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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Digital Media: 3D printing keychain

In Digital Media class this week we are begining to learn about designing for 3D printing but creating a keychain.  First log into Tinkercad and click the Learn tab to complete the first 4 basic tutorials.  Once your done you should create a #D design for a keychain that is no larger than 35mm.  The examples here give you a sense of the diversity of what you can create.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Extra Credit: How Does Art Unite Us?

Art Keeps Kids in School

How Does Art Unite Us?

Students should create an 18 x 24" (46 x 61 cm) poster that communicates a message of unity by answering the question, How Does Art Unite Us? Posters can be vertical or horizontal and may be done in any media
• Be creative and think outside the box.
• Reproducibility factors into the judging, so use good lettering, high contrast, and bright colors.
Winners will be directly notified by January 6, 2017. Winners will also be announced on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Judging: Winners will be selected by SchoolArts’s Editor, Nancy Walkup. Posters will be judged based on overall impact, effectiveness in conveying the theme, originality, and artistic merit.

Due: November 10, 2016
Deadline: November 18, 2016

AP Art: Shanti peace poster contest winner

Congratulations to AP art's Ilysa Sirota on winning the 2016 Shanti peace poster contest for her colorful design featured above.  She will awarded $147 (the age Ghandi would be if he were alive) by the Shanti organization and Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone at a ceremony later today and her image will be featured in their annual calendar.  This is Ilysa's second winning poster design, she also took the top prize in last year's competition.  For over 12 years, Volunteers of Shanti Fund have been actively promoting peace through education through programs like their annual peace poster competition.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Studio Art: Mini Comics

This week we are drawing and designing Mini-Comics in Studio Art class.  We will learn about the basic elements of a story, the folding techniques, and the variations in the media.  Then we will brainstorm ideas and begin drawing and designing our own.  You can base you comic on the character you created in our warm-up cartooning activities or start create new characters but the final comic should include 8 pages including a cover with your name and a title and a back with Smithtown High School East, the year, and Mr. Needles written.

We will begin learning how to fold the paper and create the book then sketching out a simple storyboard like the student example seen above.  Once we have a storyboard in full color we'll create the final min-comic like the example seen below.

After you comic is shaded, toned, and/or colored you should open it back up to one piece of paper and scan it.  We will be scanning these comics after they are completed to show and trade them.  Below are a few finished student comics from previous classes.

A number of former students have become comic book artists and work in the film industry creating films based on comics.  Check out the example below from East grad Nicole Rodriguez!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Photography Artist Research Project

In Photography we are going to be working on our Artist Research Project this week. I introduced you to the work of photographers in class:

  • Robert Frank
  • Sebastiao Salgado
  • Marilyn Minter
  • Steve McCurry
  • Annie Leibovitz

We will learn about them more formally and now you will choose and research a photographer and share their work with class. Each student should create a slideshow with the following:
  • 1 coverpage including photographer image and name
  • 10 bulleted biographical notes of interest
  • 20 images of artwork appropriate for class
Below are the photographers that you chose to research, we will have an assessment on all of them are we learn about them and share their work next week:

  1. Nicole- Richard Avedon
  2. Juliana- Joel Meyerowitz
  3. Anthony- Walter Iooss
  4. Alana- Ansel Adams
  5. Alessandra- Dorothea Lange
  6. Daniel- Tim Hetherington
  7. Andrew- Robert Capa
  8. Christina- Herb Ritts
  9. Layne- Lauren Greenfield
  10. Chloe- Annie Leibovitz
  11. Kelly- Jerry Uelsmann
  12. Isaiah- David LaChapelle
  13. Ashley- Diane Arbus
  14. Emily- Irving Penn
  15. Alyssa- Edward Burtynsky
  16. Julia- Henri Cartier-Bresson
  17. Grace- William Eggleston

Friday, October 21, 2016

Art Honor Society: Safe Halloween- Spooky Hallways

Today the Art Honor Society will meet to prepare for and run a Safe Halloween- Spooky Hallways event in partnership with our new Makerspace club.  We will be encouraging kids do color a pumpkin that then can become virtual thanks to the augmented reality app Quiver.  We tested it out in our last Makerspace club meeting and you can see the results above!

Below are a few picture from the Spooky Hallways event, thanks to everyone who volunteered their time!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Studio Art: Watercolor Portraits

In Studio Art we are learning different methods to create watercolor portraits from life.  Each student should create 5 portraits of classmates using the different approach listed below.  The demonstrations I made in class are shown above and show the basics of what we are learning such as: learning to mix colors and create realistic skin tones, build proportionate images, and master the brushwork to create a lifelike portrait.  I created the demos with different style because the style is open as long as the portrait is accurate in shapes and colors and hopefully it has a likeness.  Here are the 5 approaches that are due on Monday:
  1. Pencil Drawing with Watercolor
  2. Direct Watercolor Portrait
  3. Direct Watercolor Portrait with colored pencil over it
  4. Portrait including the full palette of colors
  5. Colored pencil portrait with watercolor over it

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Photography: The Basic Principals

We are beginning to learn the Basic Elements and Principals of photography in class and we are going to take some tips from National Geography photographer Steve McCurry who's images are featured in the video above. This week you will be asked to take images that reflect his 9 tips which are listed below then edit those images using Adobe Photoshop. The finished images are due on Monday October 24 and we will critique the photos together as a class.

  1. Rule of Thirds
  2. Leading Lines
  3. Diagonals
  4. Framing
  5. Figure to Ground
  6. Fill the Frame
  7. Center Dominant Eye
  8. Patterns & Repetition
  9. Symmetry

Steve McCurry's work is pretty amazing so we'll take a look at his process in class and hear him talk a little bit about his work and the stories behind them.  Here's an extra glimpse of McCurry discussing his work.

Monday, October 17, 2016

AP Art: Hartford Art School

University of Hartford | Hartford Art School

Today a representative from the Hartford Art School will be visiting the AP Studio Art class to discuss their program and review portfolios.  We've had a number of students attend Hartford over the years such as Steve Ponzo, Aidi Wang, Jess Brett, and most recently Dylan Ahern and they've all had positive experiences.

Friday, October 14, 2016

AP Art: Art History Research Project

We will begin our artist research project this week-each student has been assigned two artists that reflect their work in some way.  Create a presentation with: 
  • 1 cover page-featuring the artist's image along with their name and yours
  • 10 short bullet-ed biography notes of interest with sources 
  • 20 full size images of their work, each on it's own page
Below is the master list of artists.  We will share the presentations next week and have a short visual and written assessment after we have reviewed them all.

Alexa: Chuck Close & Peter Beard
Alexandra: Gary Taxali & Ai Weiwei
Amy: Stanley Donwood & Victor Vasarely
Anna: Beau Stanton & Salvador Dalí
Anthony: Hieronymus Bosch & FAILE
Arielle: Barry McGee & Edvard Munch
Carly: Gustav Klimt & Jeff Koons
Danielle: Wolf Kahn & Dylan Egon
Emily B: Andrew WyethEsao Andrews
Emily: Katsushika Hokusai & Wayne White
Erin: Fiona Staples & Albrecht Dürer
Ilysa: Vincent Van Gogh & Lucian Freud
Jamie: Olek & Alice Aycock
Jill: Damien Hirst & Andy Kehoe
Kayla B: Sigmar Polke & Donald Baechler
Kayla: Evol & Holly Dewolf
Kyle: Liu Bolin & Lauren Greenfield
Lauren: Judith Supine & Henri Matisse
Leesa: Daniel Danger & Diane Arbus
Luke: David Aja & Rico Lebrun
Natalia: Shepard Fairey & Maurizio Cattelan
Nicole: Agnes Martin & Yayoi Kusama
Sam: Sebastião Salgado & Richard Avedon
Sara: Marilyn Minter & Man Ray
Steph: Alphonse Mucha & Swoon

Needles: Robert Rauschenberg 

Today is also the last to enter the Young Arts contest which closes on Oct 14, 2016 at 11:59pm.  Enter for a chance for scholarships and a chance to be nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.  We will also have the Hartford Art School visit next week on Monday to discuss their program and review portfolios. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Photography: Nature

Last week in Photography we learned some basics about composition and went outdoors to incorperate them while photographing nature around the school.  The above image is the example I created and edited as a demo in class.  This week we will be in the computer lab editing our photos and each student should have an image for each principal and technique we learned:

  • Tiltshift
  • Ants Eye View
  • Leading Lines/S-Curve
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Texture
  • Repetition
  • Rhythm

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Digital Media: Flextangles

This week in Digital Media class we are creating our own creative flextangles using Photoshop and the template online which is also available in the Assignments drive on your computer.  Each student should use original images or drawings to create a creative flextangle in Photoshop one layer at a time.  When you are finished be sure to use the text tool and add your name in as well the we will print them out and assemble them in class later in the week.

The demonstration I made in class using photographs of street art that I took at 5 Pointz in Queens can be seen above, think of a fun and interesting way that you can design a flextangle that reflects your interests!

Friday, October 7, 2016

AP Art: Heckscher Museum Portfolio Development

Students in the AP Art program might be interested in some of the offerings the local Heckscher Museum has coming up as part of their Portfolio Development Program.  The informational flyer is above and you can follow this link: Heckscher Museum HS student programs for more information and specifics.  In recent years a number of students have attended their college portfolio nights and found them really useful!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Gallery Review: Wayne White

Wayne White is known for his playful and colorful word paintings and imaginative sculptures that transform his fun drawings into 3 dimensions so his latest exhibit entitled "I'M HAVING A DIALOGUE WITH THE UNIVERSE AND YOU'RE JUST SITTING THERE" at Joshua Liner Gallery in NYC was well worth visiting.  I wanted to share a few of my favorite works as we have been studying White's work for the last few years and it consistently delivers with a unique, interesting sense of humor.

White's latest show was creatively exhibited with large cartoonist hands holding and displaying many of the paintings along with a really cool kinetic word sculpture resembling an old school weathervane.

The show was great but it felt a bit like an addendum to last years exhibit that was a bit more impressive with it's large scale sculpture and backroom installation.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Digital Media: World Makerfaire Highlights

This weekend was the World Makerfaire so I wanted to share a few of the highlights as they relate to Digital Media class.  My favorite technology was the 3D Virtual Drawing using the Vive and Gravity Sketch as you can see above and you can view the 3D drawing here: Sketchfab

Gravity Sketch VR Kickstarter from GravitySketch

Another highlight was the scale and detail of 3D printing with new tech ranging from printing from your smartphone to lifesize 3D prints using both a massive 3D printer and a collaborative of blocks that are crowd sourced like the 3D print of George Washington's bust below from We The Builders.

There was also example of 3D printed fabrics, jewelry, and garments that was really impressive and have enormous potential in the future.

There was also an amazing table that included magnetic beads drawing repeatedly in sand under the glass from Sisyphus below.

It was a fun weekend of exploring and there are a number of ideas I have after seeing the new technologies at Makerfaire that we might try to use in class this year!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Arts Integration: Engaging with Creativity

Here are 4 diverse ways to incorporate fine art into any curriculum:

Making words more visual has a profound effect on learning and remembering the material.

Visual students have a tendency to draw out notes in any class and sometimes get admonished for their doodles rather than being reinforced for visualizing the material.  Encouraging students to create sketch-notes and modeling sketch-noting as an educator can be a very effective and simple way to incorporate arts into any curriculum with great positive outcomes.

Drawing out you notes helps separate the important takeaways from the page making it easier to see the most important learning and allowing educators to understand how the material is being processed rather than just copied.

The sketch-notes above are some of my examples but here are a few links to other examples and demonstrations available on the web:

  • Smashing Magazine- How to Get Started with Sketchnotes

  • Core77- The Basics of Visual Note Taking

  • Roh Design- Mike Rohde Sketchnotes

  • Pinterest- Explore Sketch-notes

  • Using paintings, drawings, illustrations, photographs, sculptures, and architecture to underscore material is a great way to incorporate the arts into any curriculum.  Math teachers around the world have long been using artists like MC Escher in class and science and social studies teachers can easily visualize material with Davinci's notebooks.

    Art history is a great tool but the issue is often finding the right art and artists to use in class so I suggest asking the art teachers in your school or local museums.

    Here are a few of my favorite examples of art history references that can be used as examples for the core subjects:

    Science: Damien Hirst, Leonardo DaVinciDaniel GoldsteinZahner Company

    Math: Tony RobbinMC Escher, Piet MondrianAlbrecht Dürer

    English/Language Arts: Lewis CarrollBilly Collins, United States of PoetryAubrey Beardsley

    Social Studies: Ai WeiweiGilbert Stuart, BanksyOliver Jeffers

    Asking students to illustrate concepts and ideas can lead to some powerful learning and connections. I made an artistic leap in high school when my English teacher offered an option to draw a piece based on the book that we were reading rather than write an essay.  Here are a few great examples of illustrations for different subjects:
    This student drawing references World War II and incorporates what was learned in an original way.

    A student pen and ink illustration of a massacre in China.

    This mini-comic book is based on graphic novels that students studied in English class.

    They are created with just one piece of paper that is folded into 8 pages that becomes a piece of micro-fiction.

    Using inexpensive and recycled materials like cardboard, tape, and glue students can create 3D visualizations of what is being learned in any discipline:

    It can range from a short day long activity to a longer, collaborative project that results in a cardboard sculpture to decorate the classroom and reinforce what was learned:

    For inspiration look at an artist like Wayne White who we learned in my studio art class and who inspired us to create 3D works of famous artists in class:

    The advent of 3D printing also allows students to create 3D designs easily that are virtual using apps like Morphi and Tinkercad among others.

    Here are 4 diverse ways to incorporate media art into any curriculum:

    I love using Vine to introduce my students to how we can use video in class.  Here are a few examples of demonstrations and visual illustrations of lessons:

    Once you master the basics of creating and sharing these videos you can pair Vine with other iphone apps such as Replay and Hyperlapse allowing time-lapse and text:

    Animation is an incredible resource for education.  There are various techniques that range from simple demonstrations using time-lapse to animated sketch-notes to complete digital animations that aid students in understanding curriculum in school in a different way.  The example below is a terrific TED talk by author Dan Pink that was animated as sketch-notes by the RSA and it really communicates his ideas is a clear way:

    Here'a an example of a collaborative animation that was created in class with each student drawing one aspect of author Stephen Fry's essay:

    If educators don't have time to create that kind of animation they can always pair a short animation with Vine for a demonstration or showcase of student work.  This can be done in just a few minutes, here are a few of my examples:

    It's also possible to work with an outside educational entity like my friends at Art Heroes who created this amazing visual animation showing the basics of design:

    There's no question that social media is fast becoming a major part of our future so it really makes sense to utilize it as a way to communicate ideas, teach, and incorporate the arts.  If educators don't have any experience incorporating the arts into the teaching why not use social media like SKYPE in the classroom, Twitter, and Google to connect and collaborate with an art class for a shared, interdisciplinary lesson.

    I've had great success collaborating and incorporating visuals into lessons with other classes and schools from around the world.  Here's an example from a Japan Society partnership with a class from Japan paired with my class in NY:

    This kind of activity also adds another layer of cultural understanding but social media also allows opportunities that wouldn't be possible otherwise such as Mystery SKYPE's and Google Hangouts with professionals in the field.  I had the opportunity to have my students interview actor and musician Nick Cannon in school a few years ago and the conversation ranged from bullying to the arts.

    There are other ways to use video to incorporate the arts into different disciplines like the example below of a video poem.  Visualizing writing adds another dimension to the words and allows the writing to be shared and enjoyed in a new way.

    Student created public service announcements such as this example created with our school improvement team are another great example of how educators can use video to communicate to the school and community.

    Video is also great as a tool for student reflection that can be shared with future classes.  I edited together some of the short student reflections with examples to create the video below that shows what we do in class and gives future students, colleagues, parents, and the community a better idea of what is happening in my classroom.

    There are also great free educational resources to use such as PBS Learning Media which offers videos, lesson plans, and assessments that are catered to various disciplines:

    Thanks, if you have any questions or comments please contact me:

    Studio Art: Artist Trading Cards

    This week we are going to learn about and create Artist Trading Cards that will be exchanged with other students from states around the US as well as countries from around the world. The video above shows some ATCs that I created with fellow art teachers around the world this summer as part of a daily art challenge called #TERPart (The Everyday Renaissance Project). Well be participating in the Mini Matisse ATC exchange so you can take a look at some examples of the work done so far as well as some suggestions from the organizer, teacher Nic Hahn. You can see a sample of how many different states participated in the ATC exchange last year on the map below: You can create any kind of art in most any kind of medium (as long as it can be mailed and wont ruin other cards) on the front of the card as long as it's appropriate for all ages (some of our cards might be exchanges with elementary and middle school students) but on the back be sure to include you should write your name, school, location (city, state, & country) and my name (Mr. Needles). Below are a few examples of cards from last years trade:

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