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Friday, December 21, 2012

Snowflakes for the students of Sandy Hook

A building has been designated to house the students from Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The Newtown PTA discussed what they could do to make these children feel comforted upon their return to school.  They came up with the Snowflake project.  They asked students to make a snowflake for them to hang in the new building.  The goal is to create a cheerful, happy environment for the students entering the new building.  As soon as I found out about this I had a number of my classes create flakes before our December break. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December Break Family Activities at the MFA!!!

Take a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts during your time off this December vacation!  The Museum offers free art activities for families all week long from 10am-4pm.
Some of the activities being offered are:

Americas through the Ages Charm Necklace Art of the Americas Wing Level 3
Explore the four floors of the Art of the Americas Wing. As you move from the oldest American art in the lower level (LG) to the modern work on the top level, think about the connections you can make between the art of the past and the present. Create your own charm necklace inspired by the art you see and the connections you make.
New Year's Resolution Postcard Lois B. and Michael K. Torf Gallery 184
Available until 8 pm on Wednesday, December 26

Step back in time to 100 years ago and see how postcards depicted daily life in "The Postcard Age." Create your own postcard for the coming year with your New Year's resolution on the back and a drawing of yourself accomplishing it on the front!
Coin Design Michael C. Ruettgers Gallery for Ancient Coins 212C
Marvel at different types of coins from the ancient world. Notice the symbols, mottos, and metals in these miniature sculptures; then design and emboss your own coin creation.
Pets: Then and Now Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion Room 159
Search for a variety of animals in the woodblock prints in "Cats to Crickets: Pets in Japan’s Floating World" (Gallery 278A). Examine how animals were part of daily life in Japan in the 1700s and 1800s, and then join us in the studio Room 159 to create a print about the role of animals in your life today.

*Click on this link to get more information!
December vacation at the MFA!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Calder Rocking Birds

First Graders began studying the elements of art- starting with line.  Using paint we created 4 or 5 different kinds of lines on our paper.  Afterwards we filled in the shapes that were created by our lines.  Finally students discussed patterns and used a variety of lines to create patterns on top of their paintings.

Next, we looked at artist Alexander Calder.  We discussed his love of motion as well as how he used to create his own toys.  After looking at and discussing his work we set out to transform our paintings into our own rocking birds!

Knights in Armor

Fourth Grade students studied armor from 3 different places in the world- Europe, Japan, and the Islamic world.  In Europe we discussed how the design of the armor often reflected popular clothing during that time period.  Students were able to analyze the designs on the armor; understanding how the artistic choices represented the person inside.  In Europe we saw symbols as well as illustrations that described scenes from the bible or military designs from Ancient Greece and Rome. In Japan, the samaurai's armor was very different.  Warriors wore masks to protect them and also to scare their enemies.  Their helmets also contained symbols.  We saw one helmet that used a praying mantis to represent fearlessness or bravery.  Students were also able to identify other symbols on their armor (like turtles to represent a long life).  Lastly we looked at some Islamic armor.  This armor did not include any symbols of people or animals like the others we viewed but instead was decorated with arabesques( looks like vines) and Arabic writing (often quotes from the Qur'an.  Human and animal symbols don't appear very often in the decoration of Islamic arms because using such images to decorate mosques and the Qu'ran was forbidden. 

    After viewing and discussing these examples students set out to design their own armor, drawing inspiration from what they had just seen.  Students began their design with tag board, covered it with foil, and etched their own symbols into the foil using a pencil.  Later students discussed medival weaponry and shields and added these elements to their work as well.