Tag Archives: Chittenango Middle School

Who Made the Donuts?

We created these donuts in two of my Art-8 classes. Some were mounted on black foamboard and others placed in real Dunkin’ Donuts boxes, which were donated by the wonderful manager at the DD on Rt. 5 in Chittenango, NY.

Materials:

aluminum foil, masking tape, paper towels, Mod Podge, Celluclay, acrylic paint, glitter, foamboard, DD boxes

They are so fun! The trick here was to try to make them all the same size and the same shape. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Each student made a half dozen. I graded them on successful armature, application of Mod Podge and Celluclay, as well as paint and detail.

The Clay Face Project

My 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art students created these clay face masks (with Miller #10 clay purchased from Clayscapes). We used the slab technique over a plastic face form then added clay to shape the features. I poked holes at the sides to secure a Twisteezwire to the back. They can hang on a wall – I love that!

The glaze is called Mayco Jungle Gems. It contains glass bits! So cool.

Kids & Keith

There is still time to visit the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The Keith Haring exhibit will be on display until October 11, 2021. Meanwhile, on the walls of Chittenango Middle School, my students’ artwork is currently on display. It took a lot of heavy-duty stickies to get them to stay up – the tile was not particularly cooperative.

Cause Celeb

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Here are some of the celebrity portraits my 8th grade Studio in Art students (from Chittenango Middle School) finished back in March.  I didn’t display them because I was saving them for the school fair, which never happened.

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I allow students to pick almost anyone – meaning anyone “appropriate”, and this year you will see a variety from sports, performing arts, the art world and social media (and one grand-dad).  Two Steve Harveys, lol.  He wins as most popular this time.

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They are pencil drawings on Canton paper.

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Lizards!

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Two of my classes used hand-building skills to create these adorable clay lizards.  We used the Sax Colorburst glazes.  I love the colors, especially the Firecracker!!!  The projects remain in the glass case in the Chittenango Middle School atrium.

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We looked at the work of the Aboriginals of Australia for inspiration.  Different patterns were added to the body, head, limbs and tail using a variety of techniques.

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Face Mask

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My B-day Art-8 students (Chittenango Middle School) created these clay masks.  We used Sax Colorburst glazes.  They have silica flakes that pop in the kiln creating confetti-like effects.

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I offered students thirteen different colors and asked that they use at least six, making sure to place three coats of glaze on the mask for each color.   It was tricky because the glazes transform in the kiln – there is that allowance for serendipity that doesn’t work if you are a control freak, but totally does if you are experimental.

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I added a wire to the back so they can hang on the wall.  Students took them home today.  I miss them already!

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The Gourmet

A trip to Vince’s Gourmet Imports (440 N. Main Street, North Syracuse, New York 13212) inspired my new still life painting project.  The Studio in Art students completed the course with these epic 16″ x 20″ acrylic paintings.

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I have paired them here with their inspiration photograph.  Students selected the picture then began with the contour line drawing.  These were transferred to canvas with the magical help of graphite paper, placed onto gessoed and burnt sienna-stained canvas panels.

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My main educational tip – begin with white in your mixing tray.  Add raw sienna and whatever main color to the mix (blue, yellow, etc).  This will insure that you don’t make too much of a color by starting too dark and adding crap-loads of white, lol.  The other thing to keep in mind is to not homogenize the mixture so that you can utilize dark and light variations of the color while painting with one brush.

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I am an advocate for students developing and maintaining their own styles as artists.  We looked at the work of Alice Neel and Janet Fish.  Some students went with the black outlines à la Neel.  And Fish’s representation of glass was helpful to their decision making.

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They took the paintings home today, but their images are on display in the counseling offices and will remain there throughout the summer months. I made 8″ x 10″ color copies of the paintings, mounted them to black construction paper and placed them in frames.  I love this new gallery space!

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I feel incredibly blessed to have shared this artistic adventure with these very talented fourteen-year-olds.  Studio in Art is an accelerated high school level class that I teach to 8th graders at Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.

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Art-5 & Fun

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It takes my entire lunch period to prep for the class of twenty-three 5th graders – they are here every “A” day during 8th period.  This was yesterday.  Their clay slab/hand-built fish were ready to go home.  I placed an empty Wegman’s bag, along with their sculptures, grade sheets and the packets for the invention project at their seats.  It is organized mayhem, lol.

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I say that in case you think the room is messy, because it is not really mayhem at all.  They are a wonderful group of eleven-year-olds – smart, talented, happy people-pleasers.  I love spending time with them.  I give them a different assigned seat every class, so that they sit with different people each time.  They have to hunt for their seat.  It’s actually kind of fun.

I love how busy they all are in these pictures.  Everyone is completely on task.  The two students looking at the I-pad are checking the spelling of a word (above).  Only three students did not finish their invention drawings, which I will eventually combine to be sent to the high school print department to be made into a coloring book – hopefully by the end of next class.

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They recently finished a landscape illustration using Grant Wood and Grandma Moses as references, and a wood sculpture using Louise Nevelson and Yayoi Kusama as references, as well as the clay fish and the Leonardo daVinci-esque invention.   

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Next up is a mixed-media lesson referencing Faith Ringgold.  We will add a quilted border to a dreamy drawing.

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Students meet every other day for one semester, which is different than elementary school where students meet once every six day rotation for the entire school year.

Fifth graders started attending Chittenango Middle School (instead of the elementary schools) four years ago. I teach the seventh section of 5th grade (Mrs. Samsel’s class) while my colleague, Joyce Backus, teaches the other six sections (in her own classroom), in addition to teaching all of the Bridgeport Elementary School students.

So fun! <3

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Coloring OZ

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Once again, my 8th grade Studio in Art students created illustrations for the Oz-stravaganza coloring contest!  Eight drawings were selected for 2019.  They are available on-line and at various stores on Route 5 in the village of Chittenango, New York.

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Students used Sharpie marker to outline their pencil drawings.  This was one of the six sketchbook homework projects I assigned last quarter.  I have eighteen students in my class – eight of the drawings were printed to be used in the contest.  Organizer Judy Waite told me it was very difficult to narrow it down to just eight.  They were all wonderful!  Coloring contest drawings from previous years have been bound into a coloring book for sale at the event.  Win-win!

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Top (from left) – Lilly K., Riley S., Isabella L., Kristina T. Bottom (from left) – Amelia D., Lindsey T., Edward M., and Shannon G.

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It is truly an honor for all of us to participate in this community event.  Several of these artists won the coloring contest when they were elementary students!  My 5th graders are coloring the illustrations now.  Entries were sent to all eligible students at Chittenango Middle School and the two elementary schools in the district.  Entries are due on May 8th, 2019.  They will be judged by members of the Oz-stravaganza committee and winners will be awarded at a ceremony on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 at 11:00 am in Oak Park in the village.

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Chittenango, New York is the birthplace of L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz.  Each year there is a festival to honor him.  This year’s theme is “The Magic of Oz”.  There will be all sorts of events including a parade.  For more information go to the committee’s web page – here. <3

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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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