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.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011


Our last assignment before the holiday is an indoor & outdoor panoramic photograph. The term panorama comes from the Greek words for "all" and "sight" and there are a number of ways to create them both in the camera or later in Adobe Photoshop. Above is a very cool and festive example from class, enjoy and have a fantastic break, see you next year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Goodbye John Chamberlain

Yesterday the art world lost one of it's foremost sculptors, John Chamberlain, an artist widely known for his use of abstract expressionist works featuring vibrant colored metal from automobiles. Mr. Chamberlain has lived locally in Shelter Island, N.Y. for a number of years and I had the chance to meet him and hear him speak about his work a few years ago at Jack Larson's Longhouse Reserve when he showed up as a substitute for Chuck Close who couldn't make it. John was a really friendly guy and I thought it was fascinating hearing how he developed his style after different attempts at other creative endeavors such as music and drawing. It was at Larry Rivers Southampton home where he found his craft which continued to advance over the years. I've seen a number of his works in person over the years and they are supremely American in every way regardless of how you read them.

Here is a link to his NY Times obituary: John Chamberlain, Who Wrested Rough Magic From Scrap Metal, Dies at 84

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mr. Needles class in The Matador

This semester's edition of The Matador featured an article about Mr. Needles class and their participation in the Inside Out Project from the French photographer JR. After the winter break we will be working on expanding the project outside of the art wing and into the rest of the school and larger community so if you are interested come by art room 161 in January! If you haven't seen JR's acceptance speech at TED last make sure you check it out here: TEDprize

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

AP Printmaking

This week we will begin our actual prints in printmaking unit and we'll be using a number of techniques including the one pictured above in the video. You'll be experimenting a bit but make sure you have your designs ready because we'll be doing a demonstration in class again tomorrow.

Monday, December 19, 2011

DIY Historical Photographs

To follow up on our photography history unit I'm going to ask each photo student to choose a well image from any of the photographers we discussed in class (I included the list below) and remake one of their photographs. You can use people, toys, or nature but be creative and have fun! The example above referencing Cindy Sheman's famous "untitled film still #21" is from a great article on the DIY (Do It Yourself) project from Flavorwire by Adda Birnir and Tom Starkweather.

1. Alfred Eisenstaedt
2. Alfred Stieglitz
3. Ansel Adams
4. Autumn De Wilde
5. Barbara Kruger
6. Bruce Davison
7. Chuck Close
8. Cindy Sherman
9. Danny Clinch
10. Danny Lyon
11. David LaChapelle
12. Dorthea Lange
13. Edward Weston
14. Greg Crewdson
15. Henri Cartier-Bresson
16. Herb Ritts
17. Irving Penn
18. Lauren Greenfield
19. Margaret Bourke-White
20. Marilyn Minter
21. Nadar
22. Peter Beard
23. Robert Capa
24. William Wegman
25. Yousuf Karsh

Designing a Tshirt in Adobe Illustrator

This week in Computer Art class we will learn how to use Adobe Illustrator to create an original t-shirt design which can be printed online using companies such as MySoti. Above is the example that Mr. Needles did is class using a drawing from his sketchbook which was then scanned, vectorized it in Illustrator, cleaned up, made transparent, then uploaded online.

Alphabet Soup

Here's the results from last week's assignment which was to "photograph the alphabet" by finding things in nature that resembled letters and edit them together (an example from class is pictured above). After the alphabet was finished students had the option to add one or two additional symbols such as an asterisk, exclamation point, ect. to finish out the image grid and add balance. Finally we took the letters that were created and put together an inspiring word that which we'll print out and post up in the gallery(an example from class is pictured below).

Friday, December 16, 2011

Destination: Queens Trip

Friday's Art & Media Art Honor Society field trip to the Museum of the Moving Image and 5 Pointz art space in Queens was a great time. We had a chance to see the museum along with the fantastic Jim Henson exhibit and some amazing urban art!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Design Fundimentals

Here's an awewsome video on The Fundamental Elements of Design from Erica Gorochow which covers all of the things we went over in class visually.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Northport One-Act Play Festival

The 3rd Annual Northport One-Act Play Festival is March 30-April 1, 2012 just announced their call for entries and this year's theme for student submissions is "Bullying." The works are due by Jan 7th. Take a look at Rich Vernillo's award-winning PSA about bullying Stop Bullying Now Public Service Announcement from last year for some great content and visuals created here in the hallways.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mr. Needles Haunted Hospital

Here's a short video recap of this year's Haunted Hospital which was put together by the Art & Media Art Honor Societies for our Safe Halloween. The video was created for our new MSG Varsity page where we'll be posting regularly.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Marilyn Minter

Here's a great short video interview with my former painting teacher, Marilyn Minter, with some information on how she creates her work and her new show Salon 94 Bowery

Chuck Close's show opening

Here are some highlights of Chuck Close's recent opening at Blum & Poe gallery in California from the Arrested Motion blog. We just learned about Close, who lives locally in the Hampton's and NYC, in our AP art class and the photography class, he's one of those few artists who are equally important in the painting and photography world.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Destination Queens, NY

Next week the Art & Media Art Honor Societies will be on a trip to visit The Museum of The Moving Image for the Jim Henson's Fantastic World exhibit, MOMA's PS1, and 5Pointz exhibit space in Queens.

Portraits with Words

This week's assignment in computer art class is to create a portrait of a person who writes (authors, songwriters, screenwriters, comedians, ect.) using letters, words, or sentences. Above is a detail of an example that I created in class of musican, comedian Reggie Watts.
In class we explored Adobe's amazing Words At Play website by designer and illustrator Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich and designer Matteo Bologna. Above is a an image from the site of author Anne Sexton which uses letters to create to portrait as opposed to the one I created with words. There are a number of different ways to create a portait for this project and different programs that would work and as this is one of you last assignments I'll give the freedom to decide to you. Wether your using Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign make sure the final work is 8x10" and the resolution is 300.

Before you start take a look at this tutorial from Layers magazine on how it was created which can help you think about how you want to approach the project.<>

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Go Animate

This weeks Media Arts assignment is to create your own short digital animation on the GoAnimate.com website. Above is a short demo of how the film works with instructions on the assignment. I'll do a short demonstration in class and go over some of the basics but you can begin by creating a free account and adding me as a contact, my user name is VoteNeedles2010 and the email chunckerthedonut@aol.com

AP Art: Printmaking

This week's assignment in AP Art is printmaking but what type of print you doing will depend on which AP test your taking. Below are the assignments with some student examples:

Fine Arts (Painting & Drawing) - Monoprint Series

We will use water soluble media to create a series of 3-5 monoprints that have some relation to each other. They can be variants on an image or a narrative series, it's up to you. For this assignment your work should work in a series and it preferable that you include a figure but not absolutely necessary.

Design (2D) - Stencil Prints

We will create our own original 3-5 color stencil using cardboard that you will print with different media on a constructed background. For this assignment your theme should be based on a modern social issue of your own choice.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

JR Inside Out Photography Project

Here's the first round of images from the JR Inside Out Project from students in Mr.Needles Photography class. The images include students, teachers, and staff and are currently displayed in the Needles AP gallery in the visitor's entrance hallway. Below is a video from JR's talk at the TED conference outling the project and it's message.

Animating the Alphabet

Mr. Needles media arts classes are working on creating an alphabet animation using hand drawn frames. Each student will create a 50 frame animation based on a letter they are given and morph images that begin with that letter into their sequence (Letter A: Apples, Alligators, Andrew Jackson). All of the letter sequences will be combined into a full animation of the alphabet which can be used to teach elementary school students next year.

Here's an example of a finished storyboard

Here's an example of a finished name credit and below is an example of what the final individual animated segment looks like.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Edublog Award Nominations

I recently heard about the Edublog Awards and wanted to nominate a few of my colleagues. I'm a pretty avid blogger and here are a few of my favorite educational blogs.

■ Best individual blog - The Carrot Revolution
As a visual person I appreciate varied imagery and mixed media and this blog does it right!

■ Best individual tweeter - @TomWhitby
Tom Whitby is a fellow Long Islander and founder of #Edchat. I've never met him but his tweets keep me up to date on all the educational talk while I'm hidden away in my classroom.

■ Best group blog - Illustration Friday
This is a fantastic blog that posts a new theme each week and is open to submissions. We use it in my advanced art classes and it's a great way to get feedback from artists outside the classroom giving advice and encouragement to the students.

■ Best class blog - Colin Maxwell's Maximized
Colin teaches Computer Arts and Digital Design at Carnegie College in Scotland and is someone I came in contact with through the Adobe Education Leader program. I love how he uses Adobe Connect on his page and regularly post tutorials and lessons in different media, pretty terrific stuff.

■ Best student blog- Nataliee Loves Art
Here's a blog from one of my current AP students where she has begun to showcase her portfolio and discuss the work she is doing.

Best ed tech / resource sharing blog- Dan Pink Blog
Of course the best art advocacy comes from a former lawyer and businessman but Pink's resources are always useful and often inspiring.

■ Most influential blog post- TED
This is easily the blog that I use most as a teacher and I'm not the only one, it's always thought provoking

■ Best twitter hashtag- #Educationnation
I was late to the game with Education Nation but their twitter posts and discussions are really interesting.

■ Best teacher blog- Moodlea
This blog from Buckinghamshire County, England comes from another one of my former AEL compatriots Ian Usher and has the best Moodle info out there among other things.

Best librarian / library blog- A Media Specialist's Guide To The Internet
This is a fantastic resource with tons of helpful information and it's always fresh!

■ Best School Administrator blog- A Principal's Reflections
I often imagine working at New Milford High School because Principal Eric Sheninger is possibly the most tech friendly Principal ever and the info he shares is always interesting. A wealth of knowledge also comes across his twitter feed.

■ Best free web tool- Photoshop.com
This tool is brilliant, I love how students can work at home, at school, or on their mobile devices and save their work in the cloud plus it's a pretty sleek design that's had a few new additions lately.

■ Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast- Dryden Art
As a high school and adjunct college teacher I love to see what's going on in this video of an elementary art class

Best educational wiki- Ms. Santangelo's Wiki
This is from a Smithtown HS East colleague and I hear from the students that they are using it all the time. I like the wealth of information up on the wiki and the willingness to share, it's not always so common.

■Best open PD / unconference / webinar series- Kathy Schrock's Guide for educators
Kathy is another former AEL teammate who put up this fantastic resource that is open to educators, in addition she's known for her amazing professional development work in Second Life.

■ Best educational use of a social network - Japan Sociey's Going Global
The educational wing of New York's Japan Society put together this moodle site connecting classrooms across the US with classrooms in Pakistan and Japan. This semester was just a first run but already I can say my classes are more globally informed and really benefitted from the experience of doing the same lesson collaboratively with students from around the world.

Lifetime achievement - Alan November's novemberlearning
Alan can be a bit abrasive but content wise he was out on the tech highway as an early adopter and kept it up with some really important media awareness issues and plenty of good content.

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