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, 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.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Adobe Spark Photo Story

 This week we'll be using Adobe Spark to put together a 5 frame Adobe Spark Photo Story using Spark Video introducing ourselves with the different Spark Post projects we are doing. Here's an example of the first image which uses the selfie we took in class last week.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Remembering September 11

Today is the  anniversary of the September 11 attacks so well take a moment to look at two short films from StoryCorps animated by The Rauch Brothers of two very personal stories from that day.  The first about John and Joe Vigiano (a firefighter from West Islip and a police officer from Medford) and the second about Michael Trinidad (who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald). 

I had a chance to visit the memorial and see the tribute in light in lower Manhattan from Brooklyn on the 15th anniversary which was meaningful as I was teaching the morning of September 11 and some of the students I taught lost parents that day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Create Wednesday: Celebrating Dot Day


Today we are going to create an augmented reality drawing for International Dot Day, a celebration of creativity stemming from the book The Dot by Peter H Reynolds. We are going to draw a unique and original dot today then tomorrow we will use the AR app Quiver to augment our dot and take a creative photograph of it in 3D. The video below shows some examples from last year and goes into more detail but once we are complete we will share our work on social media to celebrate.

Here's an article I published in School Arts magazine on the project which includes some student work as well: School Arts September Issue

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Welcome to Artroom 161 2020-2021


It's been a long time since we were all together at school and things have changed a great deal but I'm looking forward to working with you and creating some amazing art this year!  We are going to focus on creativity and mindfulness this week to begin the year on a positive note.

We are going to work on a series of pieces that will be incorporated into a larger project using Adobe Spark next week.  This week we will discuss what it means to be creative and learn a few helpful creative mindfulness tools.

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
    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:


    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

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