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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Self-Portrait Maps inspired by Aaron Meshon

5th grade just completed these amazing Self Portrait Maps - I first saw this lesson HERE on the BLOG Quest Artists and you can see MORE HERE!  Thanks Ruth Lee at Quest Artists, I was introduced to the artist Aaron Meshon! As soon as I saw the lesson & Aaron Meshon's illustrations I just knew it would be a hit for my 5th grade students - and it was!  So, to begin we looked at Aaron Meshon's artwork. Before the students actually started to draw - I had them fill out a form, that I developed, of "Favorite Things", that gave them a starting place.  I also asked the students to develop a name for their "state" that incorporates their name, they really loved this part and came up with some very creative names.   Next, students worked out their designs in their sketchbooks. When the designs were complete students went on to their final copy (11X17 white drawing paper).  Drawings were completed in pencil first and then students traced over with a fine point Sharpie.  Color was added with colored pencil and Crayola Color Sticks.  Here are some samples but if you would like to see ALL of them check out my ARTSONIA GALLERY HERE!   You might also want to pay special attention to the Artist Statements that the students wrote to go with them.  It is so interesting to read what the students think about their creations.  Enjoy!



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Nature through a Child's Eyes" at the Environmental Center

For the 19th year the Somerset Environmental Center will sponsor the exhibit, "Nature through a Child's Eyes". This exhibit is open to all K-6th grade schools in Somerset County and it is the 10th year Mount Prospect School will participate.  Over 40 pieces of artwork from Mount Prospect, all inspired by nature, will be on exhibit. Any student who has artwork included in this exhibit will receive a letter of congratulations at school.  The children are asked to write, "What nature means to them..." the children's responses are included in the exhibit program. On Sunday - January 9, 2011 there will be an Artist's Reception. It is always so exciting to see the students with their family and friends, they are all so proud!!!

Congratulations to all the young artists!

This exhibit will be on display at the Somerset Environmental Center, Basking Ridge, NJ from January 2, 2011 until February 13, 2011 - if you get a chance stop by and see it!  Please check back here in January to see photos of the exhibit!

Below you will see images of the artwork included in this exhibit.  Please note:  There may be some work missing as it was not all photographed before the work was dropped off at the Environmental Center.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weaving on Clay Looms - 4th grade

This is a lesson I have been wanting to try for a few years - last year I got all the supplies to get the kiln up and running - so, here we go!  In 3rd grade students create a weaving, you can see samples CLICK HERE! This year the 4th grade students created a clay loom ~ here are some samples of them starting the weaving.  Students were so excited to create this project that combines a skill they were familiar with and something new.  Interestingly enough, weaving must be the thing to do right now because Phyl over at There's a Dragon in my Art Room just posted 3 - Wonderful, Wacky Weaving Projects!   Here is a link to one of my favorite videos to show students when we start weaving - CLICK HERE!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Barnes Foundation - have you been?

Via Visit Philly
You may or may not have heard of the Barnes Foundation, located in Marion, PA (just minutes outside of Philadelphia).  The Barnes Foundation has quite an amazing collection of Impressionists, Post-Impressionists and Modern paintings.  In the photo above you can see a mural that Henri Matisse created just for this location, in fact Matisse actually visited the Barnes Foundation.  There are also quite a few Picasso paintings and Van Gogh paintings (a personal favorite). The description from the website states...

"The Barnes Foundation houses one of the finest collections of nineteenth and twentieth-century French painting in the world. An extraordinary number of masterpieces by Renoir, C├ęzanne and Matisse provide a depth of work by these artists unavailable elsewhere. Established as an educational institution the Barnes carries out its mission teaching classes in its galleries and Arboretum. The Barnes welcomes visitors and students throughout the year."

I wanted to go, because soon (2011/2012) the entire collection will be moved from it's current location in a beautiful estate home to a new home in Center City Philadelphia, the new Parkway Building.  I wanted to see it in it's original setting.  It is unusual because the paintings are hung salon style.  The website states, "He chose and arranged the works in 'wall ensembles' in the Gallery to illustrate for the Foundation's students the visual elements and aesthetic traditions he felt were evident in all art forms across periods and cultures."  In addition, there is quite a bit of antique furniture and Pennsylvania-German folk art in the galleries.  

So, when you listen to the audio tour not only do they describe the paintings but they also describe why the paintings (and even some of the furniture) were hung/displayed together.  In one gallery there is a large Matisse painting in the middle of the wall with a Rousseau still life on each side, then further out (on each side) are two small Miro paintings then sitting on the floor below the Miros are 2 antique candle stands - the feet of each candle stand are a bit different but they matche the lines in each of the Miro paintings.  That is the kind of thought that went into placing the artwork. 

To say the least the collection is AMAZING and it was a very inspiring day!  I would be remiss if I did not mention that there is quite a bit of controversy about moving this collection from it's original home.  If you are interested in learning more about this aspect of The Barnes Foundation you could rent the movie, "The Art of the Steal".

If you have now decided that you to must go visit the Barnes Foundation before it moves, please make sure to MAKE RESERVATIONS!!!  In addition, you can purchase a parking pass - this is a very good idea!  The Foundation is located in a neighborhood without much additional, you decide if it's worth it (I think it is).  I am not sure when this location will be closing - it is difficult to find this exact information. So, if you decide you want to go - make you plans soon!  The new location is slated to open in late 2011.  It's worth the trip!  Enjoy


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