Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. ~Twyla Tharp

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Longest Project Ever

During the month of January, we had 15 schools days here in the middle of North Carolina.  Between starting on the 6th of January after winter break, Presidents, Civil Rights Leaders, end of semester work days and snow, time on task has been limited.  We had an early release day and a couple of 2 hour delays that cut severely into my classroom time.  February is not proving to be much better.  We are 3 weeks into 2nd semester and I'm sitting here two days before Valentine's Day, on my couch looking at the lovely snow falling from the sky.  Yesterday, we left school early having only seen my 8th graders, each class for only 30 minutes.

We've been trying to finish up a project on Surrealism.  Surrealism.  Yes.  This weather is surreal.  I'm tired of the project.  Sick. Of. It.  I'm sure the kids are too.  I generally factor in 5-7 days for each one of our projects.  The first day I'll do the introduction, generally with a little art history and background.  The second day, I'll do some demo and let the kids get at it.  I feel like the start of this project was months ago.  Part of me just wants to say 'Forget it' but the other part of me just wants them to finish it up so we can move on to something else. By what the weather folks are predicting, I seriously doubt we will have school until next week.  That includes Saturday school to make up for the snow day today.  I'm a little bit disappointed because I, in a moment of romantical softieness, was going to break out the construction paper (red, pink and purple, mostly), sequins and (God help me) GLITTER to let my young'uns make Valentine's for their sweeties.  Sigh.

It's been a winter full of interesting weather.  Has anyone else experienced a never ending project because of school closings and weather delays?  How do you deal with the frustration of the project that never ends?

I should be at school, but I am at home watching the snow fall.

She's gotten a little further in the last few classes.

Zach photobombing Eli. 

You can't tell yet, but it's a melted playing card, which I thought was a really neat Dali-esque idea.

Painting and drawing.

They noticed that a lot of surrealist art has eyes in it.  Dylan painted a big eye, with lots of little eyes in it.
If I don't get tired of this thing, I'll do a little gallery crawl video when they FINALLY finish their paintings.

Monday, January 20, 2014

End of the First Semester, More Pics and Art Club

I am writing this in my jammies, it's MLK day, I have off and am looking at a 1 1/2 day work week.  It's the end of the Second Quarter, the end of the first semester and all I can say is where has the time gone?  It's almost February, traditionally the longest month in teacherdom, despite being the shortest calendar month.  But after that? March, then Spring.  And I breathe a sigh of relief.

These pics are one of my seventh grade classes working on positive and negative space.  I wasn't thrilled with the way that my first quarter kids tackled the project that I gave them for this concept.  It was all black and white and they didn't seem to put much effort into it so I decided to change it up a bit.

They traced their hands on 12 x 18 paper and added line and pattern in the back ground.


I told them they could color with markers or colored pencils or both.

Oooops.  I told Jillian that I wouldn't show her face but she is so cute how could I not?



Greyson made sure that I wouldn't post her face. 
This next bunch of pictures is from Art Club.  We meet once a week for about and hour, hour and a half or so.  It's very fluid.  I have a core of about 10 kids that come every week and about 5 or 6 more that come a little less frequently.


I have about 50 panels of lauan that the previous art teacher had cut to fit in the ceiling to put in place of the ceiling tiles.


Turns out that I can't use the wood in place of the ceiling tiles as it is against fire code.  Turns out that the ceiling tiles were painted and put up need to come down as well as the paint isn't fire retardant.  They've been up in our school for 10 years so I don't know if someone is going to take them down or not.

Chizong working on softball, while Madison and Keturah look up pictures for volleyball on the computer.

These panels have been taking up space in my closet and I am on a mission to clean it out.  The Art Club is painting quadriptych murals of the sports that we participate in at our school. 

Nicholas working on Football



Dream is doing an amazing picture of a girl playing basketball, while Angel and Caitlyn work on getting the angle of the elbow dribbling correct. 


Caitlyn and Angel

Love these girls.




While the kids were working I watched them, taking pictures and I just couldn't stop smiling.  They were all so independent, getting their paint and materials out without having to ask.  My art room was their art room. It was their space.  If they needed help, they asked me but they pretty much did their own thing.  I couldn't help but feel like the luckiest art teacher on the planet.  

Earlier in the year, not long after my first art club meeting I got very emotional.  I haven't had an art club in years and I had so many kids show up for that first meeting.  I think my last art club was probably 2007 or so. I couldn't help but think about all the kids that would have loved to have come to Art Club after school in those years that I didn't have it. There hasn't been a lot of support for it.  Luckily, our new administration was totally on board this year and is very appreciative of the activities that we offer after school for our students.  Our band teacher stays after school for tutoring, pep band, jazz band and bucket drums throughout the year.  Our CTE teacher has FBLA meetings and has already taken her group to the State Fair.  We have an amazing step/dance team that is facilitated by one of our EC teachers.

I teach in a small town that doesn't have an awful lot for our kids to do after they leave school in the afternoon.  If you aren't involved in a sport there isn't much to do at school when the day is done.  I am so glad to be able to spend time with kids who love art, some that won't ever have my class because they are in band, or just have art one quarter of the year.  In a couple of months, we will be going to the Artalympics to compete in art events.  I jokingly tell them that we better win a trophy (the big one) and while that would be nice, I am looking forward to spending a special day with them.

After we finish our mural, we will install it on the long wall outside the gym.  It's their legacy, I tell them.  Our next project will be doing a mural on the dugouts.  When it is warmer.  Another legacy. 

I'd love to hear what other art teachers out there do with their art clubs.  Do you charge a fee?  Do you just use supplies that you have?   What kind of projects do you do?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I finally got around to cleaning off the card on my camera.  Here are some pics from the past 2 quarters of some of the happenings in my art room.

In this first bunch of pictures, students were working on their value landscapes.
















In this next set, kids were working on their quilled initials.






















It's fun to look back at pictures from a couple of months ago and see all the smiling faces in my classroom.  In a couple of weeks, we will be halfway through with the 2013-2014 school year and I'll be getting some of these kiddos back for third quarter.  I can't wait!  I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of trouble we can get into this spring!