Tag Archives: Chittenango NY

The Kindness of Peace

Kindness Matters was the subject of this year’s Lions Club sponsored Peace Poster contest.  My Studio in Art class students spent about six weeks working on their illustrations.

Emily’s poster won the local and regional competition.  It is on its way to the state competition next and if she wins at the international level – well, that would be a huge win for all of us:  $5,000 for her and twelve years of poster-making and working closely with the beautiful people/lions who make up the committee that will culminate in an enormous sense of pride and victory for our small community in Chittenango, New York.

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The Chittenango Lions threw us a classroom pizza party and awarded monetary gifts and plaques for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place picks.  The rest of the students were all unanimously honored with honorable mentions.  Their work was spectacular.

These peace posters will be on display during December 2018 in the Community Room at the Sullivan Library, 101 Falls Blvd., Chittenango, New York 13037.  Visit their website for hours of operation.

School Fair 2017

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In a Blanket

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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.

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They will be up through April 2017.

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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.

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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.

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Blanket of love, people.  Blanket of love…. ❤

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Valentine-ing

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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! ❤

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Mandala Man

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Check out more about Ken Nichols by visiting his web-site here.

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Cows & Bulls

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Penny Santy’s bull paintings are currently hanging on the walls of the Chittenango Middle School library.  She will be visiting us on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 for an artist talk during 10th period!  In honor of her visit, four of my Art-8 classes created cows and bulls in both acrylic paint and oil pastels.

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I have them hanging on the walls of the hallway outside of my art classroom.

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The oil pastels are done on black Strathmore paper.  Students created the drawings on white paper, transferred them onto the black using graphite paper (which introduces a bit of magic, and you all know I love magic!).  Then they painted out the lines in black acrylic and went to town with the pastels – creating rhythm and texture via their own individual styles.

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The acrylic paintings went through the same initial process – drawn on white paper, transferred with magic .  Students were also encouraged to create their own styles, although I did have a handout to give what I call Ms. Tash Pearls of Wisdom.  These are pointers to mixing colors so that one color ends up permeating throughout the canvas.  Raw Sienna is that color.

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Black outlining was an option.  Penny Santy utilizes complimentary color schemes.  Most of the pieces she is exhibiting have an orange/blue color scheme.  I was pleased to see so many colorful animals, purple cows and red bulls, lol, as well as the rest of the rainbow.

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I wonder which ones I should enter into the Scholastic Art Awards competition?  I like them all!  Thank you, Penny Santy, for being such a marvelous inspiration to my kids!

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Serendipity in the Saddle

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There was this Scholastic Art magazine with a Jaune Quick-To-See Smith painting in the centerfold – of a canoe.  I loved the way she expressed social injustice with paint and collage.

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I had been planning a series of art projects using horses and thought her work would be a perfect fit.  And then, upon further investigation, it turns out that Jaune Quick-to-See Smith had created a series of horse paintings in this style! Isn’t that crazy???  It was a perfect fit.  Serendipity at its finest!

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This year, two of my 8th grade art classes learned about her work.  What is great about this school year – my students all have I-pads now and they can research as they work.  My ultimate goal is to connect with the artist and share this work with her.  That would be a dream come true!

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I taught them how to draw a horse using shapes and the technique known as measuring – all parts of a horse are actually in proportion to each other!  We created the drawings on tagboard, cut them out and used them as stencils on the paintings.

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They painted in acrylic then added the horse.  Collage items from magazines that represented themselves were affixed with Mod-Podge.  Then students added more paint to create rhythm and texture.

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Finished work is on display in the Chittenango Middle School library!

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