Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kansas Day Art

I enjoy doing some kind of art activity for Kansas Day, maybe because it is my birthday so it seems sort of special to me.  I always remember doing Kansas Day activities in school when I was younger and since it was around my birthday the two seem to coincide in my world.
I wanted to do a school-wide project, but wasn't sure I'd be able to top or compete with my big birthday cake I did last year for Kansas' 150th birthday. 
But I came up with an idea and my K-6 students created self-portraits to help create the state of Kansas to celebrate Kansas Day which is coming up on January 29th.  I believe the hard work and time put into this project to prepare was well worth it.
I used my projector to create a map of Kansas with its counties(much harder than it sounds only because it was on such a large scale), then cut them all apart and had each student draw a picture of themselves on their own county.  When they were all finished, I put them back together like a puzzle.

With only 105 counties and way more students I had to find a way to allow all of my other students to make a portrait too and incorporate it into Kansas Day.  I decided to spell out Kansas Day and have my students portraits on each letter too.  It worked out pretty perfect based on the number of letters and the number of students I had left after the map.

Here are some close-ups...I couldn't get the whole display in a picture straight
on because it is in the hallway outside our cafeteria.

I enjoy doing big art displays and keeping things somewhat of a secret to my students so it is a surprise for them to see when it all comes together.  It's always priceless to see their faces when they see it together and they find their picture they made :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bird's Eye View Cities

My JH students did a project using one point perspective to create buildings and a city environment.  We started out practicing using one point to make basic shapes 3-Dimensional.  My students then chose shapes to use as buildings, some decided on a theme while others just did random shapes.  After they had finished the one point perspective correctly, they filled in the rest of their paper with streets, roads, trees, etc. to create their own city.  They had a lot of fun creating their own city from the ground up. 

I decided that my High School students could benefit from this project as well, so they did the same exact thing as their first project of the new semester.  I have their projects on display but have yet to take pictures so I will post those later.

Here are some of my JH student examples:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Buffalo Stampede/Cow Parade

Ever since I knew about the Cow Parade art display that has occurred all over the world, I thought it would be easy to incorporate art history into this idea.
When I was a student teacher 3 years ago, I gave a history of the Cow Parade and used the display in Kansas City that was done several years ago to use as example images.  Making the Kansas City display prominent in my information wasn't crucial, but made it seem more relevant to my students since we live in Kansas.  I had my students draw a cow and then draw in a photo that paid homage to a famous artist.  Then they added color with colored pencil or paint.

The results I saw were pretty neat and I've always wanted to do something similar to this again.  When I moved to my school and started my job I couldn't quite figure out how to make the project different but see similar results.  Over the summer I thought it would be cool to find a plastic mold that could be used and filled with plaster of paris.  My school's mascot is the buffalo so I thought doing a buffalo instead of a cow would fit a little better.  I searched for a long time but finally found a mold!

I think the results were good but the process was a little hairy!  We used about twice as much plaster of paris than I thought we would need and the results when my students mixed were very inconsistent.  Half of my students worked on this project while the other half worked on the CD printmaking so I was floating around the room a lot.  While mixing the plaster my students didn't always have direct supervision and I believe this resulted in a few mishaps where the plaster/water ratio wasn't quite right because the plaster hardened very quickly.  After a while things seemed to work out much better but we used A LOT of plaster and it was a HUGE mess and a few had some minor breakage!
If I did this project again, I'd like to find something different rather than plaster to fill the molds.

I would like to display these somehow but I don't have a display case and I'm not sure how else to display them so I may just end up sending them home.

Here are some of my favorites:

Grant Wood

Vincent Van Gogh

Keith Herring

Jackson Pollock
This one is done by a regional artist, I believe from Texas.  I can't remember his name, but
one of my boys was indecisive but found this and is really into farming/country life so I let
him do this one. 

Georgia O'Keeffe

Edgar Degas

Georgia O'Keeffe

Georges Rouault

Edouard Manet