Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chihuly Chandelier

Here in Nashville, we have been very lucky to have multiple Dale Chihuly installations to inspire our students with. My friends Ted, Tina, Daryl and I were in charge of the elementary art teachers inservice (at the beginning of the school year) and we planned the whole thing around the exhibits at the Frist Center and Cheekwood. One of the things that we did was to challenge the teachers to have their students create a Chihuly inspired instillation at their own school. My students have been very busy creating these installations. So far, my third and fourth graders have finished their chandelier/tower (well, at least one of them). Here is is hanging outside of the school from a tree. We created an armature out of chicken wire, and the students brought in hundreds of water bottles. The bottom and labels were cut off, and the students painted the inside of the bottles in the school colors. When dry, the students cut them into spirals and then the bottles were glued into the chicken wire, starting at the bottom. Finally, the top layer of bottles were cut and curled like flowers and added on. A wonderful parent came out and hung it in the tree for me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mural time!

Today I spent the day at school (it's a Saturday) with the Hands on Nashville crew, a group of volunteers. Together, the really perky and helpful volunteers helped pull up sod and weeds, planted 13 bushes, mulched around said bushes as well as almost all of the trees in the front of the school, touched up pain in the hallways and cafeteria, helped the principal clean the stage, took out trash and helped me paint a mural in the front hallway.
Last year we "changed" mascots... although can a lighthouse really be a mascot? Anyways, since we are a design center for character education and our motto was "Lakeview Design Center: Where Good Character Shines Through" the lighthouse was used as our symbol. Last year, however, teachers and students asked to change to some sort of animal. After suggestions and voting the lion was chosen, so now we are "Lakeview Design Center: Lions Today, Leaders Tomorrow". We painted over the lighthouse murals in the hallways, and this mural was painted today in place of one of them. What do you think?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fantastic teacher workshop!

I just attended a fantastic teacher workshop today and learn very interesting art activities to do with my classes. The Cheekwood and Frist Center staff got together to co-host a Chihuly workshop. This was a day and a half (well, a day and 2 hours) long workshop that was at both museums. We started out at Cheekwood for a tour of the nighttime Chihuly exhibit. Then we reconvened at Cheekwood this morning, toured the mansion, and then trekked over to the Frist center to see that exhibit and work on hands-on art activities. One of the really interesting projects utilized acrylic gloss medium and acrylic paint. The gloss medium and paint are mixed together (the less paint you use, the more transparent the finished project will be) and poured out on parchment paper or lamination film and a cookie sheet. It is allowed to dry completely, and then it could be cut up and wrapped around objects or attached to itself. The gloss medium sticks to windows and plastic without the aid of glue.

Embroidery floss can be added into the wet gloss medium to simulate Chihuly's baskets that use strings of glass to mimic the woven designs of Navaho blankets. I can't wait to try this with my class.

More bulletin boards and other displays...

I promised more pictures of my bulletin boards, and here they are. I have 2 large marker boards in my room, and one of them is not in a convenient location, so I have turned it into a "bulletin" board by covering it with fabric. I have split it into 2 sections, one of which is my no-no board and the other side I have designated as the elements of art and principles of design board. The way that I explain the elements and principles to my students is by equating the elements to ingredients, and the principles as the recipe to turn those ingredients into great art.

The no-no board is where I post the "easy" things that I do not want my children to do in their artwork. I want them to be challenged, and not take the easy way out, but to really observe things around them. The specific things listed on my board are as follows:
  • The sun does not smile
  • Mountains are not triangles
  • No floating objects
  • No word bubbles
  • Clouds are not blue
  • No V or M birds
  • Sky not touching ground
  • No lollipop trees
  • No stick people
These are my classroom rules:
And thanks to my friend Ted, here are my "color bugs":