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Mixed Media Artist: Sabrina Ward Harrison

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We recently had artist Sabrina Ward Harrison visit our school to give an artist talk and workshop with the kids.  Today I am going to introduce you to her artwork and life as an artist.  In Part Two of this post, I will share with you some of the amazingly diverse mixed media collages that the students made in response to learning about her artwork.  All of the artwork on this page was made by Sabrina. Her message to the … Read more…

4th and 5th Grade Profile Drawings: In the Style of Egyptians, Mixtec Codex and Duncan Tonatiuh

My students were treated to a visit by illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh.  He is both Mexican and American. He grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His images are inspired by ancient Mexican art, especially the Mixtec codex of the 14th and 15th centuries. Like the people and animals in the codex, the figures in his illustrations are always drawn in profile– their entire bodies are usually shown and their ears … Read more…

Duncan Tonatiuh: Author/Illustrator Visit

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On Friday, we had a visit to our school by author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh.   See his artwork here.  He is both Mexican and American. He grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His artwork is inspired by Pre-Columbian art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. His goal is to create images and stories that honor the past, but that are relevant to people, especially children, nowadays.  His books are … Read more…

Article in Arts & Activities Magazine

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I’m pretty excited my article in the October issue of Arts & Activities is on the cover! I wrote about an art project my students did after learning about the artist William Wegman. I had the awesome opportunity to interview Wegman on the phone and include the interview as a large part of the article. I’m very glad that they included a bunch of my students’ artwork (3rd grade). You can read the whole article here: http://pubdev.ipaperus.com/ArtsandActivities/AAOctober2016/?page=20 If you would … Read more…

Frank Stella Inspired Pictures

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First, I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who follows my blog.  I appreciate your support in reading my blog, leaving comments, pinning images and sharing my posts.  Whenever I get a positive comment or email from a reader, it just MAKES MY DAY and makes all the time worthwhile.  Without this kind of feedback and support, I would not continue blogging! A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who bought resources during the TPT Best Year Ever … Read more…

Published Article

Great news! I have been published in the Summer issue of School Arts magazine. I wrote an article about artwork my students made after learning about the art of contemporary artist Justin Vining.  You can read the article here.  I wrote a blog post last year all about this project:  Inspired by Artist Justin Vining. I love Justin’s artwork and you can see pictures of his artwork on his website.

Jesse Reno: ambition over direction

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When I found out that Jesse Reno was going to be at the National Art Education Conference this year, I was stoked.  I’ve been following his artwork and blog for several years and I love how layered and complex his paintings are.   You have to watch his process of transforming one thing into another while painting.  He has several videos on his blog where you can watch him paint.   I was excited to hear him talk, but it would have … Read more…

Stuffed Animal Still Life Drawings with 1st Grade

Stuffed Animal Still Life Drawings

Do you want to know what will really get first graders excited about drawing still lifes?  Have them bring in their own stuffed animals!  I invited the kids to bring in their favorite stuffed animals to draw.  I also had a garbage bag full of my own stuffed animals from home in case someone forgot to bring in one. I demonstrated how to observe the shapes and positioning of the stuffed animals and then I let the kids get to … Read more…

Abstract Paintings Inspired by the Art of Shinique Smith

Have you heard of the artist Shinique Smith?  I just love her artwork!  It’s very gestural, colorful and it just draws me in to look at more closely.  I love the use of fabric with graffiti-like painted marks.  Her art combines traditional art media with non-traditional materials like clothing and stuffed animals.  She is influenced by street graffiti and Japanese calligraphy.  She works in paintings, drawings, installations, wrapped bundles, sculptures and videos.  There was an exhibit of her artwork in … Read more…

Hybrid Machine-Animal Drawings

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After looking at the art of contemporary artist Nicolas Lampert, my students combined two or more different objects or creatures to create hybrid drawings.   Here are the steps to this lesson: 1.  Start by discussing the machine animal collages and the machine insect collages by Nicolas Lampert.  Ask questions such as” How do you think Nicolas made these pictures? How do they make you feel? Why do you think he combined animals or insects with machines? How would these … Read more…

New Ideas and Resources to Teach about Contemporary Art

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In previous blog posts, I talked about contemporary artists you may not have heard about before and I put together a round-up of blog posts about contemporary art projects. Today I have some more ideas to share. Don Masse said, “hey marcia! the majority of my lessons are based on living artists. i just did a fun lesson with my kinders inspired by the mosaics of jim bachor http://www.shinebritezamorano.com/2015/05/street-sweets.html and followed that up with them creating a real mosaic. Another … Read more…

Rubber Ducky Public Sculptures in St. Joseph, Michigan

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A couple of weeks ago we took a summer trip to my brother’s cabin in Michigan.  We spent some time in the lovely city of St. Joseph, Michigan.  It is right on Lake Michigan and we enjoyed playing in the sand, walking on the piers, eating ice cream, playing on the beach playground, splashing on the splash pad and tinkering around in the two children’s museums.   As an art teacher, I was delighted to see large public art sculptures of … Read more…

Contemporary Art in the Elementary Art Classroom: A Blog Round-up!

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This year my professional goal was to learn more about contemporary artists and to create art lessons inspired by these artists.   I taught about William Wegman and Justin Vining.  We looked at contemporary artists inspired by microscopic things and living artists that used Disney as inspiration.  At the end of the year, my students learned about Shinique Smith, Nicolas Lampert and various artists that used stuffed animals as a theme in their art (blog posts to come soon about all … Read more…

Easy End of Year Art Project: Collaborative Banners

Easy End of Year Art Project

Are you looking for an easy end-of-year art project?  On the last days of school, I had some students that needed to finish up art projects and others that really just wanted to be done with the school year.  This was a fun and easy collaborative project that many students opted to participate in. I got the idea from Romero Britto’s word artworks, like this one and I think I may have seem *something similar* somewhere at some time.. but … Read more…

Inspired by Artist Justin Vining: Abstract Whimsical Landscapes

Abstract Whimsical Landscapes

This may have been my favorite unit we studied all year!  We looked at the whimsical landscapes of contemporary artist Justin Vining.  Here is one of his paintings: We watched videos of him talking about his influences, watched time lapses of his paintings and emailed him some questions about himself.  He responded to our questions in this interview I posted previously.  This was a perfect artist to study for us because Justin lives in Indiana in a rural area and … Read more…

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