Sunday, July 21, 2013

Art is a gift


 Broughal Middle School held a summer camp which invited Banana Factory artists to teach a class. I found this genius exploding box resource, and used it as a template for the student to investigate printmakingpattern, and collage

It was near Father's Day during this time. For what reasons do we give gifts? What about a gift makes it special to whom you give it to? 

We talked about how art is a gift because it requires thought, personal messages, and care in making it. The students created their boxes for someone they care about--and made sure to chose color, pattern and text that represented that person. 

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Image of student and her sister: for her father
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Gift for student's best friend
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Gift for student's sister

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Botanical Prints

As a visiting artist and teacher from the Banana Factory of Bethlehem, PA, I sought to introduce the 3-5 grade students of the Hispanic Center something new and exciting: a printing press.  
Mary Margaret Briggs's botanical monoprints inspired this lesson. 
I emphasized design through shape, order and size. The students learned through experimenting with arrangements that often less is more.

This lesson was stretched into three sessions. 
Day 1: Experiment with color an test various pieces of nature for clarity of shape and texture.
Day 2: Emphasize arrangement and design, and planning ahead to incorporate more than one color. 
Day 3: Today, we talked about balance. We looked at the Yin Yang, which clearly demonstrates visual balance. I introduced collage, and showed examples of Brigg's collage prints. We noticed how balance does not always have to be symmetrical--and sometimes making something off-balance on purpose creates visual interest. 

 I demonstrated how to use a rectangular template and divide it into smaller compartments by drawing with a ruler (don't forget to number each square so it can fit back together!) The students cut the templates into smaller squares and rectangles, and used it to choose interesting sections of his or her prints (tracing it, and cutting the print). Using a template helped the students arrange the prints back into the original shape. 


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Beautiful example of balance
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The piece in the middle sets this collage off
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Simple is good too
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Some of the students had a hard time putting the images back together. My guess is that they did not number the template to keep the pieces in order. 
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Beauty in repetition 
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A wonderful example of clean tiling
This lesson ensured success on all levels of artistic talent. I love doing projects that emphasize experimenting!  It is good to get our hands dirty!