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, May 22, 2015

Studio Art: The Sketchbook Project

This week we are doing a drawing project in Studio Art class inspired by artist Heather Sinclair's meditative, free-association “what does that look like” sketchbook drawings from The Sketchbook Project.  Each student should complete a full page drawing based on things and people in class and free-association to those things and people.  The link above show's the artists full sketchbook and you can see part of the process by looking through the drawings.  Try to have at least 10 faces in you work and use pen or pencil for the drawing then you can add color if you choose using any media.  Above is the cover of the sketchbook we looked at in class and the drawing below is the begining of the in-class demonstration Mr. Needles did in the Studio Art classes today.  The assignment will be due at the end of class on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Looking into Smithtown's Past reception

This weekend is the opening for the Looking into Smithtown's Past exhibit at Mills Pond House and 8 students from Mr. Needles classes have work in the show.  The reception is Saturday from 2-4pm so best of luck to all my students in the judging!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Art Honor Society: Chelsea Gallery walk Spring Field Trip

The Art and Media Art Honor Society will have it's Spring Field Trip Friday and we will walk the High Line and do a Chelsea Gallery walk, visiting the following galleries:

We will also stop at the Chelsea Market and we'll return home around 3pm for the holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Studio Art: Review for the Final

In Studio Art we will be finishing our review for the final exam this week and the actual exam is next week on May 28 and 29.  The link on the quizlet here: studio art review covers most of what will be on the test and is a great place to study.  Wednesday will be our practice exam that will count as a quiz so make sure you prepare!

Monday, May 18, 2015

AP Art: The Art of Frida Kahlo

In AP Art we will finish watching the Frida, the film on artist Frida Kahlo and begin to discuss her life, process, art and most importantly what we learned from her.  Below is a quote which gives some insight into her true character:

"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you." 
-Frida Kahlo

                                                 Suicide of Dorothy Hale

We will also discuss the film Frida and artist and director Julie Taymor's creative interpretation of Frida's life.  Finally I'll assign a short reflective essay which will be due on Thursday May 21st.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Extra Credit: iDrive No Texting While Drive contest

This month's extra credit assignment is to create a video pitch for the iDrive "No Texting While Drive" public service announcement contest.  The prizes are serious for this contest, last years winner won $10,000. Below are the basic rules and if you have questions I saved the complete rules as a PDF in the Mr. Needles extra credit folder in the school assignment drive.

The extra credit is due by May 31, 2015 and we'll be posting the best of them in September to compete for the school.  Below are some useful images and data that you might want to incorperate into you PSA pitch.

Media Art Honor Society: Matt and Kim Music Video

The Media Art Honor Society and Media Art classes have been working on filming scenes for the Matt and Kim "Can You Blame Me" music video this week which we will be finishing up today and we'll create a "Smithtown East HS - Needles AV club version" of the music video for the band.  Here are some of the best shots from this week!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

AP Art Senior Shows: Troy

Troy's AP Art Senior Show opened yesterday and his unique approach and creative, crisp black and white portraits have drawn a number of visitors to admire his hard work.  Be sure to stop down and see the images which have been hung from twine draped from the ceiling and collages on the walls before it over on Friday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Art Honor Society: Doodles for Charity

This week we are celebrating National Doodle Day and the Doodle for NF charity drive which takes signed celebrity doodles and sells them on ebay to raise money for the Neurofibromatosis Network. We will create and contribute doodles in the art honor society this week. Posted above and below are a few of my favorite doodles from this year's collection from Angus Oblong, Duncan Rouleau, and Elaine Bogan,

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Advanced Media Art: Matt and Kim Music Video

In our Advanced Media Art class we began filming scenes for the Matt and Kim "Can You Blame Memusic video using iPads and streaming video of Matt and Kim's faces sing and reacting.  The finished video is due Thursday so we'll be filming through the week while we continue to re-write the television pilots script.

Monday, May 11, 2015

AP Studio Art: The AP test

 In AP Studio Art we will reflect on the AP studio art test that we took on Friday and write a reflection on it.  Here's some of the great photography and design work from the class we'll look at some of the consistent themes that ran through the class that you may not have picked up on while you were working.

Friday, May 8, 2015

AP Senior Artshow: Cassie

Our second AP Senior Art show of the year opened last week and features Cassie's photograph designs and drawings and it's a great start to our showcase season and one to check out before it's gone!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Studio Art: Looking into Smithtown's Past

Any Studio Art student that completed the extra credit assignment for Smithtown's anniversary "Looking into Smithtown's Past" art competition should print and matte their work for the exhibition at the Mills Pond House (beautifully photographed for the contest by Lauren above) for drop off today.  Best of luck in the judging!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Art Honor Society: End of the Year Planning

Today the Art Honor Society will meet after school with the Media Art Honor Society and we'll be planning all of our end of the year activities.  We have just 24 class days left of school which means just 5 meeting left this year so we have to make sure everything is set for our spring field trip on May 22, our induction, our mural project, and the gallery openings!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Studio Art: Day of the Dead Masks

Today we will begin working on ad 3D Day of the Dead Masks in class beginning with a design on paper which is colored and drawn to scale then we will create the mask with a form of paper mache after which we will paint it.

Remember your final is fast approaching and in addition to our quick review in class you should study the quizlet: Final Review

Monday, May 4, 2015

AP ART: AP Test this Friday

This Friday is our AP Studio Art test at 7:20am so all 24 works must be digitized and uploaded along with the answers to the two concentrations online at the AP Studio Art Submission Website.  The 5 Quality works must also be matted and prepared for submission before Friday.  There are 4 days until the test so make sure you are on-schedule and if you have any issue please let Mr.Needles know immediately!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Media Art: Animations Due

Today in Media Art the completed Animations are due in video form at the end of class.  I demonstrated three different methods of importing and editing the animations all which have positive and negative qualities so each student must choose which method works best for their film and finish their editing by the end of class to submit the film via the public drive.  The great example above is from Chelsea, we'll share more of the films on Monday to critique how everyone progressed!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Studio Art: Paper Bead Bracelets

In Studio Art we are completing our Paper Bead Bracelets today some of which will be auctioned off for charity.  Here's a look at some of the finished bracelets from the period 7 class today which are looking pretty terrific.  After you've completed two bracelets initial one of the beads on each and hand them in for a grade!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Art Honor Society: Spring Field Trip to Chelsea NYC

The Art Honor Society will soon be embarking on our Spring Field Trip to Chelsea NYC to see the new Whitney Museum, NY galleries, walk the high line, and have lunch at Chelsea Market on May 22, 2015.  Today we will talk about the trip and our upcoming induction ceremony as well as the doodle4nf charity doodles.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Advanced Media: Television Pilots

In Advanced Media we just completed presenting our Television Research project so we will now be working on our Television Pilots.  We will be using Kevin Bisch's story cheat sheet (in the assignment drive) and writing out the basic premise followed by a character description list and the Bisch answers.  The pilot pitch is due on Thursday and the research quiz will be on Friday.


The Department of Energy recently issued an infographic challenge and two of our art and science classmates. Rose Kong and Emily Peterson took up the challenge of illustrating Algae Biofuel in the infographic above which was chosen as one of the top 50.  It's a great marriage of science and design for a good educational cause!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Studio Art: Origami Boxes Due

Today in Studio Art we will complete our Origami Box project with a handmade paper and recycled paper box due at the beginning of class.

We will be starting the next project which is creating paper beads and making 2 bracelets with them.  Below is the paper bead tutorial which we will be using:

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.

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