We are halfway through the third quarter of this school year. I know that because I just updated my grade book. The 2017-2018 school year marks an increasing shift to a choice-based art program based on the artistic behaviors in the digital domain. My focus is on balancing the introduction of new skills and artistic concepts with encouraging the creation of original art.
Art, Design and New Media: The first priority and mutual goal is to establish that everyone is up speed on what it means to create, store and post digital media. File types and the lesson of not arbitrarily changing extensions is actually really important! So is what it means to be safe online and the discussion of "trolling" was very popular and referred to often ;) I also learned about Fortnight...
Click on photos to see image captions - skills/concepts covered during each project.
Digital Photography/Advanced Compute Art is really a very exciting class due to the huge variety of interests. As in Art, Design and New Media (a suggested pre-req) for this class, I teach new skills and introduce new artistic concepts periodically. From there the students take off. Here's a gallery of some of the images created this school year:
Click on photos to see image captions - skills/concepts covered during each project.
Credit for many of these ideas to an amazing supportive group of Art Educators in my virtual PLC (mostly on FB). The digital geometric collage was from this tutorial.
Coming soon - a snapshot update of what's happening in the art studio!
There are always amazing things happening in the Millis High School art department - this post is a quick highlight on a few special things from this Fall!
These three photos are currently on display in The Massachusetts Art Ed Association Exhibit:
High School Photography/Altered Images
as part of a continuing series of art education exhibitions in the second floor atrium/gallery space at the State Transportation Building in Boston.
The exhibit is currently on view:
Monday, October 2 - Friday, November 17, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.Monday - Friday (Closed Holidays & Weekends)
Massachusetts State Transportation Building, Boston
Lauren's painting and Matt's illuminated letter were both contenders for Artist of the Week on Artsonia. We didn't win the Blick gift cards but it was still nice to be recognized! You can look at lots more of our artwork on Artsonia.
This afternoon, I'll be driving these two paintings to the drop off for the National Art Honor Society Exhibition:
on view from Thursday, November 8-Friday, November 17
Closing Reception Saturday, November 11
Hampshire College Art Gallery
Harold Johnson Library
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
And I'll close this post with few memories from a fun and inspirational day last week at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston!
Millis High School End of Year
Art Exhibit Opening
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Millis Public Library
Roche Bros. Community Room
The show features a wide variety
of student artwork, including
Johanna Carr’s “Faces of My Hometown”
Portraits in Oil
Selected works will be on display throughout May.
Contact: Carol Haggerty, email@example.com
Another year - another fantastic group of shoe designs!
Four teams each received a brand new pair of shoes to customize using Music, Action Sports, Art and Local Flavor as the theme. The result is a creative collection and among the strongest we've ever submitted. New this year was a 2D design component with the broad theme "Technology & Design."
As a unit, the students worked together to creatively solve the given design requirements for this authentic challenge! And it was really FUN!
Can you believe that my picture was in the newspaper on the first day of kindergarten and on the last day, too?
I knew I had these clippings and uncovered them the other day. The newspapers are over 50 years old and I decided to share them here because of the relevance to Black History Month (and to what's going on in our country and schools today). See below for caption/article transcriptions:
Classroom photo caption: Bayonne's youngest students, members of the kindergarten class at Woodrow Wilson School, began their scholastic careers this morning. For many of them, it was the beginning of almost two decades of education. Some of them were a little apprehensive of the awesome task before them but most had settled into the routine of school bells and scholarship by noon. Parents help out in the weaning process at Wilson, following the suggestion of Principal John A. Marconi, who thinks children can adjust better if their parents are around for a little time. (That's me at the bottom corner of the table.)
And then this was the adjacent story...
Kennedy Set to Use Troops To Aid Alabama Integration - BULLETIN BIRMINGHAM, Ala (UPI)- Two Negro students slipped into a back door of a white elementary school today, becoming the first of their race to attend a white public school. Gov. George C. Wallace made no move to halt them.
Three other Negroes were scheduled to enter the city's previously white schools for the first time, although Wallace vowed they would not and sent nearly 200 state troopers to turn them away.
WASHINGTON (UPI)- The Kennedy administration was prepared today to use federal troops if necessary to enforce school desegregation in a new show-down with Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace. Justice Department officials said they hoped the Alabama crisis could be resolved by local authorities but they made it clear that troops would be brought in if required to back up federal court orders. Atty. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy and his aides were watching developments in Birmingham, where three public schools were scheduled to be integrated today before deciding on federal action. (...)
So while I was being supported by parents, teachers and administrators there were "Two Negro students (being) slipped into a back door of a white elementary school...?" Since reading this I cannot stop thinking about those two students... How did things turn out for them?
Photo Caption - END OF SCHOOL - Whee! School's out. A whole summer of fun. These thoughts are on the minds of hundreds of Bayonne youngsters as the school vacation session begins. Shown here are students in the Woodrow Wilson School helping Mrs. Joseph Fleisher, kindergarten teacher, put toys away for the summer. The student (l. to r.) are Patrick Devaney, Karen Romano, John Franconeri, and Carol Messenger (ME!).
And the adjacent story...
President Hails Civil Rights Bill as Challenge -
House Leaders Promise Speedy Action on Measure WASHINGTON (UPI) - Americans of every race and creed faced a challenge from President Johnson today to join in making the provisions of the newly passed civil rights bill "the customs of our land."
The president, on a speech making trip to the West Coast, issued a statement in SanFrancisco shortly after the Senate approved the controversial measure Friday Night, exactly a year after it was first requested by the late President John F. Kennedy. Johnson hailed the action as "a major step toward making equal opportunities for all Americans," and said that while no law can eliminate prejudice, the bill will go further "to invest the rights of man with the protection of law than any legislation in this century. " Looking forward to the day "which will not be long forthcoming," when he signs the bill into law, ...
So, a lot happened during my kindergarten year. President Kennedy was assassinated. And a week or so after this newspaper story, President Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act into law. I will never know exactly how the year went for those "Negro" students slipped into the back door - but I do know that we still have a long way to go.
Let's not go backwards America!
Further reading/ links to share with your students:
The History Cannel: Black History Month
Unpublished photos relating to Black History from the NY Times Archives
My school has a seven day schedule and each period has a long block once during that rotation. In digital photography /advanced computer art I've started a tradition called the "Double Challenge." It's a great opportunity to try something new - to add some hands on skills to our digital repertoire and to step away from our computers for a bit. We've done light painting, photographed lizards, designed spooky book covers and made and created paper lanterns.
When I saw this Create a Futuristic City tutorial on the High School Photography Teachers Facebook group, I knew it would be perfect for our next double challenge! Well, it was so much fun and I think the variety of results really surprised me.
Behind the scenes look at creating the cities...
The Millis High School Art Department congratulates all those that submitted pieces, and we are pleased to announce that the following students have received awards through the Scholastic Art and Writing program:
I KNOW that taking a photo a day will result in improved photographic skills and potentially yield other great benefits - and many seem to agree. My digital photography/advanced computer art class, however, was not quite so enthusiastic but we pressed on anyway. Some are following along with me, using the prompts provided by an Austrailan named Chantelle on her (unfortunately named) website, Fat Mum Slim. Checking the #s each day allows us insight and inspiration as we see how other artists and photographers from around the world interpret and present the daily prompt.
Students are either participating on Instagram or updating their blogs with the daily photos. Follow along or join in!
My challenge pics are on Instagram at millis_photography!
Student instagram participants so far (I'll update as they send me their links):
I will preface this post with saying that I love learning, evolving and trying new things - especially when it comes to my teaching practice. BUT this is one educational sequence that I've been following for a few years and it's a tried and true way for students to learn the basics in Adobe Illustrator - including the pen tool! Engagement and motivation stay high as everyone gains skills while getting to be creative. Success for all. Here's the basic one-two-three:
I was introduced to this pen tool worksheet by my mentor, Bonnie, and I'm not sure if she designed it herself or got it from someone. I've redrawn it a few times but it's essentially remained the same - 'cause it's that good. This is one assignment that I insist on perfection (it's skill building after-all - no creativity involved ;). In our final review of the class, most students cite it as their most hated assignment - and then go on to say it was a skill they came to rely on for many other projects. When done correctly, it teaches how to use all of the pen tools and the direct selection tool. We may spend 3-4 class periods or more on this worksheet. But from here, the silhouette is an easy step - tracing around your profile pic is analogous to tracing Figure 10 in the Pen tool Worksheet! The concept of layers is introduced as is adding the decorative border to a path.
The self portrait is the next jump in the progression. Creative decisions have to be made - the students are now drawing (taking what they see in the 3D world and flattening it onto the picture plane...). First everyone creates a self portrait with a black one point stroke - then a portrait with stroke variation - then one in full color. The students learn so many new things along the way and are always enthusiastic to share their discoveries with their classmates.
Note: In both the silhouette and self portrait, the student chooses the photo - places it into AI - and LOCKS the layer. They add a new layer on top of the photo and begin drawing on that layer. This way the photo layer can be turned off and on to check progress.
I was so excited to receive this email from Art Prof (aka Clara Lieu, Visual artist and RISD Adjunct Professor + her cohorts)! As mentioned in an earlier post, AP Studio Art/Art II was following along with a series of Art Prof tutorials "How to Draw a Portrait with Charcoal & Cross-Hatching" and we all learned so much.
As a veteran art teacher, I had instructed students in charcoal portrait drawing for years but really appreciated the way Clara pulled it all together as she demonstrated each step (however small) along the way. Especially helpful was the way all of the common beginner errors were mentioned, along with ways to avoid such pitfalls - a key feature for this mixed level HS class. I played a few of the short tutorial videos a day and then set the students off to work. Then I was able to circulate and offer informal critique and encouragement (along with other classmates) citing and reinforcing steps that we'd just watched. Just take a look at the results - amazing, right?
So for fun, we participated in the Art Prof September dare and uploaded images of our work-in-progress and completed drawings to the Art.Prof instagram. That's how I came to receive the email informing me that we are the winners! The prize is amazing: Each student will receive a 1 minute video critique on a work of art of their choosing (not necessarily the charcoal portrait). I am excited for my students to have this opportunity for another pair of eyes on their work that will highlight what's working and offer strategies on how to make improvements (which is always a delicate balancing act...)!