Fall Art Program Update
Some teachers opted for a lesson in the technical skills to create a portrait, and then add color and design in the spirit of Cubism. Other classes opted for full-blown Cubism in its style and layout; you see these near the bottom! There was plenty of enthusiasm for the Cubism style in all classes.
Each class was taught the set of shapes common in indigenous folk art, specifically those in the Pacific Northwest Coast tribes. They looked at local totem poles, connected it to their fall social studies unit on the first Washingtonians, and discussed how indigenous people had limited paint colors due to the fact that they mixed their own paint using seasonal berries and shells. Inspired by this color selection and a menu of traditional shapes, each fourth grade class made their own northwest animal.
Third grade looked at the Kente quilts originating in Ghana, Africa. They studied how strips of material were stretched out and woven tightly together in bright, vibrant patterns. The focus was on the use of contrast – adjacent opposites that look especially good together – in order to make a pleasing textile. Students paired thick/thin stripes, or dark/light, or complimentary colors in their individual squares. Collectively the squares formed a class quilt!
Second graders read “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds and together made a community mural using concentric dots. The goal was to create a spirit of exploration and emphasize how each and every child is an artist. Every child can make dots, and dots can make art! The second graders thoroughly enjoyed using giant brushes to paint inside giant circles. Butcher paper was spread out everywhere, and students traced their own circles and painted all sorts of creative dots to form murals that celebrated how even simple dots can do amazing things in art.
First graders presented a sample of the fish mobiles that are being created. The focus is on the use of lines – such as wrapping lines of yarn around fish, folding together ropes of clay to form beads, and drawing lines of different types - all on a single fishing “line” to create creative mobiles. First grade does a lot of art already with guided drawing and watercolor, so the goal in this lesson was to explore different mediums that they don’t usually encounter. Teachers expressed interest in working those fine motor skills to work the clay and yarn.
Kindergarteners worked with different tools to create various textures on fall trees. Most classes had been studying trees and apples, so this was a fun connection. They were surprised at how many different ways you could paint with circles. Circular sponges, film canisters, q-tips, and even fingertips - a classroom favorite - all made circular prints on apple trees. Finally students used forks to make bark-like prints on the tree trunks.