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.

Friday, January 13, 2017

AP Art: Final Breadth

Today in AP Art our final Breadth piece is due which should complete our 1st section of the AP test.  Each student should choose their strongest 12 breadth pieces for the AP test and photograph them to submit the 12 digital images by Thursday next week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Art Honor Society: Vans Custom Culture Contest

Today in Art Honor Society we will begin work on the Vans Custom Culture Contest.  the video above is from a few years ago but much of the information has changed notably the addition component which is listed below and the trip this year is to Los Angeles, CA.


Below is an example from another school- part of the rules of the contest is to document the process so make sure to take photographs along the way as you work on designs!

Studio Art: Art History Extra Credit

January's Studio Art extra credit is based on the art history unit we just completed.  You will recieve Extra Credit for watching any of the 3 films available streaming online this month based on artists we learned about: (Banksy) Exit to the Gift Shop, (Frida Kahlo) Frida, (jean Micheal Basquiat) Basquiat.

To get full credit the film review should be 250 words and not reiterate basic information such as cast and plot, it should instead focus on your opinion on the film based on your knowledge of the artist and what we've learned.  To give you a better idea of the expectation you can read this example film review I wrote for the Short & Sweet NYC blog for the art bio film Finding Vivian Maier.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Studio Art: Sketchnotes

Today we will look at some way to use the arts to benefit your learning in other subjects and we'll begin by looking at using sketchnotes.  Here are the sketchnotes I created to teach a workshop on integrating the arts for educators.

The sketchnote animation example from Dan Pink's TED talk on Drive below illustrates how helpful the process can be in creating a deeper understanding of the material.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Digital Media: Designing and 3D Printing Chess Pieces

In Digital Media our first 3D Prints will be original designs for a chess set with each student creating and printing a different piece to create a full set.  Above are some of the pieces from last year, not all of them were entirely successful so we will discuss the different elements you must consider as well as looking at some creative chess set designs from the past like the famous example below from artist Man Ray.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Photography: The Studio Portrait Series

Today in Photography we are completing the Studio Portrait Series with a class critique.  Over the course of 2 1/2 weeks we learning the fundamentals of how to use the SLR camera, how to photograph people in the studio setting including using different studio and natural lighting, how to edit portraits professionally using Adobe Photoshop, and how to create our own filters to add unique, signature elements to our images.  By today, each student should have digitally submitted 3 images that they created and edited along with an additional image from a Smart phone with a grunge filter they created.  We will review all the images as a class and discuss the results and what was learned together.  Above is a great example of 3 different grunge filter portraits from class by Emily, Kelly, and Andrew.  The finished grunge portrait is due today at the end of class.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Studio Art: Art History Review

In Studio Art we will use our Art History Review quizlet page to review some of the important facts about the artists we learned about in class to prepare for the second part of the assessment, the short answer quiz which is on Friday.  We'll look at the major artists and what's important to remember about each of them.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

AP Art: Extra Credit

The final AP Art Extra Credit assignment for the quarter is to enter a work into the Saatchi gallery schools prize.

The Saatchi Gallery Art Prize for Schools is open to secondary schools from around the world. Schools can submit artwork from students under 18.
Schools can enter as many art works as they wish. There is no prescribed theme for works entered, nor is there a restriction on media used- sculpture, painting, installation, photography, video and mixed media artworks are all eligible and welcome.
The deadline for entries is January 31st 2017.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year- Welcome to 2017


Happy New Year and welcome to 2017!  Today we will begin with a favorite project called #OneWord in which we choose a word that will be our focus for the new year much like a simplified resolution.  the idea comes from Smithtown East alumni and best-selling author Jon Gordon who you can watch outline the concept below.  the example above are from doing this project one year ago in class.

Also this marks the 10th year of this classroom blog Artroom 161 and seeing that I was just moved out of artroom 161 it seems like a fitting time to end it and start something new.  I'll be starting a new blog soon and retiring this one at the end of the school year.  We've come a long way in the past 10 years, we'll be looking back on some of the highlights before it ends!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays

Today is the last day of classes for 2016 so have a great holiday break!  Relax and enjoy the time off and keep creative!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Studio Art: Art History Visual Test

 Today in Studio Art we are taking the Art History Visual Test, here's a look at some of the work you might see on the test today from some of my recent travels with art honor society and the national art education association.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Art Honor Society: Handmade Holiday Cards

Today in Art Honor Society we will learn how to create 3D pop-up Handmade Holiday Cards like the example in the video above.  We'll create one for ourselves and one to give to patients at the local nursing home we visited this month!

Studio Art: Artist Research Project

In Studio Art we have been reviewing our Artist Research Projects in class and presenting the images and information so this week we will have a visual test on what we learned on Thursday with a matching test.  Below is the list of artists that are being covered and we'll finish reviewing their work on Wednesday.

Nicholas- Keith Haring
Ivania- Frida Kahlo
Olivia- Andy Warhol
Adelaide- Banksy
Meagan- Paul Klee
Steven- Chuck Close
Riley- Ai Weiwei
Cassidy- Jasper Johns
Joseph D- Piet Mondrian
Zachary- David Hockney
Joseph L- Jackson Pollock
Adriana- Jeff Koons
Kelsey-Yayoi Kusama

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Photography: Studio Portraits

In Photography last week we learned some advanced editing techniques on how to edit portraits and how to set up studio lighting and now we are doing some in-class demonstrations on how to photograph them.  These photographs are from our first demonstration on how to set up the studio and lights and work the camera.

In this unit each student will create a series of 3 edited studio portraits using the SLR camera and 1 studio portraits using a smart phone that will feature a custom grunge filter.  We will learn to incorporate different post-production techniques with each series of photographs but I urge you to take at least 10 photographs to ensure you have 3 great ones.  This week we'll take the photographs and begin editing then I will give another editing demonstration in Photoshop and the final series will be due next Friday.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gingerbread Decorations

This week in Makerspace club we worked on completing our gingerbread architecture by adding candy decorations and additions.

Students used a variety of candy and chocolates to add some personal touches and a spash of color to their creations.

Digital Media: StoryCorps Great Listen

This is the final week to submit your StoryCorps story's using #needlesclass online.  We will begin animating segments of them after the Winter Break so be sure to share them.  They don't need to be posted online, that's extra credit, but they do need to be recorded and shared with me for a grade because we'll be using them for future projects.  Below is an example from Ben in digital media class that's a fun example-looking forward to hearing your interviews!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wyland National Art Challenge

Congratulations to AP Art's Ilysa Sirota who was chosen as the Best in Grade Eleventh Winner for here painting 'Trapped' pictured above for this year's Wyland National Art Challenge.  

This year’s art challenge had participation from over 4000 students across the U.S. The contest encouraged students to explore the issues and wonders of conservation by painting classroom murals, individual works of art, and through photography. The Wyland Foundation hopes that the process of interpreting water-based habitats through art will lead students to a greater understanding of their role as future caretakers of our water resources.  

In addition to receiving a $50 Gift Certificate, her work is now featured on the home page of the Wyland Foundation

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Art Honor Society: Gratitude Project

Today the Art Honor Society joined with other volunteers and clubs to facilitate the Gratitude Project, our social emotional learning printmaking project, to our local nursing home: St. James Rehab.  We visited after school and spent 2 1/2 hours working with the seniors to create gratitude prints.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Extra Credit: NYS Art YAM Design

December has 2 extra credit opportunities! The first is to aid the art honor society in bringing the Gratitude Project to our local nursing home on Tuesday December 13 from 2-4pm.  Field trip forms are available in guidance or with Mr. Needles and we'll be working with the serior citizens to make gratitude prints just like we did in class!

The second is to create a Youth Art Month flag design as seen in the flyer above.  It's due December 16 and must include a clearly visible YAM logo as seen above.  you should use the form below to submit the final design and you must also fill out a release which you can get from Mr. Needles if you are going to enter.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Photography: Photo Forum HS Contest

Today is the final class day to enter the Photo Forum annual high school photography contest, above is one of last year's finalists from AP Art, Rosalie Zach. Remember that Thursday is the final day to enter the Scholastic art and writing awards- be sure to print out your submission form so that I can sign it and it can be entered on time!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Studio Art: Reviewing with Quizlet

In Studio Art we will be reviewing what we've learned so far this year and assessing how much learning we retaining with quizzes and written reflections leading up to the end of 2016.  We will be using Quizlet to help us review so everyone should make an account and link it to my page so I can see what you need to be refreshed on before we have our mid term.  We will have some pop-quizes to see what you know and remember this week!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Art Honor Society: Artist Trading Card Day

Today in Art Honor Society and AP Art it is finally Artist Trading Card Day!  We received ATCs from around the world from Mini Mattisse's ATC swap. and today we will be sharing them and using the cards we receive for our next project.

Everyone will choose a card without based on the art without looking where it's from to reinterpret in a different medium.  You can use any materials you like and find inspiration in anything about the card ranging from the colors, shapes, subject matter, design, or even the story about the school or town that was shared.  Above is an example from last year's ATC swap from Emily in AP Art who used the colors and design as inspiration for a garment and the example below is from Luke who added some detail and intricacy to the elementary school student's design.

This year we received cards from Thailand, England and all around Italy as well as across the US from states such as Texas, Washington, Georgia, Missouri, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, South Dakota, Tennessee, Indian, and Minnesota.
 The cards we sent out are also starting to turn up around the world and I've received messages from teachers in Tennessee and Texas who have our cards.

Update: We just received messages from more classrooms who have more of our ATCs:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Colors of Long Island

Today the entries for the Colors of Long Island art exhibit at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook are being submitted and there are a few great works in various media.  Best of luck to everyone, the show will be on view from February 24, 2017 through April 16, 2017 with the reception on Sunday, March 5. Here are a few of my early favorites!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Foto Foto Gallery's 12th Annual National Photography Competition

Congratulations to Sam in our AP Art class who's photograph was chosen along with mine for the 12th Annual National Photography Competition at Foto Foto Gallery in Huntington, NY.  The show was curated by notable art director Stephen Mayes who is secretary of the World Press Photo Competition and executive director of the Tim Hetherington Trust.  Out of nearly 600 entries 29 were chosen for this year's competition which is on view through January 7, 2017.

Friday, December 2, 2016

AP Art: Stencil Photo Gelli Printmaking

After creating our first monoprints in Studio Art class with the gratitude prints we will take monoprinting to the next level by adding drawing and layer masks like the example from my photography demo above and from last year's AP Art below.  Each student should create a portrait of a person, animal, or thing on printmaking paper in pencil or ink, cut a stencil mask and print over it creating a mixed media piece.  These prints will be due next Tuesday December 6.

  • AP art should create a series of 11 prints 5"x7" or larger.
  • Photography shhould create a photo print and a photo transfer print.
  • Studio should create a stencil print.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wyland National Art Challenge

Tomorrow is the deadline for the Wyland National Art Challenge so anyone who created individual art or photo entries be sure to upload them to the website with all the relevant information before tomorrow at midnight.  The example above is a great one from Steph in the AP Art class.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Colors of Long Island

This week we are working to create entries for the Colors of Long Island art exhibit at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook.  We will create full color drawings and photographs featuring imagery from Long Island to display in the show which will be on view from February 24, 2017 through April 16, 2017 with the reception on Sunday, March 5.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Extra Credit: StoryCorps-The Great Thanksgiving Listen

This month's extra credit assignment for studio art classes is to participate and upload an interview for StoryCorps The Great Thanksgiving Listen.  You can listen to some of the previous #NeedlesClass Great Listen interviews to get an idea of the expectation but we'll review the specifics in class too.  Each interview should be with an elder and have at least 10 questions along with a photograph of the interviewer and interviewee along with a signed permission form if they are going to be uploaded.  Make sure you add the #needlesclass hashtag so we can easily find them online.  Below is a StoryCorps favorite animated example.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Project Gratitude

This week Smithtown High School East participated in Project Gratitude, a social emotional learning printmaking project.  Over 350 students and teachers participated in the project creating small gratitude prints to remind themselves to be thankful and to give away to family, friends, loved ones, and even troops overseas as part of a collaborative project with the diversity club.

The project was created by Mr. Needles and grew out of our schools social emotional learning program.  It was arranged with the help of a collaborative group of teachers from our high school cohort of the Smithtown's Social Emotional Learning program including: Mrs. Schmalz (Counseling), Mr. Kelly (English), Mrs.Tener (Social Studies), Ms. Locascio (Special Ed), Mrs. Brienza (Special Ed), Mrs.Scholepflin (Math), Ms.Primiceri (Spanish), along with Mr. Needles (Art).

Students from a variety of clubs such as the National Art Honor Society, The Math Honor Society, Leadership, the Diversity Club, the Media Art Honor Society and others joined with interested students and teachers from across the school for the project.  Classes also joined in with Mr. Needles art and media classes during the day to create prints during Thanksgiving week.

The after school event included a short video, a guided meditation led by Mrs. Schmalz, a reflection lessons learned about gratitude from Mrs.Tavis and Leadership based on their reading of alumni and author John Gordon's The Energy Bus, a few personal stories and reflections in words by Mrs.Scholepflin and in writing Mr. Kelly by and a concluded with the printmaking project.

The printmaking portion of the project featured students creating 3"x5" prints on paper stock using Gelli printing plates and acrylic paint along with stamps, stencils, and other creative materials.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Today is the last day before the holiday break for many of you and I'll be sharing a story about helping to carry Buzz, the then un-named Cheerio's Honey Nut Bee in the 1999 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Studio Art: Monoprinting

In Studio Art we will be working on the gratitude project this week Monoprinting using Gelli plates to create 3"x 5" prints to reflect what we are thankful for.

The print will be created on the front of the card and text will be added after it's dried then on the back you'll write your name and something your thankful for.  Above are some student examples.

Friday, 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, graphic design featured below.  She was awarded $147 (the age Ghandi would be if he were alive) by the Shanti organization and Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone at a ceremony this week 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. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Scholastic Art& Writing Awards

The deadline for the Scholastic ArtWriting Awards is coming up, it's the first week of December so make sure you begin preparing your entries and enter online using the line above.  the categories range from Photography to Mixed Media to Comic Art so take a look and enter!

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