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.

Monday, March 16, 2020

NATIONAL Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Day!

It is Monday, March 16, 2020 and that means today is NATIONAL Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Day!  The finalist for 2020 will be released at noon!  Best of luck to all of our finalists!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Corona Virus Closure



The school district announced that we will be closed all of next week to clean for Corona Virus, blow are some of the details.  Today we will complete all of our activities and prepare for the future.


  • Is school open on Friday, March 13, 2020? YES 


  •  Are there after-school activities on Friday, March 13, 2020? YES


  • Will athletic teams have practice and/or games for the closure week? NO


  • Will the SAT exam be given at HSW on Saturday, March 14, 2020? YES


  • Will instruction or instructional materials be provided during the school closure? NO, as in snow emergencies we will not be providing instruction or materials for the week of March 16-20, 2020.


  • Will the District buildings be thoroughly cleaned next week? YES, during the closure our custodial staff will do a thorough disinfection of all buildings including classrooms, all-purpose rooms, auditoriums, walls, doors, desks, chairs, book cases, floors, etc.


  • Will school now be in session on Friday, May 22, 2020? YES


  • Will this emergency closure impact April break? TO BE DETERMINED


  • Will the District be providing transportation for students to attend out-of-district placements and private/parochial schools? NO


  • Will students that are presently scheduled for home instruction still receive the home instruction next week? NO


  • Will the District lose State aid for closing this week? NO


  • Are Adult Education classes and activities cancelled as well? YES


  • Are outside organizations permitted to use school facilities during this closure? NO



  • Thursday, March 12, 2020

    Doodle for Google Contest Due


    The Doodle for Google Contest deadline is March 13 so we will spend some time organizing and submitting our finished entries.  Make sure the form is completely filled out with the drawing on it and it is signed by a parent or guardian.  Above is an amazing digital drawing entry by Elisa from Digital Media Class.

    Wednesday, March 11, 2020

    Film: What's in a Pilot Episode

    Today we'll begin looking at understanding and creating a pilot episode of a television show. The example above from the Simpsons show how the first episode may have many problems even though the show turns out to be a hit. Finding a great pilot episode can be difficult, in fact many pilots never get to air and are reshot, recast, or totally reworked. We'll explore what needs to be included in a pilot and how the process works so we can create our own.

    Tuesday, March 10, 2020

    AP Art: AP Portfolios


    In AP Art we critiqued our AP Portfolios and now it's time to begin photographing the work for the AP Test and posting it on the testing site.  Digital work like the awesome piece from Juliana above is easy but 2D and 3D work needs to be photographed and uploaded to the AP Studio Art page: https://apstudio.ets.org/apstudioart/

    Here are the codes that are necessary to logon and create an account:

    School Code: 335001
    School: SMITHTOWN HIGH SCH E CAMPUS
    Teacher Key: xwt0100

    Monday, March 9, 2020

    Digital Media: STEAM drawings


    Today we are working our STEAM drawings, did you know that Charlie Chaplin spent time in St. James or the Albert Einstein lived on Long Island?  Many of the most import STEAM pioneers had links to where we live!  The digital drawings are due tomorrow on Google classroom.

    Friday, March 6, 2020

    STEAM Power Challenge


    We are taking part in an art challenge for our next project to celebrate Youth Art Month! Draw a digital portrait/illustrated quote of an important figure in STEAM and we'll be sharing them all month on social media.  Here's a link to my Quizlet featuring some important STEAM heroes to get started: STEAM Power Influencers.  Below is an example from Thomas Edison.


    Thursday, March 5, 2020

    National Art Honor Society- Take Action Project


    The National Art Honor Society will take part in the Take Action Project, here's a little bit more information:


    This year, the United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The UN Secretary General is looking to youth to answer this question: 
    What kind of world do you want to create? 
    The #TakeActionProject is designed to guide students in grades K-12 (age 5-18) through a 9-week inquiry experience moving through levels of self to local community to global community to examining our place in the universe. The project will conclude with Take Action Day on May 1st where we will join in an online global celebration to showcase projects and work, and then we will all together send a collective message to the UN Secretary General with our ideas as we look to the future our students hope to create.

    To help us answer this guiding question, we have enlisted some of the best minds and thought leaders in science, peace and justice, and sustainability. Our collaborators have helped us curate resources, probing questions, and inspiration to share during the coming weeks. Classrooms and teachers will also be invited to participate in expert webinars, social media conversations, class-to-class video exchange discussions, and community outreach through action research! 
    This week's activity is to create their own project digital badge to represent participation. Students can also select to submit their designs to become the Official Take Action Project digital badge for 2020. One badge will be selected in Week 3!  Below are some examples from Apple's Earth program.



    Wednesday, March 4, 2020

    Digital Media: Salvador Dali AI

    We recently learned about Artificial Intelligence and did some work with machine learning in class so I wanted to share this interactive art project from the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersberg Florida because it used AI to recreate the artist himself using hour of film and television footage.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2020

    AP ART: AP Senior Shows


    In AP ART we will finish the portfolio critiques and talk about the schedule for our upcoming AP Senior Shows for the Spring.  Below is a look at some of the variety of show's we've done over the years to give you a better idea of what to expect!












    Monday, March 2, 2020

    Digital Media: Doodle for Google

    In Digital Media class we are finishing up our Google Doodles for this year's Doodle for Google contest.  Once they are complete you  need to finish the application which is available online or in the assignment drive and write a few sentences about your work so it can be submitted.  The last step is to get a parent or guardian signature.

    Friday, February 28, 2020

    TED Talk

    Excited to share that I'll be presenting my 1st TED Talk on creativity featuring elements from my book STEAM Power which is out in March! The event is on April 25 TEDx WCMepham!

    Thursday, February 27, 2020

    Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

    Congratulations to the students from Mr. Needles AP art and digital media classes who won gold and silver key awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and are now in the nationals, good luck!

    Trisan Davis- Gold Key, American Visions Nominee Video Game Design
    Nethmi Withanage- 2 Silver Key, 2 Honorable Mention Drawing, Illustration, & Painting
    Ashleigh Golden- Gold Key Video Game Design

    Kiersten Hebron- Gold Key, Silver Key Photography

    Tuesday, February 25, 2020

    Digital Media: Created a texture layer and original brushes


    In Digital Media we are returning to digital drawing and learning how to create a texture layer and original brushes. The video above shows one way to add a texture layer but you can also add the layer and just lower the opacity and create masks to block our sections where you don't want the texture to show like the demonstration I did in class.


    Creating an original brush is easy and helps make your work unique as well. You can draw or import a shape or image the go to edit and select define brush preset. That will create a new brush that can be used for everyone on that computer.

    Monday, February 24, 2020

    Digital Media: Google Doodle

    We are working on the Doodle for Google contest this week creating Google Doodles using digital or traditional drawing.  The contest drawings are due for a grade March 11 and need to be submitted digitally by March 13.

    This year’s Doodle for Google theme is:

    “I SHOW KINDNESS BY...

    Here's a look at how the process happens at Google with the Google Doodle team, they begin in a similar way with brainstorming and sketching out their ideas the follow the creative process.


    Thursday, February 13, 2020

    SCAD Visit

    Today we have a representative from SCAD coming to Smithtown East to talk about their program and review some AP Art portfolios.  Here's a few photos from one of my recent trips to Savannah where I took a tour of the art school while attending the summer educators workshop.  We have a number of students attending SCAD along with tons of alumni over the years but if you want to get a taste yourself look into their summer student programs: SCAD summer




    Wednesday, February 12, 2020

    AP Art: Calligraphy Art

    Image result for Image result for jr jose parla
    We are beginning a collaborative project Calligraphy Art this week. The word calligraphy literally means beautiful writing. Before the invention of the printing press some 500 years ago, it was the way books were made. Each copy was handwritten out by a scribe working in a scriptorium. The hand writing was done with quill and ink onto materials like vellum or parchment. Today with the introduction of the internet, computers and modern communication, we are constantly influenced by the different styles of lettering and typefaces.


    Students will choose a word and illustrate the word in a way that expresses it’s meaning. The letters should include the following principles of design: Emphasis, Spacial Balance and Unity, Expressive meaning in addition they may contain movement, rhythm and pattern. Students will write a short essay that describes the word used plus how and where you have used the principles of design. Here are some examples by Retna (below) and Jose Parla with JR (above).

    Image result for calligraphy street art

    Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    Digital Media: Building Our Rube Goldberg Machine

    This week we are working on creating a Rube Goldberg machine inspired by OKgo's video This Too Shall Pass and we will use OKgo Sandbox as a resource as well as the Rube Goldberg Contest Rule Book. We'll design and assemble out machine and the final step should be to shut off one or more lights (this year's theme).

    Monday, February 10, 2020

    AP Art: Stormwater Awareness Campaign

    Our Stormwater Awareness Campaign was in the news recently, the STEAM collaboration with HSW students in Mrs. Williams science classes has been terrific and well be completing our designs in order to share them at our next Google Hangout in March!

    Friday, February 7, 2020

    National Art Honor Society Induction Ceremony


    We held our 2020 National Art Honor Society and Jr Honor Society Induction Ceremony last night along with a members art exhibition and reception.  Congratulations to all the new members, it was a fun night!
    Our co-presidents Megan and Kiersten did a wonderful job presenting and inducting their fellow members as well as our Jr Honor Society co-presidents Mia and Maya.  Here's a few more images from the event!

    Digital Media: Rube Goldberg machine


    A Rube Goldberg machine, named after American cartoonist Rube Goldberg, is a machine intentionally designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and overly complicated way.  They are also known as chain reaction machines and this week we are going in work with Okgo Sandbox again and create one of our own.  Each student will team up to create on part of our machine and we will arrange and film it!

    Thursday, February 6, 2020

    National Art Honor Society Induction


    Today is our National Art Honor Society Induction Ceremony at 6pm (ceremony starts at 6:30) and we'll have a member art exhibition and reception after the ceremony.

    Image result for nahs

    Wednesday, February 5, 2020

    2020 Long Island's Best at the Hecksher Museum


    We are approaching another deadline for the 2020 Long Island's Best exhibit at the Heckscher Museum.  All forms must be filled out completely and submitted by 5 pm on February 14, 2020.  The ARTWORK critiqued and prepared and framed before it is delivered next month on Tuesday, March 10 because our school has a limited number of entries.  A completed Artwork Label must be attached to each work of art that will be submitted.


    Here is what is expected from the artist statement: Each student must write and submit an artist statement (50 to 150 words) with the Student Entry Form. This statement should explain the connection between the inspiration artwork seen in the Museum and the student artwork being submitted. The statement plays a key role in the jurying process and you may include a digital image of your piece as well.

    Tuesday, February 4, 2020

    2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards


    Congratulations to the following 5 Students from Mr. Needles AP art and digital media classes at Smithtown High School East won 9 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards along with an American Visions Nomination (Best-In Show)!


    Ashleigh Golden- Gold Key Video Game Design
    Kiersten Hebron- Gold Key, Silver Key Photography
    Trisan Davis- Gold Key, American Visions Nominee Video Game Design
    Nethmi Withanage- 2 Silver Key, 2 Honorable Mention Drawing & Illustration & Painting
    Krishna Palempalli- Honorable Mention Video Game Design

    The Gold Key winners will continue on to the Nationals, good luck!



    Monday, February 3, 2020

    Studio Art: Artist Research Project

    This week in Studio Art class we are working on our Artist Research Project.  The Google Slide presentation should be completed by the beginning of class on Wednesday and contain the following:
    • Cover page with artist, image of artist, name/class/year
    • Birth/death date with 10 bulleted facts about the artist & link to where you got the bio info
    • 10 full size, full page images of the artist's work (1 image per slide)
    Once the Google Slide presentation is complete each student should create a piece of art in any media in their sketchbook inspired by the artist they researched.  This should not be a copy of their work but it should take something about the artist's work that interests you and use that in the piece.  The example above of Banksy's Keith Haring inspired work might be a good example!

    Needles- Robert Rauschenberg

    Friday, January 31, 2020

    Digital Media: 3D Printing

    In Digital Media we are going to begin our 3D Printing unit by remixing a design for a 3d puzzle shown above.  We are each going to create an individual piece that can be interlocked with each other to make a large sculptural form.  We'll look at Morphi's  Modular Art Disks and then use that as a starting place for our own unique designs.


    Thursday, January 30, 2020

    Art Honor Society: 2020

    It's a new year so we will begin to plan our upcoming National Art Honor Society Induction this week.  We will also begin working on the sets for the Tackan Elementary Play and continue work on our mural designs in school.  We will also continue work on our Sketchbook Project under the MONOchromatic theme.

    We were also invited this week to display our Wyland mural in Smithtown Town Hall by the town supervisor so it will go on view next week with the names of everyone who worked on it.

    Wednesday, January 29, 2020

    Film: The Film Press

    Today in Film class we will look at how the Film Press operates and different avenues that students might begin to get involved in the process in order to take advantage of opportunities in college and professionally.  I'll share some of my experience and we'll look at some of the ways to get involved and the expectations.

    Tuesday, January 28, 2020

    AP Art: Sustained Investigation


    We are moving along with the AP Art test after our midterm and below are the due dates for the sustained investigation pieces that are due this quarter. We will review and critique them weekly.
    • 1/31- Work 5
    • 2/7- Work 6
    • 2/14- Work 7
    • 2/28- Work 8
    • 3/6- Work 9
    • 3/13- Work 10
    • 3/19- Work 11
    • 3/27- Work 12
    • 4/3- Work 13

    Monday, January 27, 2020

    AP Art: Long Island's Best competition for the Heckscher Museum

    This Month we will be working on the Long Island's Best competition for the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington.  The Entry Forms must be completed in February and the work must be framed and deliver in person in March.  We'll review some of the museums art and discuss the process this week.

    Blog Archive