, and then separated the bottom half into two legs. Again head, hair, and arms were added using score and slip method. Figures were painted using a limited palette and some areas of the clay were left unpainted. Details were added with fine brushes and/or black sharpie marker. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Art Teacher Inspiration!

Hello fellow bloggers. I did not intend to leave the last post up for so long. Things have been busy, and there was a long stretch there where I couldn't sign in and out of Blogger— did anyone else have this experience? Anyway, classes are going well as usual and new art lessons will be posted soon.

My most recent inspiration as of late has been due to some professional development I have been taking on my own. I've found that these things can be a bit of a mixed bag, but I recently went to the Spring Symposium for Art Educators of NJ and came home inspired by two fellow art teachers while I was there.

The first was Susan Bivona, who gave a demonstration and talk about Artsonia. Artsonia is an online kids art museum where young artists and students display their art for other kids worldwide to view. I had seen the Artsonia website before, but didn't really know what it was all about. And being an independent teacher, I didn't think the site was for me. Was I ever wrong! Susan navigated the site, demonstrated its capabilities and potential and I was sold. What a great tool for art advocacy, involving families in their children's education, and fundraising. It is endorsed by the National Art Education Association, and takes great measures to insure children's safety.  Parents are so impressed by the site and that their children can title their works, leave comments, and write artist statements. Not to mention that they are  sharing their art work with over 100 countries worldwide. My goal to start was to post 100 art works and to represent all of my current students. I've managed it already, and it makes me so happy! Start with one grade, one lesson or one piece of art, and see how satisfying it is to share and grow with families, students, art teachers and the world. I hope to add a public school Artsonia gallery when I get my first offical art teacher position!

You can see Susan's art teacher blog at:
And, of course you can look her up on Artsonia too!

The other inspirational speaker for the day was Tricia Fuglestad. She was the key note speaker and gave other workshops that day as well. Tricia is an elementary art teacher from the Chicago area and has made quite a name for herself as an art teacher who utilizes technology in the classroom. Her methods are inspiring! It makes perfect sense to use an interactive white board to aid visual learning by visual means! But I was a little hesitant to accept all of her knowledge. I assumed that she had the advantage of an affluent school district with the means to provide her classroom with the technology she has access to, and the good fortune of a community which gives the arts the priority and importance it deserves as part of the curriculum. Sounds like a fairy tale, right? Well, Tricia actually raised the funds herself to be able to bring an interactive white board, computers and more into her class room! She wanted these things, made them happen, and loves being an art teacher who uses technology in the classroom. It is like second nature to her, and to her students. She excels with such ease it makes me wonder why all art rooms don't have these tools! It seems they are just as important as paint, paper, and oxygen to breathe!

Although I don't have the same equipment in my studio, just having a Mac in the corner makes a world of difference to me! I have a store of images to use as reference, access to interactive sights for kids, which my students use in class from time to time, and I can research and communicate with all of you, who take the time as I do to write, photograph and share lesson plans, ideas, student's work and more. Tricia is a great inspiration and I hope to grow and become the art teacher I dream to be, just as she has done.

Tricia Fuglestad's presence on the web can be tapped here at:
Make sure you check out some of her Fugleflicks, blog, and more!
She has an Artsonia gallery too!

Both of these women have been added to my amazing art teacher blog list. Thank you ladies for sending me home with such inspiration!

And a last note for this post: the winners for the "What a Difference a Year Makes" giveaway are: Katie Morris, Okeeffesbackyard, Janis, Josey M. Brouwer, The Art Fairy. Make sure you send me your mailing addresses, and I'll send out your art stamps. I hope you enjoy them!