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I recently came across this list (posted on the right) again (I've seen it a few times before) and it made me think about things going on in the art room. In my TAB classroom (Teaching for Artistic Behaviors), it's my goal to help students think like artists - be persistent, creative problem solvers, willing to try new things and take risks. I understand that not all students will like art or be good at art, but there are many skills taught, practiced and learned in the art room that cross over into many other areas of life. I hope that students learn that there are many ways to be "talented" in art - and in life - that don't require them to be super talented at any one thing. It's not always easy to do these things, but these are all things that can help prepare you for a more successful future. 

Don't be afraid of the hard work that might be ahead. Instead, challenge yourself as you go towards your future. Some great things will come easy, most, however will require hard work. Enjoy the struggle. 
Go Team.
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Ceramics is an Art II class at Pierz. Students can take Ceramics after they have successfully completed on of the Art I classes here - Intro to 2D Art or Intro to 3D Art. The first part of the semester is spent on "Have to" projects - projects that must be completed to learn foundational techniques that could be used on choice artworks at the end of the semester. Students learn basic hand-building and pottery wheel techniques along with basic instruction in glazing. 
Below are some photos of the "Have to" projects in progress - Pinch Pots, Ceramic Sphere, Slab Box, Coil Pot, Relief Tile, and Wheel Thrown Pot. 
Come back later to see some finished "Have to" projects and some of our choice artworks where we have applied these techniques. 
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It's the end of the semester and students are finishing up their final artworks of the semester. At this point in all of the classes, students have been introduced to all the materials they can use for the semester and have full choice in what they create to show what they have learned. It's very exciting to see what students come up with, many works are very personal and some very powerful. Take a look at some of the artworks we've created...
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Lots of different things going on in the art room this week! 

Intro 3D Art students finished up clay week with glazing and are moving onto our next unit on Figure - focusing on sculpture in the round and proportion (either accurate or exaggerated).
Intro to 2D Art is wrapping up a unit on Heroes and Villains. Lots of superhero artworks but also a few about personal heroes, battles between opposing forces, and also different emotions. 
Painting is working on an Artists Steal unit - creating art based on the art of another artist. Some students are stealing directly from another artist but many have come up with their own ideas inspired by famous artists. 
Eighth grade art students are working on a unit similar to painting class. Theirs is called "Understanding Art Worlds" based on the Studio Habit of Mind - I can learn about art history and learn to interact as an artist with other artists. They are researching famous artists and then using appropriation, parody, or remix to create their own original work. 
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Intro to 3D Art is all about different types of sculpture - additive, subtractive, relief, kinetic, assemblage - using a variety of materials - cardboard, wire, fabric, found objects, plaster, clay, foam, and sometimes even garbage like some of the artworks from this post. The goal is to experiment and PLAY with the sculpture materials to see what they can do. 

Clay is always a favorite. When I introduce clay, we talk about the different stages of clay, important clay vocabulary, common clay tools, and basic hand building techniques. By the end 
of the week, students know what plastic, leather-hard, greenware, bone dry, and bisque mean. They know how to slip and score and they've practiced pinch, coil, and slab techniques. Some of these students will continue using these skills and techniques in Ceramics class, others will just enjoy the processes shown below.
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Eighth graders explored printmaking this week. They tried:
  1. Soft-Kut relief prints
  2. Styrofoam relief prints
  3. Mono-prints using Gelli Plates
  4. Screen printing
  5. Collograph
I like the process of printmaking but most 8th graders see it as a challenge. By the end of the week, some 8th graders understood my love of printmaking, others could appreciate the process, while a few still thought of it as "hard" and might not use it for an art project. That's ok! Art 8 is all about taking risks and learning new techniques, which they did!
Print Around the Room was inspired by Cynthia Gaub's Around the Room activities.
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The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is celebrated in the art room. Not with food, sadly, as one junior boy learned... but with a trip down memory lane - the hand turkey. Most students said they remembered creating a hand turkey at one point or another. It's simple really - all you do is trace your hand on a piece of paper. The outline of your five fingers and thumb becomes the turkey. You've probably made one, too! Here's the twist in art - the goal is to use the outline of your hand to turn the "turkey" into something different. Students use their own personal interests to come up with ideas (sports, favorite pets, tv shows) or their imagination to come up with something unique. As with all artworks, our overall goals are the same:
  1. Use your resources to generate original art ideas.
  2. Work to develop skills - try a new media or work to improve on something you've done in the past
  3. Seek feedback from your peers to reflect on and revise your original art ideas.
  4. Complete work and present to others. 

While most students thought of this as a "fun" activity (which, of course, it was!), I had a secret agenda! These were made by students in grades 8 through 12 in all classes - Intro to 3D Art, Intro to 2D Art, Painting, and Art 8. Check out our creative artworks:
Vincent van Gobble, by Mrs. Underhill



​Thanks to art teachers Melissa Purtee and Ian Sands for inspiring this activity. I even finished a hand turkey this year, which doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you ask the art students at Pierz, I rarely finish an artwork. Thanks to one particular 8th grader that challenged me to finish!
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Upcycle, refurbish, transform, convert, repurpose... These are all popular trends in our world today. We, in the United States, turn out so much garbage each day and most of it ends up sitting in landfills. While upcycling might not be for everyone, Intro to 3D Art students were challenged with the idea of "repurposing." 

To repurpose means to change or adapt in some way in
order to use for another purpose. 

​Create an artwork in which some portion of the artwork includes a repurposed materials - something that is not being used for it’s original purpose. We started by looking at Marcel Duchamp's Readymades (see previous post).

Next, we talked about common ways that people repurpose. Here's a few examples that we looked at and talked about. The ketchup bottle/pancake batter one is just silly. Perhaps I did something wrong, but the results were disastrous! 

We also looked at artists that repurpose. 
​Then, students were asked to bring in items from home to repurpose. Items included: old records, cardboard, egg cartons, plastic spoons, bailing twine, old jump ropes, cd's, maps, unwanted jewelry, an old dresser drawer, and many other unique items. Students created ​unique works of art out of items and objects that might otherwise have ended up as trash. 
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Intro to 2D Art students just finished their most recent artwork. Students learned how to mix colors, practiced brushstrokes and tried out a Bob Ross style landscape. Then we learned about repetition. Repetition is when one object or shape is repeated in an artwork. We talked about different ways to show repetition and looked at some famous artworks that use repetition.

​Most students decided that the best way to show repetition was NOT repeating the exact same object over and over, but found more interesting ways to include that concept in their artwork.  Students spent time generating ideas and developing the particular painting techniques they needed to work on for their artworks. After a few work days, we did a "speed dating" style critique. Students sat face to face, talked about favorite restaurants, most recent shows watched on Netflix, books they are reading and also shared about how they came up for the idea for their artworks, how they're showing color and repetition and then shared suggestions for improvement. 
Finished artworks all turned out unique, like the artists that created them. My favorite part of a TAB classroom (Teaching for Artistic Behaviors) is that students have freedom to choose what their art looks like. Even though the main themes in this unit were color and repetition, no two artworks were alike. Students are learning to think critically, take risks, reflect on and revise their artworks and the outcomes are remarkable.
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In the Pierz High School Art Room, each day of the week has a different theme: Media Monday, Critical Thinking Tuesday, Throwback Thursday, and Reflection Friday. Wednesday is reserved as a full workday. No 5-Minute Demo or artist talk, just work time.  Here's what we're working on today:

Intro 3D is working on an Artists Repurpose artwork. Students were to bring in a non-art material to use in their art. Some of the items include: egg cartons, bailing twine, jump ropes, costume jewelry, cd's, greeting cards, sheet music, spoons, an unused dresser drawer. It's interesting watching students transform cast-off items into art!

Intro 2D art students are working on showing color and repetition. We practiced color mixing, different types of brushstrokes and talked about composition. Here are some students working on their artworks:

Painting students are starting the Artists Steal unit. We looked at some traditional artists that used appropriation and some contemporary artists accused of "stealing" ideas from others. Today, students were challenged to make a remix or parody of famous artworks. Just a sampling of what we started did today:
Eighth graders are starting their observational artworks. Students are in the Generate and Develop stage - come up with an original idea and then work to improve art skills. Here are some of them developing skills:
Be sure to look at the art blog again in the future to see more of our progress!

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