Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Mixed Media Mania

 When you let students with little to no vision make art, there's no telling what you'll get. I found a bunch of old prints of masterpieces being thrown away and I quickly grabbed them, thinking that little help from a master can never hurt.

These prints were used as a starting point in our discussion about media. We made a huge list of types of media, both two and three dimensional and put it all into a mind-map poster.

I offered students a huge range of things for them to use to collage, draw, paint, and manipulate the image of their choice. It's a fun project to learn about the history appropriation as well, but mostly we wanted to play with materials. 
Mixed media assignments are crowd pleasers with build-in differentiation.

Hand Building a Bright School Year

 I ran into a ceramicist at a Bastille Day party this summer who told me about meeting a blind girl. "I just wanted to make her a trophy!" she said. Clay trophies. Sounded like a fun project to kick off the school year.

The assignment began by discussing the purpose of education with my high school students. If they leave at the end of the year, the same people they are at the beginning of the year, than what's the point? Education is about learning, growing and becoming better humans. This led to a discussion about what they felt it meant to be a good person and what kind of attributes they wished to achieve.

Each student made a trophy that to give themselves at the end of the year after working for the next 10 months improving in their area of weakness. Two students want to be more outgoing and another more care free. Some students want to be more organized, empathetic, helpful, generous, or kind. We talked about what kind of symbols would embody those abstract traits before they hand built their clay trophies.

Character education can be taught through art, and you can bet I'll do my best to follow up with students on how they're doing on their goal, so that we get closer to the best possible versions of ourselves.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Touchable Perception Field Trip

 A field trip on the second day of school? Yep, because I don't mess around when it comes to using every school day for instruction. I took my new high school students just a few miles down the road to Macon Art Alliance, so they could experience an exhibit that was made just for them.

Touchable Perception, was a collection of masterpieces from art history, recreated in tactile form by local high school and college art students who wanted to make visual art more accessible for the Blind. 

My friend Jenny made the Braille labels on clear sticky plastic, for me to put next to each piece, while artists, Sophia Tang (Stratford Academy student) and Esha Panse (Georgia Tech student) about how they made their decisions from choosing a masterpiece, to figuring out which materials would best tactilely represent a 2D piece of art.
Students with low vision were also able to enjoy a show in the main gallery of black and white, high value contrast portrait painting by Caleb Brown.
As a bonus we're going to be gifted the artwork for the school's permanent collection, that I can use in my art history lessons. And of course the bonus bonus is building community relationships with Macon Art Alliance and young aspiring artists. We like to support anyone who cares enough to support us.