Fifth Grade students sculpted wire portraits inspired by the work of Alexander Calder, pictured above. They used aluminum sculpting wire and copper telephone wire to bring line drawings to life, inventing their own ways to secure the wire and create strong, bold sculptures. Click below to enlarge their artwork and process photos.
First grade artists studied artist Elizabeth Murray this spring, exploring the line between 2D and 3D art. To prepare for their sculptural paintings, students watched Art21 videos of Murray at work on her large scale paintings. They watched attentively as Murray explains how she "gloms shapes together," paint layer upon layer, and moves shapes around until it feels right. Murray built dynamic, lively, cartoony shapes that jut into the viewer's space. First grade students emulated her process in the works below. Click to enlarge:
Pop Art and Poetry: Artists and Poets Play with Words
3rd and 4th grade students interpret the words in Calef Brown poems, finding inspiration in the way pop artists such as Robert Indiana use text in their art. 4th grade students created 2 layer prints and added accents with oil pastel, and 3rd grade students painted their words. Click on an image to enlarge it.
3rd grade Haiku. Students wrote their own haiku and painted interpretations in the style of Japanese ink paintings. Click below to enlarge.
As a follow up to their trip to see "Swimmy, Frederick, and Inch" at the Flynn Center, students in Kindergarten and STEP, our ELL class, explored Leo Lionni's picture book Swimmy. Students in STEP class used theater skills to act out the setting, plot, and characters in the book before creating their collage. They also created shadow puppets to explore the story further.
Click the gallery images below to view STEP students' exploration:
Kindergarten collages. Click to enlarge:
Inspired by the Oaxacan painted animals in the story Dreamcarver, 1st grade students sanded down sticks and painted them with intricate designs.
Coincidentally there is an artist, Andrea Lilienthal, displaying her work in Stowe right now, and her art is much like the work our first grade artists have made! Hats off for being cutting edge, 1st graders! Click for the Article in Seven Days.
What is your hero's greatest strength? What is your hero's greatest weakness?:
“My hero is good at jumping and running. The fire is like jumping into the sky and the sharp points show how fast I can go.” -Binod
“I can control any weather. If I get mad, I make the waves crash into the ships.” -Esther
“I can summon fire, but I am afraid of water.” –Rowan
“I am fast, but afraid of the dark. You can see how fast I am because my hair is blowing, and the dark spots show my fear.” –Hussein.
Kindergarten students created puppets inspired by Indonesian shadow puppetry,Wayang kulit. They predicted which parts would be visible in the shadow,asking: Will the marker show in the shadow? Will the shadow be gold if the puppet is gold? Will the holes in the puppets show in the shadow?
Below: Students used their puppets to explore the effects of light and shadow and to experiment with storytelling.
Stop by City Hall this month to see IAA artwork on display! Two students from each class have been selected to share their artwork in the annual City Hall Elementary Art Show. These students will be honored in an awards ceremony on Wednesday, March 19th. Their work represents the creative thinking that ALL of our students have been doing this year. Go check it out! On display through March 28th. Click below to view larger images.
We wrapped up our Everybody Weaves unit this week with a Kente cloth weaving project, two guest speakers, and a trip to the Fleming Museum to search for examples of weaving in other cultures. Qamar and Safiya's mom, Khadija, visited to speak to us about Somalia, and she demonstrated how she weaves baskets. Ganga Sharma, a cultural liaison for the school district, spoke to the students about culture and weaving in Nepal and Bhutan.
Examples of some of the questions students asked:
What materials do people weave with in your country?
Why do people weave there?
Who weaves? And How do they learn to weave?
What are schools there like?
What kind of music do people listen to?
For their last project in this unit, students made cardboard looms to create pieces inspired by Ghanaian Kente cloth. At the Fleming museum we learned that Kente means "whatever happens to it, it will not tear" in Akan.
This week in our Art + Social Studies unit, we studied Abenaki stories and weaving. Sra Bangoura and Mr. T told the story of the trickster Gluskabe and the Wind Eagle, and students brainstormed a list of important words from the tale (list pictured below). They then chose a few words to weave into their artwork. Click to enlarge images below.
Students in grades K, 2, 5, and one 1st grade class are in the midst of a printmaking unit. They are making collagraph prints from collages. Kindergarten and 1st grade students found there inspiration in mandala designs, students in grade 2 focused on making an image out of geometric shapes, and 5th grade students created images out of both geometric and organic shapes.
We kick-started our latest Art Integration unit, Everybody Weaves, with a day of exploration. The unit, which will focus on weaving and storytelling in different cultures that coexist in Vermont, was inspired by a popular trend in the 4th grade at IAA: rainbow weaving with rubber bands. These images from Friday's class show students demonstrating weaving techniques as well as inventing new techniques together. Click on an image to enlarge it.
Students in the 3rd grade and STEP class are having a ball with their sculpture unit. Their latest exploration is about gesture and the human figure. They are sculpting Giacometti-inspired figures using aluminum foil and plaster. Students acted out and sketched their ideas before beginning to sculpt. More updates to come!
Images of Alberto Giacometti's work below:
First grade students learned about mixing primary colors to create the three secondary colors (orange, purple, and green). Each student mixed his/her own secondary colors and painted local newspapers to create collage materials to share with their classmates. The next week we looked at Romare Bearden's neighborhood collages and photos of colorful houses in Burlington's Old North End. The images inspired their final neighborhood collages. Click for larger images of these snowy scenes.
An example of one of Romare Bearden's neighborhood collages, The Block:
Students in 2nd grade studied contemporary Ghanaian artist El Anatsui and his quilts made of recycled materials. They created their own paper quilts, focusing on creating pattern and detail in unique ways.
Top: Display of 2nd grade work inspired by El Anatsui
Middle: El Anatsui's quilts. Click to enlarge
Bottom: Close up of 2nd grade artwork
In our Integrated Arts Unit, the 5th grade students have been studying political cartoons in conjunction with their argumentative writing unit. We've been exploring the questions, "What is a political cartoon?" and "What techniques do authors and cartoonists use to communicate a point of view?"
Our art focus thus far has been on how to use facial expressions, gestures, and exaggeration to communicate a point of view. James Kochalka visited both classes as a guest artist, sharing his expertise on creating readable facial expressions. For the final cartoon of our unit, students used these techniques to explore the pros and cons of the proposed Vermont soda tax. Check out how the students communicate different points of view on this political issue in artistic and humorous ways. They will be composing argumentative essays based on the same topic in the coming weeks.
For larger images, click below.
Kindergarten Still Lifes, below. Students practiced careful looking, painting inside the lines they drew, and creating a foreground and background. Click to view full images.
1st grade students in Ms. Alice's class used chalk pastel to create their still lifes. Click to view full images:
Students in 1st grade studied the artist Helen Frankenthaler last month, focusing on her experimentation with materials and her use of shapes to fill a space. We also learned about how artists sometimes use symmetry to make their pictures feel balanced.
A work in progress: 4th grade students are investigating one point perspective and surrealism.
Student quotes from our mid-process critique:
"I can tell that one is surreal because the windows are slanted and there are strange money signs in the road."
"I’m gonna try to make one of my houses look like it’s melting."
regarding one point perspective:
"I already knew how to make a 3D house, but now I know how to put lots of 3D houses together."
Click below to view larger images.
Ada Leaphart, Visual Art Teacher at the Integrated Arts Academy