Monday, July 19, 2010

Dem Bones ~ Middle School Version!

I taught the Middle School Summer Art Camp at Kettle Run High School from July 12- 15. Here is a re-cap...

Day 1

We had our middle schoolers make pinhole cameras out of hot cocoa cans. They made their cameras and got to work using them and developing the images. Our camp was so packed with 22 students – we had to have them work in shifts. While they were waiting for the darkroom, they made paste papers. I had never hear of this before – wish I had gotten pictures of them creating – but I was too busy making my own... You mix up the art paste (see pic) – the kind used for papier mache, water it down a bit and add acrylic paint to it. We used large glossy paper and painted the color on – then used plastic scrappers (see pic) to add texture. Ours were store bought but they can easily be made out of notched cardboard.
Here are some of the results:

The metallic colors made some really nice effects.
Then we showed students how to make an accordion fold book that could hold their pinhole images. They cut out their paste papers to use as covers or as additional decoration.

Day 2
We worked with students in the darkroom to show them how to make a positive print from their pinhole negative.
Here are some of the students' best pinhole images:

We discussed Henry Moore and showed photos of him being inspired by rocks and bones. Students chose a bone they liked and drew it realistically. Then they drew it three more times until it was abstracted. From one of the 3 drawings they created a plaster sculpture using a newspaper armature.
Here are some drawings: Mine is on the left - student on the right.
The student's sculptures that was made from the drawing above:

I just love the finish she put on it.

Day 3
We took students to the American Museum of Natural History and the Brian Jungen show at National Museum of the American Indian. They had a blast – even in the rain! We ate lunch in the courtyard at the Hirshhorn since we would be out of the rain. Then we took a walk past the Henry Moore sculptures that were across the street. We stopped for a group shot:
Day 4
Finish everything day! We had students create one more new piece of art – the drawback to the field trip is less art produced but the kids enjoy it so much and they rarely get a chance to go anywhere during the regular school year we feel it is important to keep it in future camps.
Students chose a few items they liked from the bones – or from a new pile of shells and sea creatures. They must have been tired of the bones because all of them chose from the shells! They created a few thumbnails to create a composition they liked – then they enlarged it on 19x19 paper and painted with acrylics. The paints were very yummy and I really enjoyed this. Some students had a hard time with composition and benefited from creating the thumbnails.
here are some thumbnail/painting pairs: (mine is first and includes the original items)

I think this project is where I was of the most help to students. I worked with them to create the best composition with the items they had chosen. I pushed them to create more thumbnails until they were happy with the results and could see the difference between a strong and a weak composition.
Most of the afternoon we worked with students to finish up and choose their best work to go in the art festival which is in April.
Now I can start my summer ~ no more teaching until August 23rd!

3 comments (+add yours?)

Mini Matisse said...

Oh, I love the book! They turned out great!

Beverley Baird said...

Wow! What a great learning experience for these kids! What wonderful art projects they completed!

Hybrid J said...

What a joy to see all the student's work! They look fantastic! Well Done!

Thank you for sharing such wonderful experience with us. ;D

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