Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Spring Art for kids


Spring has sprung with lots of kid centered crafts that have to do with blossoms, eggs, caterpillars and butterflies.

I have a student who is OBSESSED with caterpillars and butterflies. when I saw this crawling caterpillar Tick Tock video, I knew I had to have his class make this paper toy. Instead of toilet paper, we wrapped crepe paper around a pencil and glued the edges together before scrunching it off  to make the  wrinkled caterpillars. Contruction paper. cut and folded, with a little loop glued to he end, was made before adding a rolled up piece of green paper (glued to keep it place) slid into the loop for a stem. One end of the caterpillar is glued to the loop and another to the end of the stem that is towards the middle of the leaf. By pulling the stem back and forward, it looks like the caterpillar is inching itself forward.

The following class period, we made more paper leaves with butterflies of tissue paper wings and pipe cleaner bodies. This is a science lesson, in talking about how caterpillars build a cacoon and turn into butterflies, but it was also a literacy lesson since we read, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" during class.

We also made 3D cherry blossom art, tissue paper flowers and died Easter Eggs, but anything painted in spring-time colors can be a spring project, including a relief sculpture, clay rattles, or playful prints with foam stamps or rollers.

It's fun to have bright and cheerful things to look at inside, after coming in from seeing bright and cheerful things happening in the natural world, during spring.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Spring Student Art Show: Edifice Sweet Edifice


Our architecture unit included a trip to an architecture firm, videos, audio described slide lectures and writing assignments on types of architecture and the great buildings throughout art history. Students made elevation drawings, blue print inspired cyanotypes, cardboard and clay sculptures of houses, shops, castles, and churches. And a totem pole of some of the most famous buildings in the world. It's been a productive couple of months culminating in our student art show: Edifice, Sweet Edifice!

Normally, student shows are just a couple pieces by each of my high school pieces, but this show had everything made by all 15 of my daily high school and middle school students. The 80 pieces total, also included the simple cardboard houses made by my multiple complex needs students.

Our multi-purpose room at the school is newly renovated, and with the freshly painted walls and new floors, it felt like a pristine gallery space. The large cyanotype were the most difficult thing to hang messing up the new walls, but enough painters tape was fine on a smooth wall. The cinderblock walls required taping the fabric to dowels and hanging it from the ceiling.

Having students problem solve with where and how to position each item was a real-life lesson in how to curate an exhibit. One student said that installing a show was like making an whole new piece of art: you need to arrange colors and shapes in a way that creates a unified and coherent body of work.

Our totem pole buildings were fresh out of the kiln after their bisque firing, so we put those in the show, and they ended up being the best conversation starter, as all of the faculty who came to the show opening were quizzed by art students on the name of each famous building.

The students came in waves with middle school students comeing first and then high school, and the parents coming the next day right after the spring concert.

Art shows are usually 2D work, but this one had so many sculptures that it was more interactive and meaningful for blind students who were able to touch all of the clay and cardboard houses. I heard "This is so beautiful!" from people with no vision.