Category Archives: classroom

Journey

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This year there are fifteen 8th graders in my Studio in Art accelerated high school course at Chittenango Middle School.  They finished the Lions Club Peace Poster project just in time for the end of the first marking period and for the judging last Wednesday.  This is an international competition where the big winner gets $5,000.  At the local level, the Chittenango Lions awarded monetary prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

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This year’s theme is Journey of Peace.

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Posters will be on display in the guidance office where we have recently created a little gallery space.  They will be moved to the Sullivan Library’s Community Room for the month of December 2019.

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Today our winning poster competes for the regional title.  If it wins, it continues its journey at the state level then internationally.

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The Lions Club is providing us with a luncheon on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 in our classroom.  I am so incredibly blessed to have these wonderful people in my life.  They are so supportive of my program and each year for the past thirteen years they have turned three of my students into professional artists.  That’s a lot of pros!  Win-win! ❤

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Watercolor Lesson

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Teaching watercolor to my 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art students was probably the most significantly beautiful thing I have done at school all year.  I gave them each their own palettes and set of Koi brand watercolors.  They began by painting on small sheets, practicing four techniques:  saving the white of the paper, glazing, wet-in-wet and dry brush.

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Then I gave them Arches 300# watercolor paper.  They drew landscapes with barns.

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Paintings took weeks to create.  Many, many days of thin coats of glazing culminating in dry brush details.  These kids are extraordinarily talented.  I guided them, but really, they were on auto-pilot for much of the lesson.  My job was to remind them to utilize formal principles consciously – rhythm, balance, emphasis…and to insist that they trust their own hand and intuition, so that their style could emerge.  My goal and hope for them, as they mature as artists in high school and beyond, is for them to stay true to who they are and what they want to evoke in their artwork.

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I am beyond blessed to know these talented über-amazing young people!!!!

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Paintings are currently on display on the hallway walls at Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, New York.

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Prints + Texture = Artsy

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Cinq a Sept top, Trina Turk pants, Calvin Klein booties
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Trina Turk dress, Marc Jacobs booties

I have been playing with mixing patterns and textures in my #ootd.  And layering.  Putting sweaters under dresses and finding unexpected matches, like my amber necklace (I actually designed it myself!) is the same color as the Marc Jacobs patent leather booties in rust (pictured above).

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Rebecca Taylor top and pants, Alice + Olivia top, Calvin Klein booties
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Theory cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Calvin Klein booties

And a new cardigan pairs nicely with a four-year-old dress (above).

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Theory cashmere cardigan, Rachel Zoe dress, Via Spiga tights, Calvin Klein booties
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Trina Turk top and pants, Calvin Klein belt, BCBGMaxAzria sandals
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BCBGMaxAzria sweater, Rachel Zoe dress, Sorel boots
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C by Bloomingdales cardigan, Banana Republic leather top, Free People leather skirt, Nine West boots
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Kobi Halperin top, BCBGMaxAzria jacket and pants, BCBGeneration sandals
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BCBGMaxAzria dress, Marc Jacobs sandals

It is now spring.  I have started to slowly reintroduce sandals.  The weather in Syracuse/Chittenango will just have to catch up.

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BCBGMaxAzria tops and pants, BCBGeneration booties

In other news, students are glazing textured clay projects, finishing up patterned paintings and some fashion drawings.  The quarter ends on April 5th, I believe.  Then we will be gearing into the homestretch with sculptures, more paintings and artsy mayhem (the good kind – there is no fartsy in the art room).

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Michelle DaRin jewelry ring, Coach crossbody bag, BCBGMaxAzria sweater and dress, Ralph Lauren boots

Secret Chamber

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I have always been drawn to the exquisite beauty of all that is Ancient Egypt.  I took an Egyptology course at University College while teaching at Bryant & Stratton back in the ’80s to answer a student who questioned why and how Egyptian fashion was selected as the first chapter in the costume history textbook.

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The answer lies in art, because all of our history to do with ancient cultures comes not from the written word, but from pictures – in this case hieroglyphics, tomb murals and, of course jewelry, as well as the remnants of clothing made of linen fiber.

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I learned that Napoleon’s French army invaded Egypt in 1798.  They rediscovered the antiquities and were the first archeologists to investigate the area.  It wasn’t the painstaking attention to delicate detail that it is today or even remotely a respectful handling of human remains.

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Many mummies were burned as fuel for steam engines, which is just so tragic.  Later on, in the following century, Egypt became an exotic vacation spot for wealthy Americans who enjoyed purchasing the baubles, scarab beetle decor, and mummies!

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They held mummy unveiling dinner parties back in the States, stuff like that.

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Howard Carter uncovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.  This significant find catapulted Egyptian archeology in terms of the level of importance, the regard for history and the sheer magic in attaining this priceless treasure.

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Somewhere in the middle, during the Victorian age, Cazenovia Public Library benefactor Robert James Hubbard and his son accumulated a collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts including an intricately wrapped-in-linen mummy for the purpose of creating a museum.

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And so, yes, there is a mummy in this library.

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Yesterday, Janine and I visited Cazenovia, New York; first stop, Cazenovia Artisans, second, Common Grounds and next, to the library to see this exhibit.  We ended up at Empire Farm Brewery for lunch.  Janine had never been to any of these spots nor had she an idea this breathtaking collection even existed.  So, my thought is that not many of you know about it.  You’re welcome!

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When I taught elementary art at Bridgeport Elementary School in our district, I decided to add a few lessons on Ancient Egypt culture to the third grade curriculum, because I had this knowledge I wanted to share.  I created a cat mummy sculpture lesson.  Naturally, no pets were harmed.  Students’ sculptures were made of an armature of plastic bottles and styrofoam balls.  They were void of remains, unlike the actual cat mummy at this museum.

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At Chittenango, it is the sixth graders who study the ancient civilizations in Social Studies.  They do take a field trip to Cazenovia Library, as the village is adjacent to our school district via Route 13.  I highly recommend a visit.  It is free and really quite extraordinary.

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The library is located at 100 Albany Street, Cazenovia, New York 13035.  It is open Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 – 5:00 pm.  They are closed on Sundays.  Call (315) 655-9322 for more information.

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The museum space is also home to a gallery for rotating local artist/art organization exhibitions, as well as a wonderful exhibit of birds and plumage in fashion.  They also have many interesting activities for children including puzzle clubs and such.  Yesterday they had a hot chocolate and cookie station available.  Set in a Victorian mansion, this is truly a quaint and lovely experience that really packs a secret chamber punch.  So special!  ❤

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Art Room Chic

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Rachel Zoe dress, Nine West booties
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Honora necklace, Lord & Taylor cardigan, Trina Turk top and skirt, Marc Jacobs booties
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Free People cardigan and dress, Marc Jacobs booties

Here are my looks for January and February 2019.   I started with new students so we are easing into the mess.  Three students got paint on their clothes on Friday, lol, and one slapped her painting into her chin while attempting to place it on the drying rack.  Another got paint on the back of his forearm.  What is that about???  Of course, I made it through the week unscathed.  I am a professional, as you know.

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Free People cardigan, Ulla Johnson dress, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots
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Free People cardigan, Rebecca Taylor dress, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots

Disclaimer – I have a couple of repeats here.  I tried to change it up, but you will notice that I have those over-the-knee Karl Lagerfeld boots in two colors and about four or five similar Free People cardigans.  And – I just bought the Theory Malinka belted cashmere cardigan in three different colors!  I still want the black one too, if I can find it.

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Theory cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Calvin Klein booties
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Theory cardigan, Banana Republic dress, Sorel boots

I know what I like and when I find something that works, I want it any way I can get it.  My new desires include the Joe’s Jeans leather cropped pants in all three colors, more Theory sweaters and I have my eye on a white BCBGMaxAzria gown (for no particular reason) and a couple more Rachel Zoe things.  I also have 3.1 Phillip Lim on my radar and, of course, more silk Ulla Johnson dresses.

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BCBGMaxAzria sweater, Akemi + Kim dress, Sorel boots
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Free People cardigan, Akemi + Kim dress, Karl Lagerfeld boots

I ❤ fashion!

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Theory cardigan, Rebecca Taylor top, Alice + Olivia pants, Calvin Klein booties
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Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt and leggings, Alice + Olivia top, Calvin Klein booties

#fashionintherealworld #fashioninreallife #fashionblogger #fashionista #fashioninrealtime #syracuseartist #arteacher #lovefashion

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Cinq A Sept dress, Calvin Klein booties
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Cinq a Sept top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Calvin Klein booties

Photo cred: Katy C.

 

Who’s Greek Now?

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I decided to infuse the 8th grade Medusa  drawing project with real people.  I was driving to work a few weeks ago and the idea just came to me, lol, but would the teachers at Chittenango Middle School go for it?

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On the half day, I sent out an email then I ran around taking pictures of those who were receptive to being immortalized as Medusa.  The principals were even on board, which was so, totally, awesome!

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Students selected from the faces and added the snake hair and Greek pattern border.  We watched excerpts from 1981 and 2012 Clash of the Titans while using Sharpies and colored pencils.  Here are the results.  They used 16″ x 20″ white heavyweight tagboard and Prismacolor colored pencils.

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I have two classes working on a new batch on brown Kraft paper.  It is such a fun project.  So many possibilities with regard to color schemes and composition.  So incredibly satisfying!

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This artwork is currently on display in the hallway outside of my classroom at Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.  It will be up for a while, at least until the end of the semester at the end of January.  I will display some of them at the school fair in May too.

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Educational Center at Green Lakes!

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The Educational Center at Green Lakes is now up and running!  Wow – it has taken something like a year to rebuild the boat house and transform it into this amazing space.  It is really beautiful.  And it has Stickley furniture!

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There is a lot of history here.  Information on the meromictic lakes, the story behind the purchase of the land – and its stunning World War II connection.  Yes – there was a POW camp on-site.  It was near the golf course by the east entrance to the park.  German soldiers created many of the trails and farmed the land!

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This education center is chock-full of information.   There is a large map of the park on the center island.  A bunch of interactive displays can be found in pull-out drawers. There’s an outdoor classroom too.  They offer classes that are aligned with New York State standards and they welcome all age groups (and not just science students).

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To set up a school field trip, contact Katie Mulvihill at katie.mulvihill@parks.ny.gov or call (315) 492-1756.  Green Lakes State Park is located at 7900 Green Lakes Road, Fayetteville, New York 13066-3385.

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