What we will be doing and learning about this quarter...
6th Graders will be learning about Vik Muniz, a world renowned Brazilian artist and photographer. They will watch clips from Wasteland, a documentary capturing the life of Vik Muniz as he travels to Brazil to visit the worlds largest landfill. It is here that he will meet a group of very special people that will become the subjects of his artwork. He learns about the "pickers" as they are called, people who work at the landfill, sifting through all of the garbage to separate all of the recyclable products in order to make a living, support themselves and their families. After meeting them, he begins taking photographs of them and then uses the garbage to assemble large-scale portraits of the pickers. The assemblage portraits are then photographed and turned into extremely moving portraits to honor these people and all that they do.
6th Graders will be asked to brainstorm a list of contemporary icons in our world, people who have made some sort of impact on our world (good or bad). Quarter 1 students narrowed down our list of contemporary icons and settled on Serena Williams to honor through a large-scale collaborative assemblage mural. This became a project that everyone would get a chance to work on throughout the entire quarter while working on individual projects as well. If quarter 1 students don't finish their Serena Williams portrait, quarter 2 students will take over! However, if quarter 1 students do finish the mural, then quarter 2 students will get the chance to vote on a new contemporary icon to select and transform into a large scale assemblage mural.
Vik Muniz in front of one of the piles of trash at the landfill in Rio while the pickers sort through all the trash to separate recyclable products.
One of Vik Muniz's large scale assemblage murals mid process - this view is from up above the mural where Vik Muniz will photograph the portrait once it is complete!
11/16: Day 1 of Quarter Two Art!
Day one of quarter two art has begun! Today, instead of spending the first whole day talking about logistical stuff we decided to spend the day making. Today students were asked to think about:
"How can I express something about myself through a non-representational mark using only paper?"
Students were asked to first measure and cut a 4x4" square out of their choice of colored paper to act as a background or a base, then students would create a "mark" out of scraps of paper that somehow represents something about themselves through the idea of color, pattern, shape, line, etc.
The point of this project is for students to feel ownership of their classroom space. I want my students to feel like the classroom is as much theirs as it is mine. So, once they make their mark I hang them throughout the classroom. Quarter 1's marks are still up as well, so hopefully by the end of the year, we will have a whole bunch of marks throughout the classroom to show ownership of all the students!
Take a look at the marks my students made today, they are in no particular order:
11/24: A very exciting beginning to art!
Since the beginning of the quarter, 6th graders have been busy getting into our routine and starting projects! After creating our "marks" that line the columns of our classroom to show students' ownership of this classroom, we moved on to talking about our first project which is the kinetic sculpture or movable beast project!
We were inspired by many different artists who all create interesting and unique forms of kinetic sculptures. The first artist we looked at and talked about was Theo Jansen, the creator of Strandbeests, which are these amazing large scale sculptures that move on their own and have formed their own species of futuristic animals. We first watched a TED talk with artist Theo Jansen who talked in detail about all his ideas behind the beasts and the different movable parts that make up his pieces! Feel free to click the "TED talk" link above to watch it, it is so interesting!
After watching that we looked at a youtube video about artist Anthony Howe and looked at his sculptures in motion, the students were really into this artist! Click the link above to watch the video! After this, I challenged students to work in groups to explore a limited amount of materials and try to create some kind of beast that would have a movable part. This was just practice, a way for students to start getting used to the idea of exploring and experimenting with found objects and assembling them together to create some interesting sculpture. Check out a few images of us working!
12/2: Sixth graders are busy bodies in art class!
6th graders are hard at work in art class balancing two projects at once! We have introduced our kinetic sculpture / movable beast project and students have begun thinking of what they want to create by making sketches in their journal. Before they get going on that project, we are getting the large scale mural project started so that once students begin building their kinetic sculptures we can have rotating groups work on our large scale mural!
Yesterday in class, students brainstormed different contemporary icons of our world that have somehow impacted our world. We came up with a list and then today we went back to it and edited it, we removed some that we felt haven't quite impacted the entire world and we added some new ones that students thought of over night! Check out the brief list below:
Once our list was complete we did an anonymous vote to decide on one person to honor through a large scale collaborative assemblage mural! After voting we were tied between Bill Gates and Vik Muniz (which made me so happy because he is the artist that started this whole project!). When we did one last vote, Bill Gates won, however then one of the 6th graders raised their hand and brought up a very good point. Mrs. Ford's quarter one sixth grade class created their mural on Steve Jobs and so if we choose Bill Gates the two murals might end up being very similar. Though, they are two different people with different accomplishments, the student felt like the materials we would choose to make Bill Gates would be maybe too similar to what Steve Jobs was made out of and therefore it might not be as effective. I had not thought about this and several other students hadn't either, but, as soon as they heard what she said, they agreed (most of the students!). So, I told students that I would chat with Mrs. Serafini and Mrs. Ford to get their opinion and though we could push Bill Gates to have differences from Steve Jobs, we were all super excited about possibly creating one of Vik Muniz. So I have decided that our class will honor Vik Muniz!! I would also love to attempt to get his attention on what we are doing and maybe we will get a response from him!
In the meantime, students are practicing the idea of discerning values in portraits, learning about the value scale, which parts of the face are the darkest values, which are the mid tones and which are the lightest values. Students are doing this by practicing on printouts of various celebrities / icons. Each student received a printout of an icon and they must choose three colors of paper to work with, a dark tone, a mid tone and a light tone. With those three colors of paper they must collage the paper onto the paper printout in the appropriate areas to match the values of the face. This way when they go to start working on the actual mural, they will understand how to decide what kinds of materials will be placed where depending on the values of the portrait!
Check out some images of 6th graders working on their practice value studies:
A few examples of finished face value studies...
12/4 - Brainstorming materials for our Vik Muniz Mural
6th graders spent some time on Friday brainstorming what kinds of materials we could use to make our Vik Muniz mural. First, I showed them a series of images of Vik Muniz's work so they could see the different kinds of projects he has done and make notes in their journals about what kinds of materials he uses so we could use similar ones. Check out some of his work below!
Our plan is to make our mural of Vik Muniz out of materials that he has used for his own projects, so from these images, 6th graders took notes about what kinds of materials they noticed that we could also use! We ended up brainstorming quite a good list of potential materials (see image below). If any 6th grade parents have any of the materials on our list and would like to donate them to our mural, feel free to send the materials in with your student, it is greatly appreciated!!
12/11: This week in art...
This week in art, 6th graders have been busy working on their kinetic sculptures as well as finishing the Serena Williams assemblage mural that quarter 1 students didn't finish! We are planning on getting the boards for the new murals this weekend so we're hoping to start working on our Vik Muniz mural next week!! In the meantime, check out some in progress images of students at work creating their kinetic sculptures and working on the Serena Williams mural!
12/15: Updates from the 6th grade art room!
6th Graders have been hard at work on their movable beast structures and helping me finish the Serena Williams mural. Check out some more in progress photos below!
1/3/16: Starting the New Year tomorrow!
Tomorrow is the first day back from winter break! Im hoping all my students and their families enjoyed the time off from school!! Getting back to the art room, I realized I haven't updated in a while! 6th Graders are finishing up their kinetic sculptures as many have already been finishing their artist statements for their sculptures. Monday will most likely be our last day to work on these sculptures as we need to get going on our next project which will be an abstract painting based project! I will update tomorrow with some photos of finished kinetic sculptures!!
1/11/16: Movable beast photos!
FINALLY! Some photos of finished movable beasts that 6th graders have been working on for so long! They have done some amazing work, check out some images below of finished movable beasts!
1/11/16: Abstract Painting has begun!
Now that 6th graders have (for the most part) finished their movable beasts, written their artist statements about them and created character drawings of them, we are moving on to our next project....which is.....
ABSTRACT PAINTINGS SHOWING SPACE!
For this project, we first talked about what abstract art is. We talked about how abstract art is non-representational (it doesn't represent anything!) and how in abstract art there is nothing recognizable. We talked about how in abstract art, artists usually use color, shape, line, and texture to create the artwork. We talked about the difference between recognizable shapes versus true abstract shapes and how for our artwork we are going to have true abstract shapes!
Then we talked about how artists show space in artwork, not like outer space, but like space in between things. The goal is for students to learn about how to show space in artwork and how to make it look actually realistic. So we first talked about some art terms that are used to describe how to show space and what they mean: -Value (the scale from light to dark) - when objects are closer to us they appear darker in value, when objects are far away they appear lighter in value -Overlapping - when one object overlaps another, we can usually tell which object is closer to us or farther from us -Scale (the size) - when objects are closer to us they appear larger, when objects are farther away from us, they appear smaller -Perspective - perspective shows us the view that someone is looking from, all the objects will lead to a vanishing point off in the distance and you will notice that similarly to scale, the objects are larger closer to us and get smaller as they move off into the distance -Detail - Objects that are close to us have more detail that we can see where as objects far away lose their detail (think about looking at trees on a mountain, the farther away the mountains are...we know there are trees covering the mountain but we are so far away that the trees lose their detail!)
Students seem to really understand this which is great! They have already begun to sketch their plans for abstract paintings showing space onto their canvas boards and today began to paint! They will have to keep these concepts of space in mind when creating their paintings! Stay tuned for photos to come!
1/16: Some finished abstract paintings to check out!
Exciting things are happening in art as 6th graders begin to wrap up their abstract paintings and get ready for our art show!! Check out the first batch of finished paintings below!
1/16: Another exciting note...
Our collaborative large scale assemblage mural of Vik Muniz has officially begun! We have been so busy this term working on sculptures and paintings, artist statements and drawings, as well as finishing up the Serena Williams mural, that it has taken us a while to get going on our mural of Vik Muniz, but this past week, students began the process! On thursday, I had a group of students work to sort and organize our assemblage materials into three labeled bins: light value, middle value, and dark value. This way we will work on one value of the mural at a time. Check out the image of Vik Muniz we are working from and the beginnings of his hair being assembled!
To further our work on this mural, if anyone has any of the materials from our list that they would like to donate please send them in with your child, it is greatly appreciated!
ATTENTION OMS PARENTS! Your children have been hard at work in the art room during quarter two creating all kinds of amazing artwork! To honor their hard work, we will be hosting a quarter two ART SHOW on THURSDAY, JANUARY 21st, 2016 FROM 6-8pm! Your child may have brought home an invitation to invite you and whoever else would like to come see their amazing art work! We hope to see you all there!
If you cannot come to the art show on it's opening night, it will be up all day Friday, January 22nd and then will begin to come down the following week. If you still do not get a chance to come see your child's work, I will be taking tons of photos documenting the event and posting them to my website after that. Be sure to check them out by clicking on the OMS ART SHOW tab at the top of the page and click on 2016: Quarter 2 Art Show.
1/26/16: Last week in art :(
After a super successful art show, we are wrapping things up in art by finishing up any left over projects, working on our mural of Vik Muniz and doing a drawing/painting project to finish up the week! Students began by bringing in a photo to work from, today they began sketching the information from their photo onto their final draft paper. After they will use pen and ink or sharpie to trace their lines they drew and then add watercolor!
In the meantime, they have been trucking along on our mural of Vik Muniz, check out some in progress photos of them working!