Welcome to Art Room 161

This blog was created as an extension of the dialogue that began in our classroom and the purpose is to share creative ideas, images, and critiscm. All posts should be appropriate for the high school classroom and critiscm should be helpful and positive.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Thanksgiving Break- Norman Rockwell


Today is the last day before Thanksgiving Break so I wanted to wish you all a terrific holiday! The image above is a classic from artist Norman Rockwell which is entitles Freedom from Want and happens to be on exhibit right now at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA along with my video art piece I created a few years ago as part of the Four Freedoms project based on President Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech that Rockwell illustrated as a series of paintings.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Social Activism Challenge

Research a social cause from the list of UN Social Development Goals below the research and learn about the history of the subject, and find facts, statistics, or quotes that you might later include as part of your design.

Determine who your audience will be for this project (how images, facts and quotes may work better with different populations, for example, boys vs girls, adults vs students, etc.) Create 2 different social graphics using Adobe Spark Post that use principles of design to create a compelling visual image. 

We will have a discussion about your work in class and the message it portrays then share the work ob social media posts with #AdobeEDUCreative

Friday, November 20, 2020

Studio Art: AI experiment with Auto Draw


In Studio Art we will be taking our first quiz on the drawing terms so the students not in class or finished with the quiz will work on an AI experiment with Auto Draw. This program uses AI to interpret your drawing and make it into a visual riddle.  We are going to try to visually portray a famous film and have each other guess each movie on Tuesday. Below is an example of 5 films done with emojis, can you guess what they are?

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Studio Art: AI, Art, & Magic

This week we are learning about Artificial Intelligence and how some artists, like Refik Anadol shown in the video above, are using it to help create art works.  We are going to use The Magic Sketchpad to create a collaborative drawing with Google's AI like the demonstration I created with the AI below drawing a series of butterflies. I found it to be a bit like drawing with a young child as they are often impulsive and make curious decisions but that's part of what makes it fun, looking forward to seeing what you create!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Digital Media: Piskel Characters


In Digital Media class we are working on creating 2 different Characters for our upcoming video game using Piskel. We have a week to design and animate the 2 characters and create a short 6 second animated introduction to our video game.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


I'm proud to represent my home state of New York this week with presentations at both the NYSATA & NYSCATE 2020 conferences! Looking forward to sharing some STEAM Power with my art & edtech colleagues from NY!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Photography: Photographing the Color Wheel


In Photography we'll learn about creating color block photography and take on the Color Wheel. Students will work this week to create an image for ROYGBIV to create our own creative color wheel.

Friday, November 13, 2020

End of Quarter 1


Today marks the End of Quarter 1! We will finish our last assignment and review the quarter grades then look forward to what we have planned for next week.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

STEAM Week: Exploring multimedia art with artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer


I had an opportunity to talk with artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer as well as the Director of the Rubin Center and his partner on his new Borderlands project Kerry Doyle this week with Art 21. We will take a closer look at the Borderlands project and Hemmer's art in an extended version of his Art 21 segment: https://art21.org/watch/

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Extra Credit: Artemis Moon Pod Essay Contest

Our next Extra Credit assignment is to enter the Artemis Moon Pod Essay ContestNASA is taking remote learning to the Moon! 2020 has been a year of working and living at a distance. Now consider what it might be like if you were living with a pod of astronauts 250,000 miles from Earth. Your challenge is to imagine leading a one-week expedition at the Moon’s South Pole – with the whole world cheering you on. Tell us about the types of skills, attributes, and/or personality traits that you would want your Moon Pod crew to have and why. How many would be in your pod? And of course you’ll need high tech gear and gadgets! In your essay, also describe one machine, robot, or technology that you would leave on the lunar surface to help future astronauts explore the Moon. Your entry must meet these requirements: 

  • Grades 9-12: Essay, up to 300 words
  • Please DO NOT put your name in your entry
Selected semifinalists will be invited to represent their state or territory in a series of Artemis Explorer sessions with NASA experts. Nine finalists will travel with a parent to NASA’s Johnson Space Center next summer to learn about lunar exploration, and the national winner in each grade division will win a family trip to see the first Artemis test launch to watch the most powerful rocket in the world launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Godspeed and good luck!

Trip to the Artemis-1 Launch


Trip to NASA's Johnson Space Center


Artemis Prize Pack & 4 Virtual Artemis Explorer Sessions with NASA

Photography: Principles of Design

We are learning the basic Principles of Design so this week you should working on creating images of the fall landscape (which can also include people and other subject matter) that incorporates at least the Principles of Design.

  • Emphasis
  • Unity/Variety
  • Balance
  • Contrast
  • Movement
  • Rhythm/Repetition

Monday, November 9, 2020

National STEAM Day

Happy #STEAMDay! I’ll be celebrating all week as we share some of the work on projects from my book STEAM Power in classes! We are going to create STEAM trading cards based on notable people in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math field.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Photography: The Principles of Design

 In Photography we reviewed the Principles of Design with a QUIZLET. and we'll be working to identify them in the work of the National Geographic Photographers we researched as well as play a game of Quizlet Live to see how well we know the terms!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Photography: National Geographic Photographer Research Project

 Today we will begin to share the research projects on artists and photographers that we've been working on in class and focus on their work and process.  We'll learn about the basic principles of design and see how they appear in the work we learn about. The example above from National Geographic photographer Bob Krist is a terrific example of rhythm and repetition in it's composition.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Studio Art: Artist Trading Cards

In Studio Art and AP we will be creating 10 unique and creative Artist Trading Cards this week that will be traded with schools around the country. the cards are 2.5 x 3.5" and should include artwork on the front and your name, school, date, teacher, and city-state on the back. The 10 cards will be due on Monday and the subject matter and medium is your choice.

I'll be creating cards along with you that I'll trade, here are a few examples above of cards I've made and traded over the years.

In the past we have trades with schools from around the world from every grade level and it's been a really interesting and fun project. Check out my ATC Pinterest Page for some great example that will inspire you!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Create Friday: Halloween Edition


In the spirit of Halloween we moved our Create Wednesday challenge to Friday and have classes either designing their own candy and packaging or taking a copyright-free cheery image and transforming it to a spooky Halloween photo with an online photo editor.

The picture above of the Chocolate Frogs from Harry Potter's candy shop Honeydukes is a great example of a unique new candy that actually made it to the shelves so I'm looking forward to your creations. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Create Wednesday: Word Portraits


Here's a few of the most creative student submissions from our recent Create Wednesday assignment to draw a Word Portrait from Christina and Emily from AP Art as well as Braden and Will from Studio Art.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Digital Media: Teachable Machines

We are going to continue exploring AI and machine learning today in class by working with Google's Teachable Machine to train our computers to recognize different input images. We'll be incorporating this into future projects as an input device.  We'll begin by teaching the computer AI to distinguish between 3 different images of yourself using the chromebook camera. Once we've completed that we'll record a short 10 second video of it working and submit that to the Google Classroom.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Photography: National Geographic Photographers

In Photography we are researching some famed National Geographic Photographers this week to prepare for out November Photo Story assignment. Each student has been assigned a well-known photographer who's worked with Nat Geo and we'll learn about them together.

Google Slide presentation should include: Cover page with artist, image of artist, name/class/year Birth/death date along with 10 bullet-ed facts about the artist & link to where you got the bio info 10 (large) full size, full page images of the artist's work (1 image per slide) Antonio B- Joel Sartore Kayleigh B- Bob Sasha Jr Abigail C- Ami Vitale Adam C- Ira Block Brynn F- Michael Yamashita Kathryn G- Erika Larsen Payton H- William Albert Allard Abigail H- Paul Nicklen Lauren K- Sisse Brimberg Madison L- Jodi Cobb Ryan M- Michael Nichols Nicolas M- Stephen Alvarez Christina M- Steve McCurry Mahir M- Sam Abell Andrew P John Stanmeyer Willow P- Maggie Steber Kailee R- Sarah Leen Mikaela R- David Doubilet

Monday, October 26, 2020

Digital Media: Coding, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning

In Digital Media class we are going to learn about the basics of Coding, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning this week.  We'll begin with some simple coding with code.org and learn how AI functions then progress to see how AI is used in the world around us and help take part in a scientific survey using AI to study animals.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Exterior Contour with a Zentangle Drawing

We learned a number of Basic Drawing Terms last week on Quizlet and now we are putting them into action. We are beginning work on our Exterior Contour Drawing paired with a Zentangle Drawing which will be a full page work like the example above and below. We are starting with the main contour shape in pencil then inking it and beginning the Zentangle- it makes it easier to break up the space before begining the Zentangle!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Shanti Peace Poster Contest 2020


This year the Shanti Poster Contest will consist of the highlights from the many years of competition winners as well as new poster designs. Some of the best 11th grade poster designs are pictured above (6 of which were from our AP Art class and 7 of which were from Smithtown).   

Congrats to Emily from our AP Studio Art Class who was chosen to be our 12th grade submission (pictured above)

Congrats to Vivianne from our AP Studio Art Class who was chosen to be our 11th grade submission (pictured above)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Adobe MAX

This week the Adobe MAX event is happening virtually and it is free for all which is a great opportunity to catch some amazing free talks on art, design, and photography. 

Suggested sessions are:

Bold New Strokes for Illustration and Painting

  • Illustrator Oliver Jeffers, who is a visual artist and author working in painting, bookmaking, illustration, collage, performance, and sculpture. Curiosity and humor are underlying themes throughout Oliver's practice as an artist and storyteller.*
  • Designer, letterer, and educator Lauren Hom discussing "How to Find Your Creative Voice Without Overthinking It."
  • Artist David Choe, whose work appears in a wide variety of urban culture and entertainment contexts. He has illustrated and written for magazines including Hustler, Ray Gun, and Vice.*

The Art of Photography

  • Photographer Elise Swopes who will discuss "Photoshop on iPad for the Modern Surrealist"
  • Photographer Dario Calmese, the first African American to photograph the cover of Vanity Fair. 

Video in the Spotlight

  • Famed writer and director Wes Anderson has created a perfectly-symmetrically shot, original film to share with you*
  • Music video director, graphic designer, and singer-songwriter Woodkid takes us through his creative process*

From Blank Screen to Brilliant

  • Artist Ai Weiwei, a Chinese contemporary artist known for his socially, politically, and culturally incisive work*
  • Artist Shepard Fairey in conversation with Gil Vazquez, Executive Director, Keith Haring Foundation and David Stark, Founder and President, Artestar*
Connected, Creative, and Productive Anywhere

  • Designer and writer Gail Anderson in conversation with designer and illustrator Zipeng Zhu
  • Artist and illustrator Anthony Jones who has educated and helped thousands of aspiring artists to begin, or find their careers. Join him for his talk "Creativity is Not a Talent; It's a Skill You Can Learn.

Creative Luminary: Photographer Mark Seliger

  • Hear from photographer Mark Seliger, known for his portraits of celebrities and political figures, with inspirational insights and anecdotes about his favorite storytelling moments.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Global Maker Day

 Today is Global Maker Day 2020 and we will be participating in Digital Media and AP Art class sharing out STEAM Power engineering challenge with paper.  Here's a look one solution to solving the problem.

And here is another solution with origami, I'm looking forward to see what yours looks like!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Global Maker Day Setup


Tomorrow we are participating in Global Maker Day so today we will prepare and practice our project and setup for the day tomorrow to share our creative STEAM Power Engineering Project.

Friday, October 16, 2020

National Geographic Explorer Classroom- Photographer Jeff Kerby

 We had a chance to speak with National Geographic Photographer Jeff Kerby this week with Explorer Classroom. Here's the recording of the session which includes some of the questions we asked Jeff about using drones and the dangers of photographing and filmming out in the wild in the Arctic.

Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom Exhibit


Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom Exhibit opens today at the Norman Rockwell Museum and it features the work of Tim Needles with a video art piece which includes some of Smithtown's own teachers! We'll take a look at some of the work and how the messages in both Roosevelt's speech and Rockwell's art based on it still are poignant today!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

National Geographic Explorer Classroom- Photographer Jeff Kerby

We will participate in our first National Geographic Explorer Classroom session of the year with the amazing photographer and ecologist Jeff Kerby today live in Digital Media class. He will speak about his work photographing and filming the arctic using drones and share some expertise and learning. Check out some of his work in the video and link above, it's going to be an exciting talk!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Global Maker Day- STEAM Power engineering challenge


Next week we'll be participating in Global Maker Day on October 20th by sharing a STEAM Power engineering challenge with people around the world. Always Virtual - Always Free GlobalMakerDay.com

Thursday, October 8, 2020

AP Art: Payment Due Tomorrow


In AP Art we set up accounts and must submit paymentsby tomorrow October 9 and the details are listed below.  Visit https://myap.collegeboard.org/login to check your AP number and the test code and follow the payment details below:

Here is some important information regarding payment for all AP Exams:

● Payment for all AP Exams will be due by October 9, 2020.

● All regular AP exams (EXCLUDING AP CAPSTONE EXAMS) are $95.00 per exam.

● All AP Capstone Seminar and/or AP Capstone Research Exams are $143.00 per exam.

Exams can be paid by:

❏ Credit and/or debit cards via SchoolPay. Please note there is a 3.5%

non-refundable convenience charge added to orders processed through

SchoolPay. Please visit https://www.schoolpay.com. If you do not have a current

account, please create a new account.

❏ Checks or money orders written out to “Smithtown HS East AP Exams”. Please

write the student’s name in the memo section of the check. (Students should

submit their payment to their AP Teacher).

❏ Cash (Students should submit their payment to South Administration at East).

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Happy World Teachers Day!


It's World Teachers Day this week so we'll celebrate and share some of the global programs we'll be engaging in this year!

Monday, October 5, 2020

ISTE Creative Lab

 This week we'll be participating in some creative challenges and presentations for the ISTE virtual Creative Lab. I'm a featured presenter at the conference and will be sharing some of the creative approaches we use and projects we do along with some students on Tuesday. Each day this week we'll try some of the challenges along with teachers and artists around the world.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Extra Credit: Inktober Drawings


Yesterday we created a digital drawing for the Inktober Day 1 theme of FISH, above is my example created in Procreate. Today we will take on the day 2 theme of WISP using traditional drawing materials. The term means "a small thin or twisted bunch, piece, or amount of something" which allows a great deal of room for creativity, looking forward to see your work!

Our first extra credit assignment is to choose 10 of the prompts and submit them by the end of October!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Happy Inktober!


Today is the first day of October so we will begin working on our Inktober drawings! This month we will be participating the creative drawing challenge which gives a different theme daily (listed above) and promotes sharing your work via social media with the #inktober2020 hashtag (which you can do at your discretion.)

This week's home assignment is to draw an image for the theme of FISH using the free drawing tool Sumo Paint on the Chromebook. We will work using these creative drawing prompts for some of our assignments in class but our first extra credit assignment is to do all 31 prompts for Inktober. The extra credit assignment and all of the 31 prompts will post on Google Classroom October 1, can't wait to see what you create!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Create Wednesday: Untraditional Selfie

This week for our CREATE WEDNESDAY challenge we will make a self portrait without using any art materials at all. Watch the video above and create a self portrait with any materials that aren't used for art and share it on Google Classroom.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Studio Art: Sumo Paint Zentangle Name Drawing

This week in Studio Art we will learn the basic of the Zentangle drawing technique which mixes different patterns of doodles together for greater effect.  Below is a short tutorial about the basics. The goal is to create a Zentangle drawing of your name on Sumo Paint.

This is a technique that can be simple or as you build layers turn complex based upon your design, skill, and precision.  Below is an example of a more advanced Zentangle within a simple design.  The use of patterns that suggest 3 dimensions adds a complexity.  We will experiment with some different patters, use of color, and designs in class and later working on our peace poster designs next week.

Here's a great Zentangle design to begin with that we will follow which uses a simple square inside a square with a circle interior.  The shapes and technique are pretty simple but together form a complex design which gives a good example of how the process works.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Photography- Photographing Smithtown East

This week in Photography class we went outside to take pictures of three themes: the school, ourselves, and the nature around us.  Once the photographs were taken we learned the process of managing the images and uploading them to the computer through Google Drive then editing them in Adobe Photoshop,  Finally we will take 3 images from each theme and combine them into 1 design creatively.  Above is the example I made in class as a demo using my images today of photographing the Smithtown East school building.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

AP Art- Setting up an account

In AP Art we worked on setting up an account last week and we will talk about submitting payments today, it's due October 9 and the details are listed below.  Visit https://myap.collegeboard.org/login and set up an account if you haven't already, remember to save the username and password because some people forget it!

Here is some important information regarding payment for all AP Exams:

● Payment for all AP Exams will be due by October 9, 2020.

● All regular AP exams (EXCLUDING AP CAPSTONE EXAMS) are $95.00 per exam.

● All AP Capstone Seminar and/or AP Capstone Research Exams are $143.00 per exam.

Exams can be paid by:

❏ Credit and/or debit cards via SchoolPay. Please note there is a 3.5%

non-refundable convenience charge added to orders processed through

SchoolPay. Please visit https://www.schoolpay.com. If you do not have a current

account, please create a new account.

❏ Checks or money orders written out to “Smithtown HS East AP Exams”. Please

write the student’s name in the memo section of the check. (Students should

submit their payment to their AP Teacher).

❏ Cash (Students should submit their payment to South Administration at East).

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Create Wednesday- Creative Self Portraits

We are taking on Creative Self Portraits in any media for this Create Wednesday.  Check out the video above for more details but the idea is to make a self portrait that helps your personality come through in an interesting and unique way.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Virtual Film Club/Media Art Honor Society


The Film Club/Media Art Honor Society will begin meeting in October virtually.  We watch and critique films together, collaborate on global projects in media from 3D printing to animation and film, and also function as an honor society volunteering in the community and hosting an induction annually. The yearbook photo above shows some of the types of activities we do each year and membership is open to all!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Adobe Spark 5 Frame Introduction Film


Today we will finish our first project by creating our Adobe Spark 5 Frame Introduction Video.  Add an introduction slide and music then take the 5 Spark frames we made last week and combine them into a film with Adobe Spark Video (or slideshow) and share it to Google Classroom/

Friday, September 18, 2020

Mindful Tools with Adobe Spark

We learned how to use Adobe Spark in our 1st week of art classes to introduce ourselves & share some of our mindfulness tools that help us relax, decompress and manage stress- here are a few terrific student examples!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Adobe Spark Photo Story


This week we will be working on putting together a 5 frame Adobe Spark Photo Story using Spark Video introducing ourselves with the different Spark Post projects we are doing. The 5 Spark designs that should be submitted are listed below: 1. Selfie Introduction 2. 5-10 Things You Love To Do 3. Something you learned in the last 6 months 4. 2-3 Ways You Relax 5. What are your goals this year?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Create Wednesdays: 4 Frame Story

This week we are going to create a 4 Frame Story with text, sound, and images using Adobe Spark Video, a free app. The theme is Long Distance Romance so make a creative, micro fiction story with a beginning, middle, and end. You can use the free images and music in Spark, watch the video link for a short tutorial! Here's Mr. Needles Example, looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

International Dot Day


Today is International Dot Day so we are going to be sharing the creative Augmented Reality Dot Drawings we all created last week! The video above shows author Peter H Reynolds introducing the celebration.

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