You may have noticed the development of pig sculptures – I’ve had them on the counter as background in my #ootd pictures. The project had a couple of components. Students created armature with paper towels, masking tape, aluminum foil and a recycled bottle of juice or iced coffee (I have tons!). The sculptures were engulfed in Pariscraft then painted. Once they were done, the artists took their pigs to a secret location somewhere in the school and using their I-Pads, photographed them in a composition. It was a really fun project.
My Facebook friends inquired if the sculptures would be auctioned off. I mentioned that to the students and a few got the professional artist bug, lol. So, some of the pigs are for sale. Proceeds will teach students a valuable lesson about their time and effort. All pigs are priced at $50 each.
These eight pigs are available. Artwork can be collected at Chittenango Middle School. Email me at email@example.com to make arrangements to purchase. All proceeds will go to the budding artists.
Last night Chittenango Central School held their annual School Fair at the high school. Each year, my colleague Katy and I spend several hours installing the middle school art show on the walls of the hallway between the two gymnasiums.
Then at 8:00 pm we take the whole thing down and pop the art into our cars to return it all to the middle school on Monday. We displayed around three hundred pieces of 5th – 8th grade artwork.
This was my twentieth year of said fair. Here are the pictures I remembered to take! It is pretty cool to see this visual representation of what we do all year.
My clay lesson this semester was the fish sculpture. I decided to do it with every class. My 5th grade, the 8th grade art students and the 8th grade Studio in Art students. It is such a great lesson because everyone starts with the same amount of clay creating a slab first that rolls up then adding the hand built elements.
They are all so beautifully unique! I decided to have a fishing derby. I weighed and measured every fish. Each class had a winner. The prize was a small bag of Swedish Fish, lol. Abraham’s was the biggest fish. He won a giant bag of Swedish Fish! So fun!
If you search Instagram for the hashtag #fashionintherealworld, you will find all of my posts. I invented it and #fashioninrealtime, and #fashioninreallife. I just checked them; I think there are only two or three posts on them from random fashionistas. The rest is all me.
Here are my outfits of the day from the last two weeks. The landscape of my background keeps changing as I shift student work around the room. All of my clay projects are complete. The last batch went into the kiln today. The 5th graders are currently working on a three-dimensional wood sculpture, my Studio in Art students are learning watercolor techniques and the rest of the 8th graders are immersed in the various SLO test projects: Statue of Liberty paintings, “under the sea” landscapes with fish (mixed-media lesson), Japanese fan project (also mixed-media) and abstract paintings with realistic horses thrown in. So four additional different lessons for the six classes.
There is a lot going on, which will culminate in the School Fair set for May 12, 2017. I will have my hands full preparing for that exhibition and hopefully even with the upcoming state math tests looming, we will get everything accomplished.
But first – Spring Break!!! I will be working on the business of making art as soon as tomorrow. Can’t wait. Watching students make art is clearly a fun job, but nothing beats the guilty pleasure of creating my own artwork – even though it is super messy and therefore cannot be done in designer clothes. So…I will be sacrificing fashion for my art. I did buy a new dress for Easter though. It is Halston Heritage. ❤ OMG, I love it!
Here are the pictures from my art exhibition at Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, New York. I’ve combined the Messages from the Other Voice series with the Pompano Revisited series to saturate the yellow walls of the school library with my personal narrative.
They will be up through April 2017.
The work looks better in person – the lighting is not great in the pics, but that is because the artwork is so high up on the walls. I do love the way the library looks soooo fresh and different with each show we install and everyone’s artwork ends up looking great. The captive audience thing always works for me, but it is funniest when I ask students if they have been to the library – if they have seen my art and they say something like I didn’t notice.
That actually doesn’t matter to me – no, not one bit – because I know that they have noticed it, if only in a smidgen of a subliminal fashion. It doesn’t take but a glance to place a positive aesthetic into someone’s visual cortex, lol. And then you can sit back and witness the processed results. It’s kind of amazing. And I really LOVE that. Art benefits people in so many ways in which they are not even remotely aware. It is everywhere. All around us. That’s me being subversive – in a good way.
On Tuesday, I gave each of my twelve Studio in Art students a valentine. I prepped 3″ x 5″ canvas panels with a few layers of beeswax. I carved in a heart stencil. I thought this would be a quick and fun way to introduce them to encaustic painting.
I took an encaustic course (graduate level) at Syracuse University in 2012 with free credits I’d earned for hosting a student teacher. Davana Robedee was my instructor. I love incorporating this relatively new-to-me media in the art classroom.
Students melted oil pastels on pancake griddles (all the windows in the room were open and the fans were on high) and went to town tackling their tiny canvases. The thing about wax is that when warm, it produces a luscious liquid color on the brush – but as soon as you remove it from the heat source, it solidifies, so…that brush stroke needs to be a quick thinking confident one – needs to count! They really loved the process. We decided to add a second day of it, which gave them time to process the process and make better decisions once they got the hang of it.
I painted 11″ x 14″ canvas panels with black acrylic paint for each of them and glued wooden plaques to the centers. Students carved into their encaustic paintings with clay tools to enhance the texture then added mixed media items to it and/or to the black frame. We brought the encaustics in for the landings with Elmer’s glue.
I am in love with the decisions they made and the fact that in three classes they all created these wonderful emotionally-charged finished products. So beautiful. I love heart energy! ❤
Ken Nichols‘ mandala paintings have been on display in the Chittenango Middle School library since the end of November 2016. They are coming down on Monday. Ken is a painter and a potter, a Syracuse artist who believes in the passion of creation.
He uses Golden Artist acrylic paints. He begins by painting the surface of the canvas black then uses an intuitive process to shape the composition relying on color to forge a path of rhythm throughout. The result is vibrant and fun abstracts that keep the viewer hypnotized in his psychedelic vortex.
Ken spoke to students during a 10th period art reception in December. He had them mesmerized! I have a short video at the bottom of this post. It is always a win-win for students to meet artists. A mutual admiration society of positive energy that transcends age and time. Belief in yourself is always the message. Taking pride in what your hand can manufacture. Art for art’s sake and for peace of mind. Really good conversation.
Check out more about Ken Nichols by visiting his web-site here.