Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Sunday, November 5, 2023
In an one hour hour lesson, my students were able to learn about facial proportions, expressions, and the ceramic techniques of making a pinch pot, slipping and scoring.
Saturday, November 4, 2023
Sunday, October 29, 2023
Autumn is the season of Chili Cook-offs. Instead of spending a lot of money on trophies that people don't want to have to store, why not give them something useful to go with their bragging rights, like a set of wooden spoons or an apron. For an upcoming Chili cook-off I thought I'd give first, second, and third place winners aprons upon which I painted cooresponding number of chilis. Aprons were about $3 each. It's easy to copy chili shapes from images online, or you can trace a real chili in pencil if you've got one handy. I painted the silhouette with black acrylic and when it dried, I painted the topcoat of red or green acrylic, leaving some of the black show through for hatch marks. It's funky, fun, washable, and a conversation piece. I hope the winners can use it to brag about their win at cookouts for years to come.
Friday, October 27, 2023
Monday, October 23, 2023
Sunday, October 22, 2023
|APH president & my student|
|Ticket to the IMAX in Braille|
They also attended a pre-screening and Q&A session for the Netflix Original "All the Light You Cannot See" at the Kentucky Science Center. It's coming to Netflix in November and I highly recommend it. It's so refreshing to have a blind protagonist played by blind actresses (both old and young versions).
|Nick Doyle's solo show in denim at KMAC|
Orientation and Mobility (O&M) experiences were everywhere: navigating TSA, flying on a plane, the plane train, an Uber, a charter bus, escalators, elevators, moving sidewalks, and miles of city sidewalks. Other life/ learning experiences included being interviewed for a podcast, networking at the reception, eating a meal with three forks and three plates, and shaking hands with the APH president in front of 400 people. It was an amazing trip!
The weekends leading up to the Kentucky trip were also exhausting and wonderful starting with an annual Crisis Clean-up trip. this time, my son and I went to Madison, Florida after Hurricane Idilia left trees down everywhere. Tree work is physically taxing, but rewarding volunteer service.
I helped students cook s'mores over a campfire, go on scavenger hunts, play games (hide and seek was especially entertaining), and go swimming.
December will be here before you know it, which means, it's time to design our Christmas tree for the Museum of Art and Science's Festival of Trees. I always try to use the tree as a way for my students to advocate or help the community understand them and their disability better.
Sunday, October 1, 2023
My Elementary School and Middle School students have been learning how something as flat as a piece of paper can be turned into something 3D by looping strips into links of a chain or folding pages of a book to make a sculpture, or quilling folded paper to make framed images. Making pencil cups is another project that teaches a one more technique of making flat magazine pages into a tactile exterior to a pencil cup. It is an easy, fun project that can be used for years, rather than tossed after a month of hanging on the fridge.
Students found magazine pages which they rolled into a tube, using a pencil, drizzling a strip of Elmer's glue to secure the edge. For stiff covers, rubber bands would hold it the tube in place until the glue dried, and with tight rolls a second pencil would be used to scoot the first pencil out of the tube. The each rolled tube was hot glued to a clean tin can, transforming waste from the recycled bin to something you can use to organize pens, pencils, markers, scissors, and paint brushes. Children can learn to think through the side and direction they want to roll their pages to get the nicest edge, and how to organize their colors and patterns on the can. The next rainy day at home with a bored child, consider having them make one of these to spruce up their bedroom.
Thursday, September 28, 2023
The fact that we've been studying repetition, pattern, and unity made for a coherent and colorful body of work. We used some of our zentangle portraits for show posters and invitations, made commercials for the morning news, and cookies for the opening reception. Turn out was better than we'd seen in years and the students felt great about being able to put together a body of work in a short period of time.
Monday, September 18, 2023
Saturday, September 16, 2023
To build on our pattern lesson and give our doodles something to do, my students created what I call "zentangled portraits." They used a picture of themselves, a friend or a model in a magazine, cut out only the neck and face, following the hairline and collaged to a larger piece of paper.
Some images took on royal or saintly mantles as the background was broken up with halos, arches, and crowns, and those spaces were filled with repeated marks from black sharpies. Some kept encorporated colored paper, markers or colored pencil to add another layer of complexity.
Students who were blind, used Wixi Sticks to divide the space, and then stayed within each shape filling it marks such as stripes, O's or X's. I love the pattern-saturated surfaces of Gustav Klimt paintings and I love the way this assignment turned out.
My students created their own chart with a handful of different patterns before contributing to the larger group composition. Tables were covered with bulletin board paper and when students finished their own work, they could contribute to this group composition. It's fun to work together to learn and create.
Friday, September 15, 2023
DisneyPlus has show, Critter Fixers: Country Vets, which is filmed in Georgia not far from The Academy for the Blind. In fact, we had some students do some work-based-learning with them on a regular basis last school year, culminating in a school assembly Q&A session with the Critter Fixers stars, Dr. Hodges and Dr. Ferguson. Students were able to walk to different stations on campus, petting various animals and listening to their heartbeat through a stethoscope. It was a great day and we all looked forward to seeing the episode when it came out.
Months later, the show's producer came back and, during a tour of the school, stopped by the Art room and mentioned how nice it would be to have a piece of student artwork on a wall of Critter Fixers. Immediately, the parent mentor, who was giving the tour, mentioned Kirby, as a subject. Kirby is the school's emotional support dog. Minutes after they left, I started looking for pictures of the black Labrador Retriever. Students helped me pick a couple of my sketches, and then they traced the projections onto a large piece of paper to use as patterns. I used the patterns to cut out layers of cardboard, glued together to make a thick structure.
Two Middle School students made more rubbings with oil pastels on black paper, based on the past assignment, which they decoupaged onto the structures. To make the relief structures into something that could be hung on the wall, I had made two holes through two layers of cardboard to thread wire through before adding a top layer of the body.
Friday, August 25, 2023
|Wiki Stix create boundaries on one or two shapes at a time.|