Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Today is National Art Advocacy Day!

Please join me in being an advocate for the arts in education! 
 Ask your child why he or she thinks the arts are an important part of the school day.  Watch the video below for some insight on why we need art in school. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mexican Folk Art: Amate Painting

As long as humans have existed, art has been an important part of social culture. Teaching children about the folk art of other cultures helps us to appreciate what people from around the world consider valuable and beautiful. It allows students to learn about new techniques and materials used in art, and displaying real examples encourages art appreciation in even the youngest students.
Mexican Amate PaintingToday we’ll look at a traditional Mexican folk art, painted on an organic medium called “amate.” Amate (pronounced “ah-MAH-tay”) is a type of paper produced from the fibers of the bark of fig trees.  Beginning in pre-Hispanic times, different indigenous groups used the amate to communicate with others. For example, the Aztecs used the amate paper to register data, or as a gift for soldiers.  In today’s Mexico, the Otomí people of Central Mexico produce this paper in a way similar to its historical origins.  However, now Nahua artisans paint intricate birds, colorful plants, and whimsical animals on the amate so that it can be used for decoration.

Examples of Amate Painting 

We also learned about the difference between stylized images and realistic images.  Stylized images show an artist's unique, creative way of drawing something, rather than an image that looks like photograph.   We looked at images of stylized birds and realistic birds.  Can you tell the difference?  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Animal personification by grades one and two

First and second grade artists learned about Personification,  when an animal or an inanimate object takes on human characteristics.  We looked at examples in art of animal personification, then students drew animals that were personified.
William Wegman's personified Weimaraners 

Dogs playing poker by C.M. Coolidge 

The White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland 

Hamilton the dog snowboarding

A cheetah jumping into a foam pit

Ducky skiing 

Owl skiing

Giraffe admiring itself and getting ready for the red carpet

Stephanie the dog surfing 

Owl at work drinking coffee

Mouse delivering mail on a bike 

Owl wearing underwear and drinking a baby bottle 

Skunk dancing in the spotlight 

Cat doing a workout at a gym

Dog doing exercise outside 

Bear playing baseball 

Raccoon is stealing money and mouse is the police  

A peacock going to school 
A dog robbing a bank 

Owl eating pizza

Peacock wearing a hat and a skirt because she's going to a party 

A bat and a raccoon eating sandwiches, carrots and chips 

Kindergarten line paintings

Kindergarten artists explored how many different types of lines they could create and used the color wheel to help choose colors to paint these fun pictures.