Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stand Strong with Art

This was a project I did for my church's VBS. Our theme was Kingdom Rock, Kids Standing Strong for God. So as the "art lady" I chose several activities that were somewhat medieval that we could do in 20 minutes or less. This was on the day that  "Friends and Family helps us stand strong". We talked about who gave us our names and how some children were named for someone in their family or a close family friend. Some students were named after friends from the Bible too. They created their names similar to illuminated manuscripts. 

Once they were finished we pinned them to a king size flat sheet like bricks in a wall because walls "stand strong". The wall hung in our church the week after VBS and the following Sunday students could collect their names on the way out of mass. It is a great way to show how many children participated in VBS and for the parishioners  to see what the parish children are learning and creating during VBS through art. The children were so proud of the work they did and they loved find and see his or her name on the wall! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Memories

I love Art Camp. I can teach anything I want with what ever I want.

This year one of the things we made were Memory Bottles. I discovered a book by that title and fell in love. The story is about a boy who's elderly neighbor has a mysterious shed. I love the illustrations of all the beautiful forms.

We used Cloud Clay with a form inside, such as paper cups or leftover yarn cones, just what ever I had that seemed to match the children's form. They coiled around the form to create the bottle and created a fancy "stopper" for the top (if they wanted to). Before the bottle was closed they put a memory inside. This could be done with his or her imagination ( a thought was caught in the bottle) or by writing the memory down on paper and sealing it in the bottle.

Once the bottle was dry-ish, which takes a little extra time because the moisture is trapped inside, they were painted with Acrylic Glitter medium mixed with liquid water color. 

The results were magical! I know that the students will remember this camp long after the bottle itself is gone!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Elevating the Arts

First let me say that I am not a lover of contests when it comes to art. I do not care for poster contests and trash art contests whose themes are often shallow and superficial. But this last spring break I read about a contest that truly inspired me. It was sponsored by Americans for the Arts and American Girl Doll and the directive was to create a collaborative work of art with students that shows how art is at the center of learning, or how art is valued in your school. Five volunteer fourth grade students served as our creative core and we started creating our mural installation.

 “Our mural is about how art is all around us.” Mallory explains to a teacher as we install our work in the library. “See how the seeds spread and turns into ideas? Art is like that. It is everywhere.”

Each of the balloons show an area of life that is effected by art. Our food, technology, design of clothing and maps, music marketing, religious imagery, and so much more.

The five 4th grade students who served as the creative core of our mural team agreed that they should include a quote to better explain the impact art has on our school and our world.

“Everything you can imagine is real! The idea (of Picasso's quote) matched our picture so well.” Olivia commented during the discussion about which quote to use.  “Art gives us so much freedom to think and dream of things no one has ever seen before. Plus, it is really fun!” 

Teachers often comment about how excited learners are when they have the opportunity to be creative and expressive in the classroom. With so many high-stakes tests, most schools are pulling out of the arts, but our school is committed to making sure our students are the best, the brightest and the most creative by supporting the arts program.

The national winner of the contest will receive $10,000 for his/her school, so it was a gamble I was willing to take with my time. But, like they say, "Many will enter. Few will win." We will have to wait until October to find out the results but we already feel like winners. The principal showed the installation on the morning video announcements and recognized our creative team for their efforts.