It is here that you will find updates about what is going on in your child's art class. There will be photos, explanations, links to pinterest pages and artist websites and more! Make sure to check back here for an update on what we're up to!
For a brief overview of 8th grade art, click on the homepage!
9/7/16: The second day of school a.k.a. the first real day of classes!
Today is like the first real day of school as students are actually going to all of their classes and the class periods are the normal length of time. To start the year we are beginning with a one day project so students can get their hands moving and making!
The one day project is called "300 artists." For this project, we first began talking about the importance of letting go of control of our art -- meaning that sometimes we need to let go a little and see what happens with our art. Sometimes we need to make experiments, try new things and take risks and sometimes, those experiments or risks don't work out, but sometimes they do and sometimes they turn into the most amazing art! It is important for students to understand that making mistakes is ok in art - that sometimes we need to just go with it and turn it into something new.
So, with that said, we introduced the "300 artists" project in which students wouldn't have ANY control over the artwork. For this project, our first period classes were given a square piece of paper with a single mark on it. Students were then asked to respond to that mark by creating a response drawing that would be abstract. They were asked to only use abstract lines, shapes, patterns and nothing representational. They also were only allowed to use thin black sharpie, pencil and blue colored pencil...not to restrict them but to push them to see what they can do with limited materials. Following the first period classes, students would come in and choose one of the squares that now had a drawing on it from the first class, now these students would respond to their drawing with a new drawing on the same paper so as to build off of the last drawing. By the end of the day, we would have 30 squares covered in drawings by almost 300 artists and the artists all had no control over how the piece would turn out in the end.
Students really loosened up with this project and let themselves explore mark making, abstraction, positive and negative space, various kinds of lines, finding shapes within the previous drawings, creating patterns, mood, feeling, energy and movement. The results have been amazing and it was awesome to see the work travel throughout the day between so many different artist hands. It was also amazing to see how the art changed throughout the day, between different classes and grade levels and between different artistic styles. Check out some images of the final work below!
9/15/16: First project!
8th grade art is really fun this year as we are in our second year of adding the digital art component to the 8th grade curriculum! We have been very much inspired by contemporary artist, JR, learn more about him here! In a quick statement - JR is an international street artist who has launched a global art project in an attempt to use art to change people's lives, and so far he is definitely reaching his goal. With his project Inside Out, he has asked the following of the world:
"I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we'll turn the world...INSIDE OUT." -JR
JR began this Inside Out project by visiting communities around the world that he had heard about in the media. He would travel to these locations to hear the stories of the community members and help to spread their stories to the world, things they cared about, things they stood for - he would spread these messages by taking their portraits and printing them large scale and pasting them in different locations in the community for the public to see. The media would question...what's going on in that city? people pasting portraits? who are these people?...But then JR would leave and the media would have to come directly to the community to figure out what was going on and they would have to talk directly to the people in the portraits and those people would then get their stories told and heard by everyone around the world. JR was working to change lives with the help of his art, it was amazing. He has a very inspiring Ted Talk, you can watch it here. We showed this ted talk to the 8th graders and they too were very inspired.
So, for their first project, we have asked the 8th graders to put themselves in JR's shoes, come up with a statement....I stand for......something they care about, and create a digital art piece using their own photography to spread that message.
Students have had a few classes now to explore the photo editing programs and apps that we will be using. Before we jump into this project, we have assigned a few practice projects to get them used to the programs and ideas behind this project.
First - we asked them to create a digital art piece in which they choose a piece of religious art, from any religion, and combine it digitally with at least 2 other layers of their own photography. This project is relating to what they are learning in history currently.
We also have introduced some photography skills to the students as they begin to take photos. Then we created a class tumblr page (basically a blog page) which can be found here - we will use this page to upload photos that the 8th graders are taking outside of school, they will also add their finished pieces here as well. Please make sure to check it out so you can see the kinds of things they are making with digital art. Mostly the ones up right now are practice projects so students can learn the tools of the programs.
Here are some examples:
In addition to that practice project, we also wanted the 8th graders to practice using the idea of layers with mixed media processes like collage. We asked them to create a square layer piece, a small piece of artwork in which they explore the use of layers, thinking about transparency, opacity, hiding and revealing...they also had to find a photo, from a book, magazine, newspaper and manipulate it somehow and use it in the layered piece. Check out some examples below!
JR - I Stand For Project
8th Grade students are naturals with this digital project - they used either and sometimes both digital programs - Moldiv on the iPads and Pixlr on the desktop computers! They chose a statement that they stand for, something they care about and believe in and had to make a digital piece using their own photography to express that topic. They had to use multiple layers and use some of the photo techniques we discussed in class! Check out some of the final products below!
10/7/16: Starting our next project...Installation art!
Students have been introduced to installation art - artwork that is installed in a site specific location and is many times in a public place so it can be accessed by more people! Students are working in groups to choose a word (the last word) that describes their time in middle school or their time between being a 6th grader and 8th grader. We are calling this project the last word project, once groups have chosen a word, they will begin to plan materials and locations for their installation. Check out some groups plans so far!
10/11/16: Installations are beginning to come to life!
Students this week have begun really working on their installations - whether that is finishing their plans or collecting materials or actually starting to construct the installation! It is very exciting!! Check back for more photos of students working on their installations and in the meantime, check out this one group who has really started building and in one class period made some serious progress!!!