Friday, October 30, 2015

BRITTO CENTRAL: Grades K-6 (minus 5)

To start off the year this year, I wanted an artist that was fun, positive, and ALIVE.  So often in the arts, we focus on artists that are long gone.  We do this so much, I think, that the kids often feel that no famous artists are alive.  Enter Romero Britto!  He's alive and well, living in Miami, Florida.  He's made art for the World Cup, the Super Bowl, and the King Tut exhibit in London, to name a few. He has a facebook page, instagram, and a YouTube channel (raising his coolness factor with the kids).  His webpage features his art and has some prints and other items for sale at reasonable prices, probably since Romero wants art to be accessible to everyone.  He wants to leave a positive imprint on the world, and it shows through his eye-popping, bright, and fun art.

Romero Britto, A New Day, 2001

I wanted as many grades as possible to learn about Britto, so all of my classes completed one lesson featuring his art (save 5th grade-they were doing Lichtenstein onomatopoeias, which I also feel are important to learn).  They discussed his use of pattern, bright colors, and we even talked about what that 'squiggle' is on his work (his signature-he uses his signature as a pattern!).  We even listened to salsa while we worked to get in that Miami state of mind.  They were SO excited to learn about a living artist that they were asking me to contact him, so I will be emailing his people a.s.a.p.  Instead of making 7 posts about each project, I made a video featuring the highlight reel from each grade.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Alexander Calder Fish: 4th grade

More Calder action from art!  The fish have become a tradition at both of my schools each year.  As soon as they go up in the case, younger grades drive me crazy with the question of,  "When do we get to make THOSE?"  4th grade, kiddos.  You must be PATIENT.

The fish require a little bit of time to prep.  Each fish is cut and then bent by hand for each student, which requires a lot of wire coat hangers, bolt cutters (YES!) and pliers for bending.  This equals about 125 fish created at home annually by myself and my handy husband, who likes to see how many he can chop at once with bolt cutters (5 is the limit, by the way).  The students then learn all about Calder's fish, including materials used and ways they show subtle movement.  The goal for each student was to use wire (bending/cutting with jewelers pliers) and beads to create a fish that had some movement and was interesting to behold.  Here are a few 'shining' examples.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Alexander Calder Wire Portraits: Mixed Age

American artist Alexander Calder is best known for his mobiles, but he did SO MUCH more than that.  He did painting, printing, moving sculptural circus acts, and wire portraits.  I got the idea while searching for a good Calder video for another class, and and stumbled across one featuring his portraits (inlcuding art he made as a kid!).  They're so simple but so cool.  He took wire and shaped it to create all the facial features and even hair...with what appears to be one extremely long wire.  They're three-dimensional, which makes them even more fun.  I have a never-ending supply of wire coat hangers to use as an armature of sorts, so I thought, "Why not make some wire portraits?"  We used some thin copper wire and jewelers pliers to create our facial features, and since the class is small, they didn't really have a limit on how much they used (unless they were getting ridiculously carried away).  The end results were pretty unique and they had so much fun they were begging to do it again (sorry, have to learn other things, guys!).

Artist of the Week (with LOTS of curly hair)

This is not upside down...those are buck teeth, not glasses...

 Smooth operator