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, April 24, 2015

Extra Credit: Looking into Smithtown’s Past & Young Arts

Today is the final day to submit work to Looking into Smithtown’s Past so make sure you email your entries if you haven't already and cc me for extra credit!  You must include 5 selfies (1 each from locations listed in the information below) and a final photograph or drawing which will be entry.  A number of Smithtown East students should be represented because it's a Smithtown centered project!

Entry Deadline: April 24, 2015
Exhibition Dates May 23 – June 16 at the Mills Pond House Gallery.

Cash prizes will be awarded:  $500 for 1st Place, $350 for 2nd Place, and $150 for 3rd Place. Winning entries will be featured in Smithtown News.

For more information see STAC's website here: Looking into Smithtown’s Past

The Young Arts contest just opened up for this year so any non-senior students can begin to enter.  Each year, there are approximately 11,000 applications to YoungArts from 15-18 year old (or grades 10-12) artists, and from these, approximately 800 winners are selected.  To date, YoungArts has honored more than 20,000 alumni, including Doug Aitken, Josh Groban, Jenji Kohan, Desmond Richardson and Kerry Washington, with over $12 million in monetary awards; facilitated in excess of $60 million in college scholarship opportunities in the past two years; and enabled its participants to work with master teachers who are among the most distinguished artists in the world, such as Marina Abramović, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Plácido Domingo, Zaha Hadid, Robert Redford and Bruce Weber.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Studio Art: Origami Box Instructions

In Studio Art our first Origami Box with handmade paper is due today so here is a refresher on how to fold it.  Use the video Instructions step by step if you'd like.  The second box is going to use recycled paper that is decorated and is due at the beginning of class on Moday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

AP Art: Pow Wow Hawaii Art

POW! WOW! Hawaii 2015 from POW! WOW! Hawaii on Vimeo.

I wanted to share this great recap of this year's Pow Wow Hawaii art event.  Every February, artists from all over the world travel to the island of Oahu, Hawaii for this an amazing festival which features many of the artists we've talked about in AP Art this year such as Daleast and Tristan Eaton (who's mural is pictured below).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Advanced Media: TV Production Research Project

In Advanced Media we just finished learning about the duties of a showrunner and before we begin actually producing some television we are going to work on a short TV Production Research Project.  Each student chose a television show to research and will create a 6 page slideshow with the following information:

1: Show, runing dates, head staff, & image
2: Data & Numbers- budget, ratings, historical finances
3: Showrunner-Head writer & Production Style
4: Critical Reception & Awards
5: Production Process & Where it stands now

I created a demo available online using MADMEN as an example that can be used as a template, the final project is due Thursday.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Studio Art: Paper Art

In Studio Art we will begin our sculpture unit with some paper craft.  We will be creating 4 increasingly complex Paper Art projects beginning with a simple 3 dimensional origami project and culminating with paper jewelry, vases, and masks show above and below.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Talks With Teachers: 25 Tips for Teachers

The Talks With Teachers podcast recently released a terrific collection of the best 25 tips from the 70 episodes of Season One and I was honored to be included in the collection with the quote above from my episode (#52).  Another Smithtown colleague Dan McCabe, vice principal at Accompsett Middle School, was also included and his quote is below.  The collection is currently free on the TWT website linked above so check it out!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Advanced Media: The Showrunner

In Advanced Media we are learning about television and show runners as we will follow the process of creating a television show from scratch to the first pilot.  Each student will create an original idea for a television show and pitch it in this process and we will work as a network to choose some to develop into pilots.  Additionally next week each student will choose a television show to research and present discussing how they were created and broke as well as how they run in terms of staff and development.

Here's a relative story about The Walking Dead's first show runner Frank Darabont and how he disappeared after the first season: Hollywood Reporter

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Studio Art: Introduction to Sculpture

In Studio Art we will begin the 4th quarter with an introduction to sculpture and some of the necessary terminology.  We will go over the basic types of sculpture that we'll work on (additive, reductive, kinetic, and land art) and we'll have a short quiz on the terms on Friday.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Advanced Media: Contests

Here are two great extra credit opportunities.  The Third Coast Short Doc challenge is a short 2-3 minute audio contest (of which I was a finalist two years ago btw) and the Lighthouse Film Festival is a free chance at submitting a film into a local festival.  I'll give extra credit for entering both or either and I'll be available during media art club to aid you in anyway possible- may the force be with you!

The Third Coast Festival is having their annual ShortDocs Challenge which comes with a set of rules inspired by a creative partner. For 2015 that's the Studs Terkel Radio Archive from the WFMT Radio Network.  

Your radio story must:
- be two to three minutes in length
- be titled with a question that begins with one of the five Ws (who, what, when, where or why)
- contain the question "And what happened then?"- include a shout of silence or a cry of laughter
The deadline for submitting your ShortDoc is 11:59pm CT on Tue, April 14th.

- Five winning ShortDocs will be featured at the 2015 Third Coast FilmlessFestival (TCFF), in fall 2015 in Chicago (dates tbd).
- Eight finalists will receive a free pass to the TCFF.
- Top submissions will be featured on Third Coast’s Re:sound and podcast, presented on PRX Remix, and at Third Coast listening events in Chicago and beyond.
- All participants receive a free one-year SoundCloud Pro account.
- All submissions are archived permanently on this site, and all producers are added to the Third Coast Producer Index.
The Lighthouse Film Festival invited us to enter student films from this year free of charge by May 1.  The New Jersey festival is on the shore, take a look here for more information: lighthousefilmfestival.org/submit.

Deadline to submit is MAY 1!!! NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
Please mail submissions to one of the addresses listed below.
Lighthouse International Film Festival, Student Submissions: 104 Fairview Ave. Beach Haven NJ 08008 http://www.lighthousefilmfestival.org/:

Attn:  Katie Prince                          
111 Winding Ridge Rd
White Plains NY 10603                    

Please submit all film submissions on DVD or flashdrive, playable in a DVD player or Computer.

Be sure to include your contact information.  We will let you know that we've received it and contact you once your film has been reviewed.

Student Filmmakers, whose films are accepted, will receive 1 VIP ALL ACCESS PASS and 1 VIP ALL ACCESS PASS for a Parent/Guardian/Family Member. 

VIP All Access holders are the first to be granted access to theatres for the best seats in the house; this pass will permit you admission to all public film screenings, festival events and Breakfast with Filmmakers on Saturday andSunday morning.  Only All Access Pass Holders will be able to attend the Breakfast with Filmmakers events.
In addition, one of our Professional Award-winning filmmakers will attend the Student Film Screenings, view the students’ films, and participate in the Q&A afterward.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Long Island's Best art show at Heckscher Museum

Congratulations to Rosalie Zack who's photograph was included in the 2015 Long Island's Best art show at Heckscher Museum.  Long Island's Best challenges students in grades 9 through 12 from across Nassau and Suffolk Counties to choose a work of art in the Museum as the starting point for their own creative exploration.  54 public and private schools submitted students' artwork for jurying.  311 student entries were received and Curator Lisa Chalif selected 80 for display in the galleries. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Japan Society Junior Fellows Final Projects

Our guests from Japan presented their final projects at the Japan Society on Sunday and had some interesting insights about their experiences and our school.

Aya presented data she collected from Smithtown East students and her Japanese classmates about fear of terrorism and thoughts on Japan and US policies, Kenga showed off his collaborative Japan-US painting, and Imagine presented on what is means to be cosmopolitan and international.  The presentations included many students and teachers from Smithtown East and were really interesting!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Studio Art: Creating Typography for Television

In Studio Art we are learning typography and how to create fonts and this semester our theme is Television.  We will now create a usable font using online freeware.

We watched clips of 5 television shows: Freaks and Geeks, Bobs Burgers, The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmit, Mad Men, (and The Regular Show or Arrested Development depending on your period).  Choose one of the television shows and create a new font that represents the show in the titles.  Include the entire alphabet (capitol and lowercase), digits 0-9, and the @, #, :, ?, !, +, -, * symbols.  Below is an example of Bob's Burgers Original font and a variation under it.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Art Honor Society: Japanese Junior Fellows Students

This week in Art Honor Society we had our last club meeting with our Japanese Junior Fellows Students before the leave for Japan this weekend.  We created a collaborative animation and worked together on projects for their ceremony on Sunday.  We also put together our yearbook pages and had our first live stream in the club.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Extra Credit: Looking into Smithtown’s Past

Share your creative skills and celebrate your community’s 350th Anniversary! Submit an original work of visual art or photography that responds to, reflects, or is inspired by the theme of Smithtown's Sesquarcentennial Celebration Looking into Smithtown’s Past.  The example above is from Samantha illustrates what should be included (5 selfies- 1 from each location and a final photograph or drawing which will be entered).

Entry Deadline: April 24, 2015 (April 6 for Extra Credit 3rd Quarter)
Exhibition Dates May 23 – June 16 at the Mills Pond House Gallery.

Cash prizes will be awarded:  $500 for 1stPlace, $350 for 2nd Place, and $150 for 3rd Place. Winning entries will be featured in Smithtown News.

For more information see STAC's website here: Looking into Smithtown’s Past

AP Art: Online breadth section submissions

Today in AP art class we will be uploading their breadth section onto the AP Studio Art Submissions for the AP test. Make sure all the work is sized and the media is stated, below is the information you need to know:

School Code: 335001
Teacher Key: xwt0100

Studio Art: Typography

FROM PAPER TO SCREEN from Thibault de Fournas on Vimeo.

In Advanced Media and in studio art classes we are currently working with typography and the short video above gives a terrific overview of what we have been learning.  In advanced media we are in the process of creating a similar kinetic typography animation collaboratively and in studio art students are completing their first type design project which is due today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Long Island Connected Educator Summit is coming up this weekend and they have released the finalists for their logo contest which features a number of Smithtown East entries and is open to pubic voting.  Check the links below to cast a vote for your favorite design:

Studio Art: Type Design Illustration

This week we'll be creating font's that illustrate words or phrases, above is a great example from llustrator Lex Wilson along with one with James Victore below,  We'll begin by reviewing a few new terms for type design then create 5 thumbnail designs on Monday than sketching out a final design Tuesday and complete the coloring Wednesday.  The final piece is due on Thursday.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Columbus Museum of Art's #MobilePhotoNow Photography Exhibit

This weekend I flew to Columbus, Ohio for the #MobilePhotoNow Photography exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art which featured two of my photographs including one pictured above from Smithtown's homecoming spirit week last year with students from my media class.  The show was terrific and featured photographers from 40 different countries.  It was reviewed by the New York Times and Newsweek.  More than 5,000 photographers from 89 different countries submitted nearly 45,000 images via Instagram for the show and work from 240 photographers were chosen by co-curaters from the museum and Instagram #JJ editors.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Studio Art: Design Test Day

Today we'll take a test on the design artists we learned about in class with a short visual and written section with a few vocabulary terms.  You can review the terms we learned on quizlet.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Welcome to our Japanese Visitors

This week we have Japanese visitors joining us in class through the Japan Society's exchange program.


Today SCAD, the Savannah College of Art & Design of will be joining us in AP Art and the National Art Honor Society to talk about their school, program, and to review portfolios.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Advanced Media Art: Storyboarding Animation

In Advanced Media Art we are beginning work on our animation projects and we'll review storyboarding today before writing the pitch.  Students can work in groups or individually but the length and expectations of the film will differ based on the type of animation and the amount of people working on it.  The film above shows the process of becoming a storyboard artist and offers some insight into what's necessary in the job.  Storyboards will be due on Tuesday 3/24

Monday, March 16, 2015

Scholastic Art and Writing 2015 Regional Winners

Congrats to Luke, Rose, Troy, Andrew, Jamie and Kristin from Mr. Needles AP Art, Drawing and Studio Art classes on winning regional awards in the 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Digital Learning Day

We will be celebrating Digital Learning Day today in all of my classes and throughout the building on March 13 by creating digital art, short films, and animations in class and sharing them throughout the school and online.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Advanced Media: Post-it note animation challenge


In Advanced Media class we just began working on animation and today we begin the Post-it note animation challenge which will be collected a week from today on Thursday March 19.  Create a 6-10 second animation incorporating post-it notes in any creative way and share it on social media using the hashtag #needlesmedia.  An example I created in study hall on Vine is above as an example but be creative and have fun!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Studio Art: The Art & Design Research Project

We are research influential designers and artists this week such as David Carson who's featured in the TED talk above, we'll each present our artists in front of class and there will be a test on all of the artist and designers Wednesday next week.  Below is the list of designers we'll be researching this semester that will be on next week's test:

Studio Art Semester II Artist Research Project 2015

  1. Alan Fletcher
  2. Albrecht Dürer
  3. Alvin Lustig
  4. Andy Goldsworthy
  5. Armin Hofmann
  6. Auguste Rodin­­
  7. Bradbury Thompson
  8. Chip Kidd
  9. Christo
  10. Cipe Pineles
  11. Claes Oldenburg
  12. Dan Flavin
  13. David Carson
  14. George Lois
  15. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
  16. Herb Lubalin
  17. Herbert Matter
  18. Isamu Noguchi
  19. Jack FAILE
  20. Jacqueline Casey
  21. James Victore
  22. Massimo Vignelli
  23. Michael Bierut
  24. Milton Glaser
  25. Neville Brody
  26. Otl Aicher
  27. Paul Rand
  28. Paula Scher
  29. Ruth Ansel
  30. Saul Bass
  31. Stefan Sagmeister
  32. Ushio Shinohara

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Media Art: Character Animation

In Media Art class we are working on Character design for Animation and today we will look at how the process works in the industry and then work on it ourselves in class.  The video above gives a look into the job of a character designer on the Smurfs from SONY and the video below gives some great history of character design with Chuck Jones and others from FULL SAIL.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Heckscher Museum: Long Island’s Best

The Heckscher Museum's prestigious Long Island’s Best juried exhibition features works of art created by Long Island high school students in grades 9-12, based on artwork shown in The Heckscher Museum of Art during the 2014-2015 school year. Today is the delivery day so any students that created work for the show mush have their art ready to show and hang along with a artist form.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Art Honor Society: A Note from Jon Burgerman

The Art Honor Society will meet today and begin preparing for our annual induction.  We will be 
creating a large mural to use at the event in the style of one of my favorite artists, Jon Burgerman.
He gives some really great advice in the clip above and it's great to see his actual working process.
The film also features the painting that I bought of his at Tara McPherson's Cotton Candy Machine 
gallery summer small works show in the introduction.

Studio Art: Mosaic Design Installation

In Studio Art class we are creating a collaborative Mosaic Design Installation this week with each student creating a design which will piece together into a larger work.  Today the designs are due and we'll begin creating a thumbnail mock up before we begin the final work.

The examples above show how different colors and designs work together, we'll be doing something similar but within some specialized shapes to create a mural.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Monday we celebrated the birthday of children's author and artist Dr. Seuss!  The video above shows off some of the work students in Studio Art classes created using some of Dr. Seuss's most loved quotes after we learned a little bit about his life and career.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Teach Like A Pirate EdChat Tonight

March is Young Artists Month and to celebrate I'll be hosting the Teach Like A Pirate (or #TLAP for short) educational Twitter chat tonight at 9pm EST to talk arts and creativity in the classroom!  If you haven't participated before it's a fun, fast-paced nationwide EdChat and I included the questions I'll be posting below:

If you haven't heard of Teach Like A Pirate it's a terrific book on education by educator and author Dave Burgess which was followed up recently by P is for Pirate by Dave and his wife Shelley Burgess.  Both books are great reads and resources!

Since it's a chart about using the arts and creativity I'll be using Vine videos that were created around the school to ask each question such as the example below.

Friday, February 27, 2015

AP Art: Out on the Town

Tonight is the Art series Night at the New York City ballet with artwork from Dustin Yellin and a number of us will be attending.  The show is terrific as is the ballet and there's even a free art book as a gift so what more can one ask!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

AP Art: James Victore design challenge

Here are some of the results from the James Victore AP Art Class design challenge.  Each student was given 40 minutes, a word, and a design handicap that pushed them out of their comfort zone and the results were as diverse as they were interesting.  These examples from Samantha, Christian, Mackenzie, and Andrew were all particularly interesting because they were so unexpected and outside of the style of each student.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Media Arts: Animation Basics

In media arts we are reviewing the basics of animation quizlet and looking at some of the process used to create animated films and television.  We'll have a short quiz on the terms Friday which is also when our first short animation challenge is due!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Advanced Media: Sound Editing

As a prequel to learning how to create short film documentaries we will focus just on audio and audio editing and work together to create some 30 second sonic IDs for the COWBIRD audio library. Today we will do some brainstorming around the themes of school, free time, and ambition and begin sharing our ideas and tomorrow we will begin recording and editing some of the ideas into short radio ids.  We'll be referencing Transom which is a great resource for audio techniques and storytelling tips and we'll go over the basics of editing sound with Audacity.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Studio Art: James Victore Day

Today we are looking at the work of designer James Victore in studio art and AP studio art class.  He has created some unique and impactful design work  which has been shown in some of the biggest museums from MoMA to the Louvre and his spirit and style is terrific.

Studio art- we are going to use his recent collaboration with Holstee as inspiration to create our own individual daily affirmation or reminder.  I will have media such as ink, tape, paper, paint, and pens available but as James himself states there ain't no rules and it's a reminder for you so make it personal and create it in a way that reflects you.

Remember this design is not about being neat and pretty or sloppy and loose for that matter, it's about you- what do you want and how do you communicate it best to yourself?

AP Studio art- we are going to use his recent Creative Live online class as a jump off point.  I watched the majority of the sessions and in it he challenged students to create a design after being given a word and a handicap.  We'll look at some of his work and words and then I'll give each of you a word paired with a media handicap!

Advanced Media: Talking Oscar Night

In Advanced Media we will begin by recapping the Oscars from last night and discuss the winners, moments, and films.  Below is one of my favorite moments from the night as Graham Moore won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for The Imitation Game.

We'll also talk about the animated feature and short films that were nominated as we will soon be working on an animation ourselves- here's a great talk from the Academy about the films.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Media Arts: Pixilations

In Media Arts class we will be working on our first pixilation challenge this week.  Pixilations are animations created in real-life without drawing such as the animation we created with everyone's name on the first week of class.

Each student should create their own pixilation that is under 30 seconds using anything they'd like (people, toys, kittens, whatever) and if possible try to loop it so the end is the beginning is the end.

We'll take a look at some amazing profession pixilations from Norman McLarenPESMichel Gondry OK Go and talk about some tricks and techniques that aid in the process but the final pixilation is due Friday 2/27.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Advanced Media: The Short Doc Challenge

Our second challenge is to create a short documentary film in 2 weeks with the theme of: MUSIC. The theme can be used creatively but the film should touch on music in some way.  The example above is a great short doc with the theme of music which was created by a student and was nominated for a student Academy Award.  It is clever in it's technique of simple cinematography and a surprising personal turn that happens midway through the film which holds the attention of the audience and makes the subject very personal.  Be creative, have fun, and film- that's the best advice for short docs because you never know what you have until you begin editing!  The film is due February 27, 2015

Extra Credit: Looking into Smithtown’s Past

Share your creative skills and celebrate your community’s 350th Anniversary! Submit an original work of visual art or photography that responds to, reflects, or is inspired by the theme of Smithtown's Sesquarcentennial Celebration Looking into Smithtown’s Past.

Entry Deadline: April 24, 2015.
Exhibition Dates May 23 – June 16 at the Mills Pond House Gallery.

Cash prizes will be awarded:  $500 for 1stPlace, $350 for 2nd Place, and $150 for 3rd Place. Winning entries will be featured in Smithtown News.

For more information see STAC's website here: Looking into Smithtown’s Past

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Media Art: How we use media in class

Here's a short video created entirely on the iPhone using Vine, Relay, & Instagram with students from media art and the art honor society in school yesterday showing how Mr. Needles classes uses media in innovative ways to engage students in the classroom and community.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Extra Credit: Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County Arts Competition

HMTC's Arts Competition theme for this year is to reflect on any of the items in the Objects of Witness exhibit, or other artifacts you have seen or studied, and create a piece in one of the categories below that addresses these questions.
  • What story does this item tell?
  • How does it help you understand the history of the Holocaust?
VISUAL ART: All works on paper must be matted and ready for hanging with a hook on the back. All framed works must have wires for hanging. Sculpture and ceramics must have sturdy bases. We will accept art submissions MARCH 9-13, BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 9 AM AND 5 PM. No submissions will be accepted after March 13. All art work may be picked up from the Center after the Awards Ceremony on April 19—any art left after June 1, 2015 will become the property of HMTC.  

MUSIC & MULTI-MEDIA: All entries must be submitted electronically either in audio or video, compatible with PC. You may send by flash drive or online storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive. They must be post-marked by March 13. Please provide a brief written document (see format below in literature guidelines) explaining the inspiration and creative process behind the musical composition or multi-media creation.

Deadlines: Entries must be submitted by March 13, 2015For questions or more information, please contact Tracy Garrison-Feinberg at 516-571-8040 x 106 ortracygarrisonfeinberg@holocaust-nassau.org.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Studio Art: T-shirt Design

In Studio Art class we are designing T-shirts this week which we can actually produce.  We;ll begin by sketching out ideas on paper and drawing a design which we'll then translate to the computer and digitize.  Here are some examples of shirts created by Mr. Needles to give you and idea of what to expect.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Advanced Media: Michel Gondry

In Advanced Media we'll be looking at the films and music videos of writer and director Michel Gondry.  Above is a short film showing him in the process of animating a film, Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?which is a collaboration with philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky (available currently on Netflix).  We'll look at his creative music videos with the White Stripes, Daft Punk, Bjork, and the Rolling Stones in preparing for our music video.  We'll also look at some of his movies such as  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which was shot on Long Island and landed him the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2004 and Be Kind Rewind. We'll also watch a few of his experiments and short films at michelgondry.comWe'll start today with the video for Daft Punk's "Around The World" below.

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